May 30, 2016


Robert Crumb 
ZAP COMIX and the 
Underground Comix Revolution

The previous photos were of protests in the streets and parks of the Bay Area. This type of rebellion was happening all over the country. The Baby Boomer generation was coming of age and standing up to the oppressive morals of Nixon’s “Silent Majority”.

There was another rebellion taking place across the country. Young aspiring cartoonists who had been raised under the Comics Code of the 50’s were thumbing their nose at the conservative values it imposed. Life was not the squeaky clean existence shown in ARCHIE comics. Boys were being sent to Vietnam to kill and be killed. THE PILL had opened the way to sex without fear of pregnancy. Women, blacks and other minorities were fighting for equal rights. LSD was a new synthetic drug spreading across college campuses and changing the way people expressed their creativity.

In 1968 Robert Crumb stood on Haight Street in San Francisco selling the first copies of ZAP COMIX from a baby carriage. Others were expressing their political, social and sexual views in comic book form, but Crumb’s ZAP had a major impact on what was “THE UNDERGROUND COMIX REVOLUTION”. Crumb has continued to be a prolific and uncompromising artist to this day.

Clay had enough contact with Robert Crumb in the early 70s that when he and I met Robert Crumb at a book signing in 1985, Crumb looked up and said, “Is that Clay Geerdes?”. Unfortunately,
Crumb was an elusive fellow and there are few
photos of him in the early days.

A Crumb mural painted in 1973 on the
Mission Rebels Building at South Van Ness, San Francisco.

  Original Crumb art on the leg of underground cartoonist, 
Joyce Farmer. At THE OTHER CAFE on Cole St., San Francisco

Robert Crumb's Cheapsuit Serenaders 
at The Hooker's Ball. Date unknown.
Around 1976.
Peggy Farar was there in her FREESTORE costume. 
She is the step-mother of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Clay captured Crumb and wife, Aline, as they
strolled around Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, California 1980.

Crumb did a book signing in Berkeley in 1982.
It was held at LaVal's Pizza Place near north campus.
Terry Zwigoff
Ron Turner. Publisher of LAST GASP COMIX

In 1985 Crumb did another signing at The Nature Co. in Berkeley.
It was for the rerelease of Edward Abbey's book, 
THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG, which Crumb did the 
illustrations for. 
Yours truly, David Miller
Crumb was very pleasant, but he later said that he would 
never do anything like that again.  
Edward Abbey was pretty critical of the whole thing, too,

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic underground coverage.

    Thanks for preserving history!