Zippy on comic books

Today’s Zippy, on the comic book craze:


Like Little Zippy, I grew up before either underground comics or manga. I enjoyed comic books but wasn’t enthralled by them; I was in fact a rather literary child. But when underground comics (or comix) came along, I was a fan.

My most recent posting on manga: “Manga matters” of 8/13/13.

On underground comix, from Wikipedia:

Underground comix are small press or self-published comic books which are often socially relevant or satirical in nature. They differ from mainstream comics in depicting content forbidden to mainstream publications by the Comics Code Authority, including explicit drug use, sexuality and violence. They were most popular in the United States between 1968 and 1975, and in the United Kingdom between 1973 and 1974.

Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, and numerous other cartoonists created underground titles that were popular with the hippie counterculture scene. Punk had its own comic artists like Gary Panter. Long after their heyday underground comix gained prominence with films and television shows influenced by the movement and with mainstream comic books, but their legacy is most obvious with alternative comics.

In “Realism plus” of 1/11/13, I talked about (and illustrated)

the major figure of the period, R. Crumb, the Crumb of the Keep on Truckin’ comics and the characters Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural

Other notable creators of the period: Kim Deitch, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, and S. Clay Wilson, in such publications as Zap ComixArcadeBijou FunniesFabulous Furry Freak Brothers, and Wimmen’s Comix.

Just one favorite from this rich collection:

Wonder Wart-Hog (the Hog of Steel) is an underground comic book character, a porcine parody of Superman, created by Gilbert Shelton and Tony Bell.

His secret identity is the mild-mannered reporter Philbert Desanex. (Occasionally, however, Shelton has depicted Wonder Wart-Hog and Desanex as two distinct individuals, with WW-H able to reside inside the reporter’s body.) (Wikipedia link)


Note the year: 1967.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: