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Fantagraphics preps underground comix history, Robert Williams survey

By Mike Whybark     October 14, 2002

Fantagraphics is finalizing two large-format books covering aspects of the history of underground comix and cartooning. Both works are due in December.

The first book to hit shelves, on December 1, is Robert Williams' HYSTERIA IN REMISSION . The book offers a comprehensive look at the graphic art of this celebrated painter, whose career began under the tutelage of legendary artist and automobile designer Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, and who was a founding contributor to Zap, the magazine generally credited with initiating underground comix.

The book, edited by Eric Reynolds, is slated for a signed limited edition of one thousand in hardcover at $75 and a softcover edition set to retail at $29.95, and is being sold with an "adults only" advisory.

Just two weeks later on December 15th, the publisher will release REBEL VISIONS: THE UNDERGROUND COMIX REVOLUTION , 1963-1975, by Patrick Rosenkranz, at $39.95.

Using a chronological format, the book discusses the development and publications of the American underground comix phenomenon of the 1960s and 1970s. The undergrounds are widely recognized as a source of influence and inspiration in many areas of mainstream comics and cartooning. While individual artists that contributed to the development of the undergrounds such as Robert Crumb and Williams (above) may have offered works that concerned the history and development of the undergrounds, this may be the first to offer a survey that is not aimed at an academic audience.

The book will offer many illustrations and extensive contributions from numerous participants in the underground scene. Rosenkranz is on the faculty of the Northwest Film Center's Certificate Program in Film, and has worked as a filmmaker and film and video educator for many years.

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