Gilbert Shelton Autograph Party at Oat Willie’s

Gilbert Shelton, underground cartoonist and author of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Fat Freddy’s Cat, Wonder Warthog, and Not Quite Dead, will autograph copies of his work at Oat Willie’s Campaign Headquarters, 617 West 29th Street, Austin, TX, on the afternoon of Friday, March 12, 2010.

No stranger to Austin, Shelton began his art career at the University of Texas Ranger student humor Magazine in the early sixties, where he was a frequent contributor and began the groundbreaking Wonder Warthog comic series.

After graduation Shelton moved around the country searching for creative opportunities, stopping at Cleveland, New York, and back to Austin to attend graduate school. He tried various stints at humor and automotive magazines and a brief stay as Art Director for the Vulcan Gas Company, a psychedelic rock venue in Austin.

Finally, Shelton moved to San Francisco in 1968, hoping to join poster artists Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelly, and Wes Wilson in creating posters for the exploding rock scene there. He and three other Texans pooled their resources, bought a printing press, and formed a company, Rip Off Press, to create, print, and publish rock posters.

But, as Shelton put it in a 2006 interview, “I wasn’t as good (as a poster artist) as these guys, but I discovered I could do comic books. And, we discovered that our printing press wasn’t good enough to print posters, but it was good enough to print comics.” The rest is history.

Over forty years later, Shelton has produced 14 Freak Brothers titles, as well as several collections. They have been translated into so many languages that it is easier to list the exceptions: every language except Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and the African vernaculars. Over thirty million Freak Brothers books have been sold

In addition to the Freak Brothers, Shelton is the author of the companion series Fat Freddy’s Cat, and has coauthored five titles in the series Not Quite Dead , the peripatetic adventures of the “worlds least famous rock band” with French cartoonist Pic. He was also a contributor to the Zap! underground comic series,
numerous fanzines and other publications, and was the creator of the drug dealing board game Feds ‘n Heads.

Old and new friends of the works of Gilbert can see him at the Oat Willie’s autograph party Friday, March 12th, at a show at the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, on March 13th and at a panel discussion at SXSW on Monday, March 15th.