preface by Gilbert Shelton; introduction by R. Crumb
Jesus is back in this groundbreaking collection from Harvey Pekar's Our Cancer Year collaborator. Underground comics were known for their satirical assaults on beliefs held dear by middle America. None was more witty or biting than the very first underground comic ever published: Frank Stack's The Adventures of Jesus. Stack's controversial strip first saw print in the Texas counterculture publications The Charlatan and The Austin Iconoclastic and the University of Texas humor magazine The Texas Ranger. In 1964, Texas Ranger editor Gilbert Shelton (who would later go on to create the little known Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers) made 50 photocopies of about a dozen strips, stapled and collated the pages, designed a cover and distributed it to friends around campus. In this witty addendum to the New Testament, Jesus fulfills his promise "to reward the just and punish the unjust," yet returns to Earth with remarkably little fanfare. He soon realizes he may have postponed his second coming a bit too long, arriving when the planet has fallen into a dangerously advanced state of decrepitude, i.e., the late 20th Century. Nonetheless, Jesus is determined to carry out his sacred obligation. Fantagraphics Books is proud to collect, for the first time, over 40 years worth of The New Adventures of Jesus — including a brand new story by Stack. This edition also features an introduction by R. Crumb and a preface by Gilbert Shelton.
"Stack's New Adventures of Jesus revolutionized the comic book genre, inspired hipsters and hippies around the world, and turned the native or rural Texas into a 1960s-era icon." – Illumination"Stack's sharp satire of modern Christians will most likely succeed in its goal of asking the reader to reconsider and reevaluate the behavior of their fellow religionists, and perhaps themselves." – Society of Biblical Literature Forum
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