Sunday, October 31, 2010

KOT Apparel - New "Heroes of the Blues" Trading Tees


Keep On Truckin’ Apparel Launches R. Crumb “Heroes of the Blues”
T-Shirt Collection

Carlton, Oregon. Friday, November 5, 2010. Today, Keep On Truckin’ Apparel, LLC of Carlton, Oregon, announced the acquisition through Denis Kitchen Publishing of the exclusive rights to reproduce the “Heroes of the Blues” trading card color portraits as part of their apparel line. Online at, “KOT Apparel” features the cartoon artwork of Robert Crumb.

R. Crumb of underground comics fame combined both his passions as an artist, as well as a musician, when creating the original “Heroes of the Blues” Trading Card Set for Yazoo Records in 1980. These thirty-six, beautifully detailed color portraits, feature the early great musicians and singers who were among the first to record the Blues. The original text on the back of each card was penned by famed Blues historian and author Stephen Calt.

Keep On Truckin’s website, at, will begin the introduction of the collectable “Heroes of the Blues” t-shirts in Mid-November, planning to release them in the order in which the musicians where inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. First releases will include: Charley Patton, Son House, Memphis Minnie, Blind Lemon Johnson and Big Bill Broonzy. Part of the proceeds from the sale of each t-shirt will be funneled back into the Blues community through a donation to Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Keep on Truckin’ currently offers two additional t-shirt collections: the “Classics Collection” featuring iconic R. Crumb illustrations; the “Mr. Natural Organics Collection” featuring Crumb’s infamous character and related imagery. All KOT Apparel is printed on-demand – based on the customer’s design preference and t-shirt style, color, and size choices. Shoppers can choose from conventional or organic cotton.

For more information, please contact:

E.R. Stephens
Founder, Owner
Keep On Truckin’ Apparel

Denise Stephens
Operations Manager
Keep On Truckin’ Apparel

Saturday, October 16, 2010

R. Crumb T Shirts

Launched by a small group of fans KOT Apparel secured licensing in 2009, and works in collaboration with Robert Crumb's team. Keep On Truckin' Apparel is currently featuring over 100 designs on the website and plans to continue to build the collection over time.
Featured are many Crumb fan favorites like Mr. Snoid, Mr. Natural, Fritz the Cat as well as covers from some of underground comix most memorable issues of Zap, Artistic Comics, Head, Motor City, Hytone, XYZ, San Francisco, Snarf, and Despair as well as publications like The East Village Other and the Mendocino Grapevine.
T-Shirts are available in conventional and organic cotton. And the customer is a part of the design process with the ability to choose from a large selection of themes and colors.
So what are you waiting for---get your Art On!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Zap Comix No. 1 Book Cover

Sold out of a baby carriage on the corner of Haight and Ashbury streets in San Francisco. Zap Comix No. 1 from 1967 was the soul creation of R. Crumb, after this issue he collaborated with S. Clay Wilson, Rick Griffin and Victor Moscoso to produce Zap #2.
Wear the cover that birthed the legend with this exclusive design from Keep On Truckin' Apparel.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Keep On Truckin'

Robert Crumb's Keep on Truckin, also called the Do-Dah men, this big footed gang first appeared in Zap Comix No. 1 in 1967. They were inspired by a visual riff of the Blind Boy Fuller song "Truckin' My Blues Away" and later referenced in the Grateful Dead song "Truckin" from the 1970's album American Beauty.
Two Keep On Truckin' Apparel exclusive designs:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Underground Comix Zap #0

Why Number #0?

R. Crumb tells the story of the lost first issue of Zap Comix in The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book (Kitchen Sink Press Book for Back Bay Books).

In October 1967 Crumb drew the first 24 page issue of Zap Comix and then sent the original art work off to an associate--he never heard from this associate again, nor was the art returned.

At the same time he had sent xerox copies off to New York where they were viewed by Don Donahue, Don loved the concept and arranged to publish Zap #1 which Robert had draw in November of that same year.

After Zap's success Crumb requested the xerox copies be returned and from the copies he doctored the artwork and redrew the cover page. So Zap #O was actually published after the third issue of Zap Comix had been released.

Ten years later, through his attorney, R. Crumb finally recovered the original art, he got a brief look at it---before, somehow, it disappeared again. So where in the world is that original artwork? And what would it be worth today? With single random unpublished pages of R. Crumb's original art pages going at auction for 10K-15K, those 24 pages of the comic that birthed a revolution---priceless.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Mendocino Grapevine "Tree Hugger" and R. Crumb

The Mendocino Grapevine was published from 1973 to 1986 in Willits, CA-- Mendocino County. In the early 70's the underground comix creator, Robert Crumb, was commissioned to do several covers for the newspaper. One of the most memorable was the February, 1973 cover,on which The Wheels of Progress Development Corp., Inc. are held back by a sole woman, later referred to as the "tree hugger". The caption reads "Woodman, Spare that Tree!!"

There is some speculation that this is where the term "tree hugger" was coined. It would be interesting to know if this is the case.

This classic image is now available on 100% Organic Cotton T-Shirts exclusively through Keep On Truckin' Apparel.