AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED (ALS). 1 page, dated 9 August 1985, to "Kirbo" [Kirby McCauley], signed "Wilson." "Got a letter from [Ken] Kesey today (copy on flip-side) and am going to try and get up there and have a pow wow with him on his birthday ... Also do you know ... Scott Farnum ...? He wants to do an animated film on Zap cartoonists stuff ... I need an agent, Kirby -- how about you?" Verso is an invitation from Kesey to Wilson to come to Oregon in mid-September to help celebrate his 50th birthday. Steven Clay Wilson (1941-2021) was "the most scabrous and rollicking of the underground cartoonists who first achieved notoriety as contributors to Zap Comix in the late 1960s ... Violent, obscene and scatological, Mr. Wilson’s hyperbolic stories -- full of corny puns and incongruously decorous dialogue, and populated by such unsavory, anatomically distorted characters as the Checkered Demon, Captain Pissgums and his Pervert Pirates, the Hog Riding Fools and Ruby the Dyke -- are all but indescribable in this newspaper. Interviewed in the early 1990s for The Comics Journal by the underground-comics aficionado Bob Levin, Mr. Wilson called comics 'a great visual art form,' adding, 'Primarily, I'm trying to show that you can draw anything you want.' What Mr. Wilson wanted to draw was densely packed scenes of mayhem, dismemberment and grotesque sex acts that, in their allover style, suggested both the Abstract Expressionist paintings that were at their height of prestige when Mr. Wilson was in art school and the splash panels drawn by comic book artists like Jack Kirby and Wally Wood. His drawings were so outrageous in their humorous depravity that on first encountering them in 1968 his fellow cartoonist R. Crumb recalled feeling that 'suddenly my own work seemed insipid.' ... Reviewing 'The Complete Zap,' a thousand-plus-page boxed volume, for The Times in 2014, Dana Jennings characterized Mr. Wilson’s work as a 'cross between Bosch and Walt Kelly’s "Pogo," by way of the most gruesome EC comics'" (J. Hoberman, New York Times, 9 February 2021). Faint mailing creases, tiny, narrow stain at top edge, nearly fine. A fine letter from this legendary underground comix artist. (#96300).

Price: $250.00

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