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Featuring Norbert the Narcotics Bobby.

§ October 26th, 2018 § Filed under retailing, undergrounds § 4 Comments


So pictured above are four issues of The Fabulous Furry Freak Bros. that I purchased from a gentleman at my store on Thursday. They’re not in very good shape…they’re intact, but they are very worn. I’ll generally buy most underground comix regardless of condition — well, within reason — just because undergrounds can be hard to come by, and I always have customers for them.

These particular Freak Bros. were of interest, though, as they were published in the United Kingdom…if you look closely, you can see the UK price on the covers, and maybe the Knockabout Books logo and/or text there. Sometimes the price was printed as part of the cover, and sometimes it was a small round sticker affixed directly over the original cover price, as was sometimes done in the U.S. Whether in this instance it’s covering a U.S. price or another UK price, I do not know. The copyright info on the inside covers also reflect their UK origins.

Wish now I’d taken more (and better!) pics of these items beyond just a representative image to throw on the Instagrams. But I still have ’em at the shop, should you like to drop in and inspect these items in person, hint hint. C’mon, it’s not that far of a drive, if you’re, y’know, on the same continent.

So there you go…my “weird thing that walked in the door” for the week. …Did I tell you about the weird thing from last week, this Li’l Abner comic with the amazing cover? Well, check out the pic of that, too, and that’s all I have of it now, beyond my fond memories, because that cover sells itself, and brother, it sold.

So we’ve pretty much cornered the local market on San Francisco Comic Book #5.

§ December 23rd, 2013 § Filed under retailing, undergrounds § 1 Comment

A few days back, a gentleman popped by the shop with a small handful of undergrounds…a couple copies each of Zap #9 and #10, three San Francisco Comic Book #5s, one or two other items. Some of them weren’t in great shape, but I always have demand for undergrounds, Zaps in particular, so I was willing to dole out a small bit of money even for the somewhat water-damaged copies. …Some of which, by the way, I was able to turn around and sell later that afternoon.

Anyway, after purchasing the comics from this person, he tells us that he has a few hundred more comics of similar vintage back home if we were interested. “Why sure!” we replied, and a day or two later the rest of his collection was in our possession.

And when he said he had a few hundred more, we didn’t realize that a couple hundred of those would be more copies of San Francisco Comic Book #5:


Well, okay, I exaggerate slightly, but that was a pretty sizable pile of SFCB, as I’m going to call it instead of typing that out again. There was also a nice stack of Zaps, such as these #9s:


…which, as you can probably see, are a little worse for wear, but I’m sure we can sell them. As Ralph (remember Ralph? This is a song about Ralph), owner of the Old Comics part of our business, put it, “everyone looking for undergrounds asks for Zaps. And almost everyone asks for Freak Brothers,” which, alas, this collection did not contain. But, yes, Zaps are the single most requested underground at the shop. For a while there, we had some very nice copies of assorted Zap issues going for some premium prices, but the vast majority of people asking for these aren’t looking for collectibility‎ or investment…they just want to read the darn things, and a bunch of “affordable” copies are exactly what we can use.

There were other Zaps in the collection…again, multiple copies of them, in varying conditions, mostly from the middle of the run. There were various other undergrounds, plus a bunch of more mainstream comics from the ’80s and very early ’90s that filled out the boxes, generally fairly common stuff in worn condition, thrown into the deal after we paid actual money for the stuff we could use. Nothing terribly exciting, save for a beat copy of an issue of Infinity Gauntlet that we gave to a customer gratis so he could complete his run and read the series.

Not quite on the scale of the immense collection of undergrounds we acquired a few years back (that we’re still going through, when we find the time), but it’s always nice to recover books like these from wherever they were being hidden, and getting them into the hands of more people who can appreciate them.

Das Kampf (Bagginer Productions/Vaughn Bodé Productions, 1977).

§ January 13th, 2010 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives, undergrounds Comments Off on Das Kampf (Bagginer Productions/Vaughn Bodé Productions, 1977).


Das Kampf is a digest-sized collection of cartoonist Vaughn Bodé’s musings and commentary upon war, in the format of a caption beginning “WAR is…” accompanying a single panel illustration. Here are a couple of samples:


According to the printing information on the back cover, the original edition from 1963 had a print run of about 100 copies, run off a mimeograph machine. This site has an image or two of the original version. (Also, the original 1963 publication would seem to contradict the assertion I’ve seen here and there that Das Kampf‘s “War Is” gag format was a parody of the Love Is… comic strip, which began in 1970.) The version I own, “the 1st comic publication” as it is described on the back cover, had a print run of 3,000. It was published in 1977, two years after Bodé’s death.

I acquired my copy as part of a largish underground comix collection bought by the store a number of years ago. Being something of a Bodé fan, and always on the lookout for odd-sized mini-comics/digests for reasons I can’t entirely explain, I decided to keep this particular item for myself. I’ve not seen another copy of this come through the shop, though a quick Googling seems to turn one up one or two for sale. Amazon has none available, but I’ll put on those product link thingies here anyway, just in case someone there decides to part with a copy of it someday:

Agony (Raw/Pantheon, 1987)

§ January 11th, 2010 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives, undergrounds Comments Off on Agony (Raw/Pantheon, 1987)


This little paperback book (with dustjacket) by Mark Beyer only measures about 5 by 5 inches, but packs in plenty of black humor and peculiar art. The premise is that a couple, Amy and Jordan, start their day by getting fired from their jobs, and things only get progressively worse from there. There are beheadings, prison stays, giant swelling heads, hospital horrors, and more, made even more terrifying by the off-kilter, almost childlike, illustrations of the characters and their miserable situations.

“I saved her, but her leg has dissolved!”

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. My head’s starting to swell up.”

“Amy, the doctor says I’m basically alright, but he says you’re going to need some internal organ transplants.”

a typical circumstance


Amy and Jordan face their endless string of misfortunes with a mix of optimism, depression, and occasional outright terror, all for our amusement. And it is amusing, as things pile on and the two find themselves inextricably trapped by the workings of fate.

It’s a neat little book that grabbed my eye when I spotted it on a convention table over twenty years ago, and even now, as I was flipping through it to write this post, I ended up just reading the whole thing again. And I was reminded of my cousin, who was only about 11 or 12 at the time I bought the book, picking it up and reading it straight through during one of her family’s visits. “Poor Amy and Jordan!” I remember her saying once or thrice during her perusal.

The book’s out of print, but I put up an Amazon link where you can find some slightly pricey used copies at (right now) $18 a pop. There’s also (at the time I write this) a new copy for $180, which seems a tad much, but hey, if he can get it, more power to him.