L’Observateur : Comix Edition

Thanks to divine intervention, I’m now living two blocks from the studio of comix legend Gilbert Shelton – which is a minor miracle in labyrinthine Paris. Last weekend, he held a book signing for the French edition release of Frank Stack’s “The New Adventures of Jesus: The Second Coming,” to which Gilbert and R. Crumb wrote the forward. Stack is an affable gent, extremely knowledgeable on a wide variety of art-related topics, and a verified legend. It was a treat to meet him.
Frank Huntington Stack (aka Foolbert Sturgeon, b. 1937) is an American underground cartoonist working under the name Foolbert Sturgeon. To avoid persecution for his work while living in the bible belt, Stack published what is considered by many to be the first underground comic book, The Adventures of Jesus, in 1962.
As an aside, Gilbert told us that the original photocopy of The Adventures of Jesus (made at the University of Texas law school), was recently auctioned for $10,900. Then he showed us his incomplete version of the photocopy and postulated that it probably wasn’t worth as much. See also: Rip-off Press.

Gilbert shares his studio with French comix artist Denis “Pic” Lelièvre, who showed us some magic tricks and gave us a copy of his book 45 Tours de Magie. Conversely, he saw a less impressive magic trick that appeared on “Plus Tard,” to which he replied:
Gee, I saw the same guy! Was sitting at the same level, he was with a friend. He did also let this green football roll on his thumb, like the good old Harlem Globetrotters (remember?) I smiled and blink an eye to him and couldn’t prevent from admiring him all my way long, with my Greil Markus “Bob Dylan” in my hands...
I would say “Wow, What Are the Chances,?!” but lately I’m seeing more and more familiar faces in the streets of Paris. I saw Karen at the Leche Vin, I saw Michael outside Au Bougnat, and I saw the thrift store guy from Belleville in an entirely different thrift store between République and Gare de L’Est. And then yesterday, I saw the Gregory Hines guy again. Someone told me he was a window washer. Nevertheless, I still don’t like him.

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