Knockabout Comics have done a beautiful job repackaging these majestic, twisted and legendary underground comics featuring the world’s favourite stoners, a glorious ginger tom, and an anthropomorphic phacochoerus aethiopicus!
Presenting the definitive collection of the classic underground comic strip that has been published in 15 languages, inspired countless items of merchandise, and racked up worldwide sales of over 40 million copies.
The Freak Brothers are timeless clowns, and it’s Shelton’s mastery of satire and slapstick, silly punchlines, and the traditional simple forms of humour at the heart of these tripped-out cartoons which have kept them fresh and mirthful for over 50 years.
The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Omnibus (£24.99) – Every Freak Brothers story rolled into one bumper 624-page package!
The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Compendium (£9.99) – A 62-page introductory collection of The Freak Brothers for the new reader, containing a selection of the best classic strips.
The Fat Freddy’s Cat Omnibus (£19.99) – Fat Freddy’s orange tomcat began life in 1969 as a footnote strip to The Freak Brothers and later graduated to his own small ‘topper’ strip. In the 1980s he expanded into his own comic, featuring new longer stories in which he took the starring role. This is the definitive 368-page collection of an underground classic.
He is often to be found sleeping on the unfortunate Fat Freddy’s head. His constant battles with the never-ending army of roaches out for world domination drive him to distraction, as does Fat Freddy’s never-ending failure to feed him or empty his kitty litter box. This cat has variously gone travelling to Mexico, saved the world from alien invasion and worked as a government agent in Washington trying to save the world from the ‘hee hee hee’ drug.
Introducing Gilbert Shelton’s earliest creation, dating from 1962…
In everyday life he is mild-mannered, slightly-built reporter Philbert Desanex, but lurking deep inside him is Wonder Wart-Hog, the 8-foot tall, 800 pound Hog of Steel.
Our hero somehow manages to squeeze himself into a 5′ 7″ Philbert suit – or at least that seems to be the case most of the time. Other times, they are two separate entities, Wonder Wart-Hog commenting on Desanex’s life from the inside of his stomach.
Whatever the case may be, when called for Wonder Wart-Hog bursts out of Philbert, blowing him to bits (he puts the bits back together again later) or crawls out of Philbert’s mouth, proclaiming “Wow! I feel great! It’s like I’ve lost 800 pounds!”
The hog of Steel then applies his universal solution to all of life’s problems… extreme violence.
The Best Of Wonder Wart-Hog (£19.99) – Collected here in this handsome 464-page volume are the greatest hits of Shelton’s favourite and most archly-satirical comic-book anti-hero, as seen over the years in publications including Bacchanal, Help, Drag Cartoons, H-Bomb Funnies, Feds ‘n’ Heads, Rip Off Comix and Zap Comix.
Born in Houston, Texas, in 1940, Gilbert Shelton’s unlikely first venture into the world of comic art was doing strips for Boy Scout publications when he was at school.
At university in Austin, Texas, he became editor of the official student magazine, The Texas Ranger, for $100 an issue. This was to prove Shelton’s last ‘real job’, for in 1968, after contributing to various underground comix with his earliest character, Wonder Wart-Hog, and designing posters for rock concerts, he created The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Soon after he set up Rip Off Press in San Francisco with some friends, from where Freak Brothers strips were soon syndicated, borrowed (or stolen) by a host of Underground newspapers and magazines. The first actual Freak Brothers comic was published in 1971.
Fat Freddy’s Cat, the feline world’s number one cat, started out as a footnote strip to the Freak Brothers but since 1975 has led an independent and very successful life on his own.
In 1993 Shelton introduced “Not Quite Dead”, the world’s least successful rock band, who have since appeared in their own comic book series.
Unlike many cults from the sixties which have faded away, The Freak Brothers are still going from strength to strength.
Shelton and his wife, literary agent Lora Fountain, left San Francisco in 1979. They were residents of Barcelona, Spain, in 1980–1981, and moved to France in 1984.
Shelton has become part of a rhythm and blues group, the Blum Brothers, contributing vocals and piano.