Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Robert Crumb, Reluctant Father of Underground Comix





Imposing rules on culture is the quickest way to create counter-culture. The perfect example of this is Robert Crumb starting with Zap Comix in 1968. Crumb is often dubbed the Father of Underground Comix, a mantel that he never sought nor fully accepted.

Look through his collection and you will see sexual frustration, a disdain for pop-culture and a disregard for political correctness. It is a glimpse into the dark corners of another man’s mind and above all- honest, something many people would say main stream culture was NOT in the 1950’s.

To understand his impact, you have to understand R. Crumb growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. It was nuclear family and McCarthyism at its peak, a veneer across social culture. Step out of line and you were a deviant. US culture had become characterized by social conservatism and materialism. Sexual taboos and juvenile delinquency were hot topics, marking an entire generation and laying the groundwork for the beatnik and free love revolution of the 1960’s.

Censorship made its way into the comic book industry in 1954 when 80% of kids were reading comic books. As a reaction to the increasingly sexualized horror and crime genres, Congress applied pressure to the industry. This resulted in the establishment of the Comic Code Authority to avoid government censorship. Without the CCA’s stamp of approval you weren’t carried in comic book stores and you could not find a publisher, edging out smaller artist but leaving industry icons like Marvel and Disney largely untouched. The CCA ruled the industry for 10 years leaving self-publishers and those who did not meet the CCA’s criteria to make do with small runs that rarely saw the light of day.

Enter a young greeting card illustrator, Robert Crumb, who moved to the Haight district of San Francisco on a whim. Zap No. 1 hit the street in 1968, famously sold from a baby carriage, by Crumb and his wife, on the corner of Haight and Ashbury streets. Zap blended together an established visual language of strips and panels with scandalous stories and gag-lines that had been banned for 10 years from main stream comics. Every panel was satire; it was a middle figure to censorship, including self-censorship. No topic or taboo was off limits. It was artistic catharsis. Crumb’s thoughts and vices laid out for the world to see, resulting in a radical departure from the norm.

As main stream comics depicted larger and larger external forces such as Gods, space exploration and Communism; Crumb explored internal forces such as self-doubt, questions about the meaning of life and being an outcast. What came to define the Zap series and Underground Comix in general was a focus on the forbidden with a psychedelic art style to back it up.

It is no surprise that Zap’s largest reader base identified with the Free Love campaign and the Civil Right Movement. After the first few issues, Zap became a collaboration between Crumb and three other giants of underground artwork, this quartet, would launch Zap into every head shop on the east and west coast resulting in issues 3 and 4 selling 50,000 copies in the first print. Zap continued to run for 27 years with the final publication Zap No. 16 coming out in November of 2014.

The honesty with which R. Crumb delivered his message made him an icon for an entire generation of rebellious youth.

This video was made possible thanks to both R. Crumb and Keep On Truckin’ Apparel, which has been licensed to print Crumb’s art on apparel, t-shirts, since 2009. 
If you want to support an independent business, if you want to support R. Crumb, visit them at www.kotapparel.com

Friday, May 19, 2017

Store Wide Sale for Father's Day on Now at Keep On Truckin' Apparel!

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It's Never to early to shop for Dad - Cause like he sez 

"The early bird get's the worm". 

Get your Pop what he really wants for Father's Day this year, a cool R. Crumb T-shirt or Hoodie. 
All at the lowest price of the season. Enjoy 20% off 
Store-wide with COUPON CODE: EarlyBird2017

And remember when ever you order 4 or more items you will also receive Free Shipping. 

Sale ends 5-31-17. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

50th Anniversary of the creation of Zap Comix by Robert Crumb

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Back in 1967 Robert Crumb drew the first two issues of Zap Comix, one in October and the second in November. The first issue artwork was sent to a friend who Crumb never heard from again. So the first published issue was actually the second Zap comic book he had drawn, this issue, No. 1, was later printed and then sold out of a baby carriage on the corner of the famous Haight and Ashbury streets in San Francisco in early 1968. 
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Luckily Crumb had retained a xerox copy of the first issue draw and after reworking it was published as issue No #O.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the birth of the underground comic book-- we are running a Store Wide Sale on all our groovy retro tees and hoodies. 
Enjoy 15% OFF Now thru 2-20-16. 
USE COUPON CODE:   ZapComix50

Thursday, December 8, 2016

16 Shopping Days till Christmas- have your ordered your Keep On Truckin Apparel T-shirt yet!




With over 150 images on t-shirts, all from the works of famous illustrator Robert Crumb we have something for everyone on your Christmas list.
Crumb's characters are many and varied; one of the most popular and enduring is that saucy sage Mr. NaturalFred Natural or 
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"Natch" as he is known to his friends, is part mystic, part con-man. He always has the answer, he tells it like it is, 

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he is never short on brilliant ideas and he does not suffer fools well. He does get himself into a bit of trouble now and then, like when he told God he found the whole thing just a little bit "corny", and was promptly ejected from heaven but always the philosopher he rolls with the punches. 
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Other characters include Fritz the Cat of whom a feature film was made, 
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Flakey Foont, Mr. SnoidShuman the Human

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Dirty DogSmelly Cat, and many others.
Check out Keep On Truckin' Apparel now for cool retro quality 100% Cotton T-shirts and Hooded Sweatshirts for Men and Women only at www.kotapparel.com

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Continuing our Crumby Countdown till Christmas- 18 Shopping Days Left!


Only 18 Days till the best day of the year!
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VW Bus RoadTrip T-shirt

Have you ordered your Mr. Natural, Fritz the Cat, Keep On Truckin', or Heroes of the Blues T-shirt yet? 
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The Head T-shirt

Well don't delay, shop today at Keep On Truckin' Apparel.

Take advantage of our final sale of the season. 15% off all our short and long t-shirts for Men and Women as well as our cozy Unisex Hooded Sweatshirts. 
USE COUPON CODE: FFS2016
And remember whenever you purchase 4 or more items you will also receive Free Shipping within the USA.


All art copyright of the artist Robert Crumb
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Official licensee of R. Crumb

Friday, December 2, 2016

National Mutt Day- Get the T-shirt "Dirty Dog"

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In honor of National Mutt Day December 2, 2016!
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Get the original mutt, Dirty Dog t-shirt with art by underground comic book icon illustrator Robert Crumb!

Use Coupon Code: FFS2016
for 15% OFF

Our quality heavy weight cotton Dirty Dog t-shirt is shown here in Color Olive, and is also available in white, stone blue, tan and chestnut in sizes Men's Small thru 3X.


Art copyright of Robert Crumb

Friends & Family Sale on Now at Keep On Truckin' Apparel

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Mr. Natural sez: It's our Final Sales Event of the Holiday Season!

Our Store-Wide Friends and Family Sale is on now, enjoy 15% off all our quality long and short sleeve t-shirts and cozy hoodies for Men and Women.

Just Use Coupon Code: FFS2016

And remember whenever you buy 4 or more items you will receive Free Shipping as well.

Sale ends 12-12-16

Happy Hoildays!