Leslie Cabarga (American, b. 1954), Dope Comix #1, cover, 1978
Line art on acetate over airbrushed background
Denis Kitchen Collection.
Underground Classics: The Transformation of Comics into Comix, 1963 - 1990
MADISON, WISCONSIN • Chazen Museum of Art • Ongoing
|Beginning in the 1960s, underground cartoonists joined the rebellion against mainstream society, commercial publishing, and conformity in comics. The thriving comix culture boldly visualized the dissent and social exploration of the time. Underground Classics: The Transformation of Comics into Comix, 1963 - 1990 looks at comix as an art form and includes original art, printed pages, and comic book covers as it charts the scene’s growth and change over three decades.|
In 1967, Zap and the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers ushered in a new era of comic art. The 'x' distinguished comix--and its celebration of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll—from the super heroes and funny animal comics produced by mainstream publishers. But subject matter alone didn't differentiate comix from the mainstream: underground cartoonists received royalties for their work, retained ownership of their original art, automatically retained copyrights, developed an alternative distribution system, and reveled in an uncensored environment. This subculture challenged the economics of publishing as well as social and artistic norms. Underground Classics offers an in-depth view of comix culture, showing the range of artists and material as well as the artistry of their craft. The exhibition is curated by James Danky and Denis Kitchen for the Chazen Museum of Art and brings together artwork from private collections across the country. A full-color catalogue is available in the Museum Shop.
Artists in the exhibition include: Joel Beck, Vaughn Bode, Tim Boxell, Roger Brand, Charles Burns, Leslie Cabarga, Dan Clyne, Richard Corben, Robert Crumb, Howard Cruse, Kim Deitch, Will Eisner, Will Elder, Shary Flenniken, Drew Friedman, Don Glassford, Grass Green, Justin Green, Rick Griffin, Bill Griffith, Gary Hallgren, Rory Hayes, Rand Holmes, Greg Irons, Jack Jackson, Jay Kinney, Denis Kitchen, Aline Kominsky Crumb, Harvey Kurtzman, Bobby London, Jay Lynch, Jim Mitchell, Victor Moscoso, Willy Murphy, Dan O'Neil, Jim Osborne, Harvey Pekar, Peter Poplaski, John Pound, Wendel Pugh, Ted Richards, Spain Rodrguez, Trina Robbins, Sharon Rudahl, Gilbert Shelton, Art Spiegelman, Frank Stack, Dan Steffan, Steve Stiles, William Stout, John Thompson, Larry Todd, Reed Waller, Bruce Walthers, Robert Willaims, Skip Williamson, S. Clay Wilson, and Kate Worley.
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