Robert Crumb kicked off the underground comics movement with his classic solo first issue of Zap in 1968. By Zap #2, he had begun assembling a dream team of the wildest, most technically skilled and stylistically diverse cartoonists to come out of the countercultural scene. They were a ragtag bunch of fascinating, wide-ranging personalities, from biker-gang member Spain Rodriguez to Christian surfer Rick Griffin, but somehow they all came together to produce a fruitful, decades-long collaboration: a mind-blowing anthology of abstract hallucination, searing social satire, and shocking sexual excess that inspired the subsequent wave of alternative cartoonists like Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, and Charles Burns. The Complete Zap Comix collects every issue of Zap — each cover and story, and even the Zam mini comic jam among the Zap artists — in a sleekly designed, five-volume slipcased hardcover set.
This gorgeous box set includes an introduction by founder R. Crumb and an oral history of Zap by noted comics historian Patrick Rosenkranz. It also comes with a limited-edition portfolio of Zap covers by the eight artists, replicated from high resolution scans and proofs, and specially printed on acid-free, 100% cotton fine-art paper utilizing archival pigment inks.
"When Crumb did the first Zap, it just hit the whole underground comics world like a hurricane." — Spain Rodriguez
"The Complete Zap is strikingly designed … While the early issues stand as rowdy documents of the 1960s counterculture, Zap was also more. In reinventing the comic book, it set off legal battles and conversations over censorship, brought attention to cartoonists as artists, and set an example for generations of alternative comics creators." — New York Times
"Wow! … [The Complete Zap Comix] is not just a piece of history; it's a hunk of crackling, unquenchable subversion! … Never has a library-worthy volume been so incendiary." — NPR
"For late '60s youth culture, Zap was what superheroes were for Depression-era, war-scarred American boys: a symbol of power. The '60s was the age of the anti-hero, and underground comix like Zap 'gave readers another way to participate in the revolution' ... This collection exhibits artists at the top of their form. " — The Atlantic
"This mammoth edition offers the ideal opportunity to examine the way the periodical evolved, not only in terms of the interaction among its artists but also in terms of subject and form. ... The sixteen issues, as well as a seventeenth that was previously unpublished, are reproduced over four volumes on a thick paper stock and at slightly larger than full size, and have been scanned from negatives. Simply put, they look fantastic." — The Comics Journal
"Without a doubt one of the most influential titles in comics and comix history, Robert Crumb’s Zap came, saw, and conquered the underground comix scene in the late 1960s. ... A fantastic collection, and equally fantastic packaging." — Bleeding Cool
"Provocative, filthy and unquestionably excellent, this collection is a crown jewel in comics history." — Paste Magazine
"Far f**cking out." — Boing Boing
"The irony of turning something that was once sold in dirty bookstores into a $500 collectible is delicious, but I can’t think of a more deserving title than Zap. The production quality of The Complete Zap Comix is first rate and the pages are clearer than they’ve ever been … Seeing the whole of the Zap run laid out like this, it seems obvious — so very, very obvious — what a profound and truly American cultural treasure this is. This is great art of historical and cultural importance that changed people, blew their minds and inspired them. … Zap Comix deserves to be reappraised and valued for what it’s truly worth and Fantagraphics has done an amazing job with this stunning box set." — Dangerous Minds