Now available in a newly designed and affordable softcover edition! This is a provocative chronicle of the guerilla art movement that changed comics forever. This comprehensive book follows the movements of 50 artists from 1967 to 1972, the heyday of the underground comix movement. Through interviews with the participants and other materials, Rebel Visions is the most intimate look ever at the people and events that forged the phenomenon known as underground comix, from New York to San Francisco, from the corn belt to deep in the heart of Texas, beginning that day in 1968 when R. Crumb debuted ZAP #1 from a baby carriage on Haight Ashbury Street. Rosenkranz has spent over 30 years researching this book and acquiring the cooperation of every significant underground cartoonist who worked throughout this period, including Crumb, Gilbert (Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers) Shelton, Bill (Zippy) Griffith, Art (Maus) Spiegelman, Jack Jackson, S. Clay Wilson, Robert Williams, and many more. The book is illustrated with many never-before-seen drawings by all of the underground cartoonists and exclusive photographs.
The book is centered in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, where Crumb and the rest of his Zap cronies commingled with the rest of the citys counter-cultural scene, notably musicians like the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. The counterculture was omnipresent in San Francisco for those few years, with underground tabloids like Yellow Dog and the San Francisco Oracle steering the zeitgeist out-of-control, along with the music, political, and psychedelic drug scenes, all of which found a group of unlikely revolutionaries who drew cartoons right at the epicenter. This is the definitive book on a memorable and historic era, available for the first time in paperback in this newly designed, expanded and revised edition.
"A profusely illustrated and thoroughly detailed history... Underground comics transformed banal comics into hilariously raucous and often perverse social commentaries and inspired film, literature and the graphic novel, which today is hard to call underground." The New York Times Book Review
"An immersive experience... Rebel Visions constitutes the only complete picture of the esthetics and business behind what was essentially a mass-produced avant-garde movement... A model of comics history and an essential read for anyone looking to truly understand the comics form." – Print
"With copious illustrations of weird sex, bad trips, and savage satire, Rebel Visions chronicles a critical wing of '60s counterculture that was fueled by the conviction that radical cartoons could combat the blights of capitalism, the Vietnam War, and, worst of all, squares." – Spin
"Rebel Visions is a triumph of research and generous observation, definitively documenting a scene of radical invention and subversive intent that remains a cornerstone of countercultural art history." – Bookforum
"25 years after the original underground flamed out in good romantic fashion, Rebel Visions testifies to the wild fertility of the comix imagination." – The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"This lavishly illustrated history captures the frenzied ambition and communal bonhomie that made the comix counterculture click." – Publishers Weekly, from its "Best Books of 2003" list
"Patrick Rosenkranz... is supremely qualified to write about underground comix, their genesis and significance to the artform, and he does so in the gorgeously illustrated new edition of Rebel Visions... one of the greatest historical recountings ever dedicated to the artform." – Alan David Doane, Comic Book Galaxy
2008 Critics' Lists:
• The SF Site, Mark London Williams, "Nexus Graphica: Top Ten Graphic Novel or Comics Related Publications" (#1)