DE: Did Harvey Kurtzman mentor you on HELP
GS: Harvey Kurtzman was very helpful to
DE: They say the marijuana now is much stronger
than it used to be. Would you have done as much work
with todayís pot?
GS: Sure. Just wouldn't have to smoke so much,
if it's stronger.
DE: You werenít a big superhero fan. Where did
the inspiration for Wonder Warthog come from?
GS: Wonder Wart-Hog started out as a parody of
Superman, and then he took on a life of his own.
DE: You were editor of a University of Texas humor
rag, The Texas Ranger, in 1963-64. Did that
spark your rebellious nature?
GS: During my time as editor of The Texas
Ranger we were still kept under pretty tight
control by the Board of Directors and the business
staff of Texas Student Publications, Incorporated. Not
that we didn't give them all the rebellion they
DE: What made you first move to San Francisco?
GS: I went to San Francisco on vacation and
DE: Iíve heard that when you founded Rip Off
Press there were a few long hair incidents. What
GS: A couple of guys got their long hair caught
in the printing presses. That's all I remember. No one
was seriously injured.
DE: Is "Dope gets you through times of no
money better than money gets you through times of no
dope" still true?
GS: You'll find out, when all your money
DE: What was your reaction when the French
government paid to use Fat Freddy as part of an
GS: The French government subsidizes all sorts
of things, all the way down to comic book publishing.
Seems normal to me.
DE: The case when Britain tried to declare the
Freak Brothers obscene on the grounds that mention of
drugs tended to deprave and corrupt readers. The case
was lost, but it was expensive for you. Was it worth
it and how?
GS: The confiscation in 1982 of their stock by
the police nearly ruined my British publisher,
Knockabout Comics. It took them a year to get their
DE: You flunked art in college. How did you train
GS: My real education at the University of
Texas was not my official subject: history. What I
spent all my time doing was working for the student
humor magazine, The Ranger, mostly drawing
cartoons. I did flunk one art course, which caused me
to flunk out of school, but I did learn some things
from art courses that I managed to pass.
DE: What did Janis Joplin say when you told her she
should move from folk singing to rock'n' roll?
GS: Yes, back in 1962 when we were students
together at the University of Texas. And she scolded
me, saying, "We FOLK ARTISTS don't DO rock."
DE: Did you ever hang with people like Crumb and
GS: I see Robert Crumb from time when he's
passing through Paris. I've only met Harvey Pekar
once, years ago in New York.
DE: Was Graveyard Ghosts the first book you
did inspired by France? Will there be more?
GS: Graveyard Ghosts was only two pages.
I've done a few other pages on French topics, but not
DE: How does your music influence your art and vice
GS: There's not much direct influence or
connection, except for comic strips made from song
lyrics, and those are sort of a rarity.
DE: You used to take a lot of jokes from Archie
comics and other sources, substitute marijuana instead
and turn it into a Freak Brothers strip. Any
repercussions from that?
GS: I never took anything from Archie! Reader's
DE: Have you been using the computer for music or
GS: Not me. But Pic is using the computer to do
color work on our rock 'n' roll strip, NOT QUITE DEAD.
DE: What happened with Film Roman turning the Freak
Brothers into a cartoon and is Simpsons
director Mike B. Anderson still involved with the
GS: Mike Anderson wrote a screenplay, and the
Film Roman artists made a few trial drawings of the
Freak Brothers, but the project has been dead for a
couple of years now.
DE: How did the Official Freak Bros. poster for
World Cup soccer poster come about?
GS: That was an idea from my French publisher,
Ferid Kaddour of TÍte Rock Underground in Paris.
DE: Do you still do drugs?
GS: I can assure you that I would never, ever,
answer such a question.
There is a new collection of Freak Brothers
The Complete Freak Brothers Volume #1
This weighty tome contains 432 pages of Freak Brothers
Check out www.ripoffpress.com
for more information
Rip Off Press
this article on the Slush Forums!