Gary Arlington, 1938 - 2014
( January 18, 2014 ) Gary Arlington passed away last night at the age of 75. His contribution to early underground comix culture was invaluable.
"San Francisco was the capitol of comix culture in the sixties and early seventies, and Gary Arlington's hole-in-the-wall shop was, for me, the capitol of San Francisco". —Art Spiegalman
As a man not of this planet, Gary Arlington was a natural-born outsider and thus an ideal comic shop proprietor. In 1967, he founded the first comic book shop in the United States, the San Francisco Comic Book Company, on 23rd and Mission. His shop became a meeting ground for early underground cartoonists like Robert Crumb, Bill Griffith, and Spain Rodriguez. Ron Turner remembers buying his first comic there in 1968.
In addition to running the San Francisco Comic Book Company, Arlington had a stint as a publisher under the same name, publishing artists like Rory Hayes, Melinda Gebbie, S. Clay Wilson, and others. He continued to work on his own artwork throughout his life. Last Gasp published a collection of his life's work in 2011 titled, I Am Not Of This Planet.
"Gary made a cultural contribution in San Francisco in the late sixties through the seventies, eighties and nineties, that was more significant than he himself realizes, I'm sure."
A nice piece on Gary by Patrick Rosenkranz in The Comics Journal.
The San Francisco Chronicle remembers Gary Arlington