Spain Rodriguez, 3/2/40-11/28/12

The wonderful cartoonist, artist, and story teller, Spain Rodriguez, passed away Wednesday morning of complications of cancer. He passed at the same time the prenumbral eclipse was happening, and like the earth’s shadow on the edges of the moon, his shadow was at the edges of the art world for over five decades.

Although he first gained notoriety as a part of the 60′s underground comix scene, Spain defied singular categorization. He was widely regarded as equal parts 50′s greaser shit-kicker, family man, revolutionary, and phenomenal artist.

In Spain’s youth he joined a storied motorcycle club called the Road Vultures in Buffalo. That club became a Hell’s Angels chapter. He drew many stories about times with that club, most which seemed almost absurd, but they were true to every detail.

Road Vultures: The Feel-Good Motorcycle Club

Spain’s first major art exhibit is currently on display at the Burchfield Penney Museum in Buffalo New York through January 20th, 2013. This selection of work highlights the best of Spain’s 43-year career as a graphic artist, underground comix pioneer, illustrator, graphic novelist, and biographer. Last Gasp published the catalog: Spain: Rock Roll Rumbles Rebels & Revolution to accompany the exhibit.

Spain’s wife, filmmaker Susan Stern, has recently finished a 15-minute documentary about Spain called Trashman: The Art of Spain Rodriguez. It’s an excellent story of art, sex, violence, greasers, class war, and other things that make life worthwhile and part of what makes Spain’s art so great.

In the days since his passing, remembrances have poured in from all corners of the internet. The Comics Journal has posted an obituary by Patrick Rosenkranz, an in-depth 1998 interview by Gary Groth, and many other tributes. Other farewells to Spain can be found in the New York TimesSF Chronicle, the National EnquirerVice MagazineBuffalo NewsThe BeatComics ReporterWashington Post, Salon, Justin Green’s blog, The Daily Heller, Art Forum, among other places. A fantastic collection of Spain images, as well as an interview from a studio visit last year, can be found on Sean Stewart’s tumblr, Babylon’s Falling.

Baba Ron Turner has this to say about his departed friend:

“I looked over Spain’s drawing table.  He passed so quickly, he left what appeared to be a great story of a puppet master arguing in front of a judge with a hand up Moses’ robe, half drawn, with the details being worked out as he did so cleverly, drawing you in to the vast world that was  his minds eye.  Next to them were small, small paint brushes and lead soldiers that he was painting with perfect detail.  He would correct the colors and the kind of cut on the jackets or the stripes on the pants to conform to the reality of history for dozens of ancient armies he had in his collection. He was a wonderful father to Nora and husband to wife Susan.  He never backed down from convictions and always weighed his responses to questions.  I will miss not seeing his next sketch, comix or poster and especially all the stories of Buffalo,and snooping out the flea markets and toy shows and comic conventions.  Our daughters were born eight days apart and bound our families together as the girls became lifelong best friends.  A friend saw Spain giggling as he drew a sexy girl on our warehouse pillar at last years burritos, beer and cheer  party.  That ink has faded.  I think Spain’s legacy shall never fade.”

Spain changed and challenged the art and social world as we know it. He will be dearly missed.


Dante’s INFERNO by Hunt Emerson

Dante’s INFERNO by Hunt Emerson

Hunt Emerson, the dazzlingly talented cartoonist who has previously brought new and richly humorous life to the works of Coleridge, Casanova, D.H. Lawrence and John Ruskin, has gone for the biggest literary name of them all.

HUNT EMERSON’S INFERNO delights on many levels: as an ingenious translation of classic verse into knockabout farce; as an effortlessly readable introduction to the poem for those too busy or too intimidated to tackle it without a guide; as a delicious crib for anxious Dante students with an essay crisis heaving into view; and as a warm tribute from the master of one art form to the grand master of another. Hunt’s cartoon is followed by Kevin Jack-son’s essay on Dante, which explains how the comic has been developed from the original, points out some of the more complicated jokes, and invites readers to go back to tackle Dante for them-selves.

Already acclaimed by Dante scholars in both the UK and USA as a wildly clever and witty, but essentially reverent treatment of the poem, HUNT EMERSON’S INFERNO is a wonderful treat for anyone who already loves Dante, or thinks they might learn to love Dante… or simply wants to ache with laughter.

“The best introduction imaginable to the greatest poem ever written.”
Nick Lezard – The Guardian

Download a PDF preview or flip through the jpgs below.

Dante’s Inferno

Hunt Emerson and Kevin Jackson
Published by Knockabout Comics
Distributed in the United States by Last Gasp
Available October 2012
ISBN: 9780861661695

About the Authors

HUNT EMERSON began drawing comics in the early 1970s, and is among Britain’s best humorous cartoonists. His many comic books include CALCULUS CAT, JAZZ FUNNIES, THE BIG BOOK OF EVERYTHING, PILGRIM & SON, CITYMOUTH, PUSSPUSS, THUNDERDOGS, and YOU ARE MAGGIE THATCHER (scripted by Pat Mills). His irreverent adaptations of literature include LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER, THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER and the life of Casanova in CASANOVA’S LAST STAND. He has worked with Kevin Jackson on comic books dealing with the ideas of 19th century artist, writer, critic and political theorist John Ruskin. Additionally, his comics have appeared in numerous books and magazines, but in particular his PHENOMENOMIX strip has appeared regularly in the Fortean Times since 1979, and his adult feature FIRKIN THE CAT has run in the British soft-porn magazine Fiesta since 1981. Most recently he has drawn LITTLE PLUM and RATZ for The Beano. He has won many awards including the UK’s Strip Cartoonist of the Year, and was chosen as one of 75 Masters of European Comics by France’s CNBDI. His work has been translated into 10 languages. Much of his life has been influenced by childhood readings of MAD magazine.

KEVIN JACKSON is an English writer, broadcaster and occasional film-maker. He has written and edited about twenty-five books, including biographies of John Ruskin and Humphrey Jennings, a cultural history of moose and a best-selling essay on vampires, BITE – also the title of his vampire rock opera. His other collaborations with Hunt Emerson include two full-length comics for the Ruskin Foundation and frequent scripts for the PHENOMENOMIX strip in Fortean Times. He first read Dante properly in the early 1980s, while working as a night security guard for the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, and has been a keen Dantescan ever since. Kevin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Companion of the Guild of St George and a Regent of the College de Pataphysique. Much of his life has been influenced by childhood readings of MAD magazine.

Awesome Cancer Comic Book

Check out our friends Kaylin and Jon. They are working on a comic adventure for young adult cancer survivors. We published their preview comic, and now they are trying to raise funds to complete the Terminally Illin’ graphic novel.

They are asking for your help! You can have a part in creating this epic mythology about the cancer journey.

From their Kickstarter page:

We have 80 pages already drawn and colored, so we’re about half way finished with the book. It’s very time consuming and without funding, this project might take years to complete. We’d like to finish it this year.

With your backing, we can keep working full time and get this done. You can follow along, get some of our cool cancer awareness designs and comic books, and send some good cheer to a someone battling cancer. We’ve come up with a plan that not only helps us raise funding, but also give right back to the cancer community.

And here’s an article in SF Weekly about the project.

Last Gasp Calendar 2012

Last Gasp plans for 2012 include


Saturday, April 28 & Sunday, April 29
Hours: 11am-6pm
Location: 69th Regiment Armory
68 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

Book Expo America

Booth 4214
June 5-7
Location: Javits Center, NYC

Shinkansen Conspiracy

A group art exhibition presented by Last Gasp
Location: 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco
Opening Reception: Friday, July 6, 2012 – 5pm-late
Exhibit runs through July 28

San Diego Comic-Con

Special Guests:
Dan Piraro, Shawn Barber, Gilbert Shelton, Danni Shinya Luo

Booth 1614, 1616, 1618, 1620, 1622
July 12-15
Location: San Diego Convention Center

I Am Not of this Planet: The Art of Gary Edson Arlington



“San Francisco was the capitol of comix culture in the ’60s and early ’70’s and Gary Arlington’s hole-in-the-wall shop was, for me, the capitol of San Francisco”
— Art Spiegelman


“Gary made a cultural contribution in San Francisco  in the late ’60s through the ’70s, ’80s & ’90s that was more significant than he himself realizes, I’m sure.”
— Robert Crumb


“It seems that Gary Arlington was the best artist of us all.”
— Paul Mavrides


In the mid-sixties, Gary Arlington opened the SF Comic Book Company, the first comic book store in the USA.
It became a meeting place for underground cartoonists.  Gary now spends his days making art.


OPENING PARTY & book release: Thursday, August 11, 6-9pm

Mina Dresden Gallery
312 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 863-8312


by Gary Arlington
127 Full color images
90 pages
9 x 6 inches
ISBN-13: 9780867197570
Publisher: Last Gasp