Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers no. 0-13

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers - a bunch of establishment-hating, drug-using, draft-dodging hippies - are definitely a product of their time, the late 1960s and early '70s. But somehow, they've managed to survive beyond that time, and remain in print even today. Gilbert Shelton, already known for Wonder Warthog, created the Freak Brothers (Fat Freddy, Freewheelin' Franklin, and Phineas Phreak) in 1968, when he was living in Austin, Texas.

Their first adventure appeared in Feds 'n' Heads, a counter-culture publication that is still reprinted from time to time.

Later, the trio turned up in Yellow Dog, Radical America Komiks, Zap Comix, and other underground comix, as well as in the Los Angeles Free Press, the East Village Other, and various other underground newspapers.
In 1969, Shelton and three college buddies, Jack Jackson, Dave Moriarty and Fred Todd, moved to San Francisco and founded Rip Off Press, which became one of the major comix publishers - and which is today one of the few still producing new comic books.

Most of Shelton's subsequent work has been published by Rip Off Press.
In 1971, Rip Off Press brought out the first collection of Freak Brothers adventures,
gathering together stories and pages from over a dozen different sources and putting them between two covers for the first time.

Another collection appeared a year later, and a third in 1973.

That took care of most of the reprintable material, so the fourth issue, which came out in 1975, contained new stories.

That's when the series started to evolve from what has been called a "hippie sitcom" into fabulous, world-spanning, epic adventures.

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