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everwuchawe
 
solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Everwuchawe
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Only Printing / 1973 / 44 pages / Atlantis Distributors
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REVIEW SCORE 9
Everwuchawe sounds like an nonsensically titled underground until you say "Every Which Way" really fast four or five times. Not exactly a tongue-twister, but there you have it.

The title may have been an inside joke for Terry Stroud, who published this comic book, or its three featured contributors, Charles Loving, Dennis Harper and Jay Gaulding. If I'm not mistaken, Stroud helps run the American Comic Book Club and once owned 138 Robert Crumb original artworks, so he's clearly a man of good taste and excellent humor. I'm not sure about Charles Loving, but Dennis Harper (artist) and Jay Gaulding (writer) were Dallas-area comic creators who collaborated on the comic strip "The Continuing Story of God," which appeared twice a month in J R Compton's underground newspapers Dallas NOTES from the Underground and Hooka (The Humanitarian Order of Kosmic Awareness) in the early 1970s.

Several strips of "The Continuing Story of God" are mixed in with Landing's "Nunzio the Narc" and "Our Friends" comics in Everwuchawe, in an alternating pattern until near the end, where a multi-page "Our Friends" story wraps up the book. Landing's cover artwork isn't bad, but his interior comics are rather atrocious; especially at the beginning of the book when most of the stories are poorly written, hard to follow, and often end with no payoff whatsoever, and the drawings are mediocre at best and sloppy at worst. Landing's artwork (and to some degree the writing) improves somewhat toward the back of the book.

Fortunately, "The Continuing Story of God" strips are a joy to behold. The concept of the strip is that God has come down to Earth to live day-to-day life with the mortals. Sounds like Frank Stack's The Adventures of Jesus, doesn't it? Well, Stack's Jesus could hardly be more different than Harper's/Gaulding's God. This God is a skinny black dude with an immense white afro and fluffy white beard, smokes reefer and maintains a positive vibe in any situation. "The Continuing Story of God" isn't quite a lost classic, but it's definitely worth seeking out. I only wish the strip filled this entire comic book instead of the 40% it was given. If it had been, the review score on this book would have been 9 instead of 7.

Jay Gaulding and Dennis Harper later owned head shops together in Taos, Santa Fe and Las Vegas, New Mexico. Gaulding later passed away, but Harper went on to become a painter and sculptor, earned his art degree at the University of Texas and pursued his M.F.A. at the San Francisco Art Institute.
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keyline
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES:

Terry Stroud printed approximately 1,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted.

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COMIC CREATORS:
Charles Loving - 1-5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21-22, 24-25, 29, 32-44
Dennis Harper - 6-7, 9, 11-12, 18, 20, 23, 26-27, 28, 30-31 (all art)
Jay Gaulding - 6-7, 9, 11-12, 18, 20, 23, 26-27, 28, 30-31 (all script)