A Fabulous, Furry Fungus Friday!

« No wonder psychedelics are threatening to an authoritarian religious hierarchy. You don’t need faith to benefit from a psychedelic experience, let alone a priest or even a shaman to interpret it. What you need is courage to drink the brew, eat the mushroom, or whatever it is, and then to pay attention, and make of it what you will. Suddenly, the tools for direct contact with the transcendent other (whether you call it God or something else) is taken from the hands of an anointed elite and given to the individual seeker. » — Dennis McKenna

Sensing that I’ve been neglecting Underground Comix in our coverage, I thought I’d close out the year with a thematic pairing of a favourite comestible with a beloved cartoonist (and his collaborators).

That’s a pretty fanciful mushroom patch there, boys. I doubt that mushrooms would grow much, if at all, in the blazing prairie sun… let alone that neatly. Artistic licence, then! This is The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers no. 5 (May 1977, Rip Off Press). Cover by Gilbert Shelton and Dave Sheridan.
An old girlfriend of mine once echoed Fat Freddy’s bonehead sentiment: “Ew… mushrooms grow in shit!“, presumably unaware of the role manure has always played in agriculture. She went on to marry a succession of Frenchmen, and given their nation’s appreciation of fungi, I hope she was smart enough to not express out loud that bit of… wisdom.

By the way, Phineas is right, as usual. Here’s more info on the relationship between mushrooms and cow flop, and an ‘easy guide to picking‘…

One Pizza With Mushrooms to Go! first saw print in The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers no. 4 (November 1975, Rip Off Press). This is Shelton and Sheridan’s original cover art, which fetched a handsome 43,000 dollars and change when it was auctioned off in 2016.
Ah, roommates. One again, Fat Freddy undoes Phineas’ careful efforts. This reminder of the importance of sterilisation in mushroom cultivation comes courtesy of Messrs. Shelton and Paul Mavrides. It appeared in The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers no. 12 (1992, Rip Off Press).
Talk about a roomful of cartooning genius. Meet Mavrides and Shelton and feel your senses reel!

Honestly, it’s been, for many of us, the kind of year when mutant psychedelic fungus overrunning one’s city would come as a pretty good bit of news. Let’s hope for something even better for 2022!

For more Gilbert Shelton on WOT?, just follow this link!


Joyeux anniversaire, Gilbert Shelton!

« … and now for some of that fun we promised you! Trained chihuahas! Car races! A couple of inspirational documentaries! And a quiz show! Hallelujahgobble! Hallelujahgobble! »

For my money, there’s no funnier man in comics, at least on such a consistent, sustained level, as the extraordinary Gilbert Shelton (born May 31st, 1940, in Houston, TX, which makes him 78 today). Sure, he’s slowed down some since 1959 (the year he foisted upon the world the Wonder Warthog), but the quality of his output has not decreased one iota (quite the contrary, in fact!) It may well be that the secret of his longevity lies in his choice of collaborators, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s just another facet of his talent. I’ll (mostly) let the man’s work speak for itself. Brace yourselves for the ride, here we go!
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Yeah, that old hippie shit’s totally dated; this has nothing to do with American’s current socio-political situation. Well, it would be nice if Amtrak’s trains ran a bit closer to schedule. This ran as the back cover of « Wonder Wart-Hog and the Nurds of November: Gilbert Shelton’s Exciting Cartoon Novel of Election-Year Politics, International Nuclear Terror, Professional Football, Science Fiction, Motorcycle and Auto Racing, Pestilence, Famine, Economic Collapse and Romantic Love. » (1980, Rip Off Press)
The Brothers’ none-too-effective nemesis Norbert the Nark in the spotlight. From The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers no. 12 (1992, Rip Off Press).
Fat Freddy’s such a good little Suzie Homemaker. Another piece from The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers no. 12 (1992, Rip Off Press). FatFreddyCatCameoAFatFreddyScat1A
The toilet-training method reportedly works, but it helps to have more than one toilet available. From Fat Freddy’s Cat no. 7 (1993, Rip Off Press)
Shelton’s most recent major creation, circa 1988-89, is Not Quite Dead, “the world’s oldest and least successful Rock ‘n’ Roll band”. So far, we’ve been treated to six issues, and the latest, “Last Gig in Shnagrlig” (2009), is quite the epic! A fruitful collaboration with French bédéiste Denis Lelièvre, alias Pic. These vignettes hail from Not Quite Dead no. 5 (2005, Knockabout)
Aw, ain’t he adorable, and don’t you just wanna slip the birthday boy a big ol’ sloppy smooch? Photo by Christophe Prébois.
Speaking of collaborators, though it’s none of their birthdays, let’s give a salty salute to Shelton compadres-in-crime Tony Bell, Joe E. Brown Jr., Dave Sheridan, Paul Mavrides and Pic. Did I forget anyone? -RG