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freak brothers 9 1st
excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 4
total score 9
The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers #9
The Idiots Abroad, Part Two
1st Printing / 1985 / 36 pages / Rip Off Press
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Part two of The Idiots Abroad was published about a year after part one, which in the conventional comic book world would have been inexcusable, but underground comic fans were accustomed to such stretches of waiting. The inside front cover provides a concise summary of part one of the story from a comic book fan's perspective.

Part two starts with Fat Freddy stranded in the European countryside, still being chased by international terrorists and their leader, Andre the Hyena, who believe Freddy knows where their nuclear bomb is hidden. Freddy runs from London and Holland through France and Spain, but Andre is still hot on his heels. In Barcelona, Freddy befriends Pablo Pegaso, artist and inventor, who helps Freddy escape Andre and his gang and funds Freddy's plane fare to Bogota (where Freddy thinks Franklin and Phineas must be waiting for him).

As a Freak Brother's luck would have it, instead hopping the train to the airport, Freddy gets on the wrong train and heads towards Eastern Europe. After a brief stop in Poland, he ends up in Moscow, where he disrupts a communist parade with a revolutionary act. Meanwhile, Andre is striking a deal with Colonel Cornbelt, the newly elected President of the International Brotherhood of Colonels. Andre's nefarious deal with the Colonel will help them both achieve their political goals.

Freddy's adventure takes up the first 3/4 of the book, after which we check in with Freewheelin' Franklin, who has been sailing the merry seas with his pirate buddies for months. They finally come to port in Africa, where the lead pirate sells Franklin into slavery. When Franklin gets tossed into the slaves' dungeon, he is shocked to find himself sitting right next to Fat Freddy, who was doubtlessly sold into slavery himself by the commie bastards in Moscow.

Just when all appears lost for our pair of Freaks, who should come to their rescue but their long-lost buddy Phineas, who buys Franklin and Freddy out of slavery! The reunited Freak Brothers retreat into Phineas' nomadic tent, where Phineas explains what has happened to him in the preceding months. Bottom line, Phineas survived in Mecca and soon founded an immensely popular new scam religion called Fundaligionism, which made him the richest man in the world!

Unfortunately for Franklin and Freddy, all that money and power appears to have gone to Phineas' head, as he refuses to set them free from slavery and forces them to do his bidding. Part two ends with Franklin and Freddy carrying Phineas aloft on a throne through a desert sandstorm. In the midst of the storm, Freddy discovers a windblown newspaper with a headline announcing a new world order; with Colonel Cornbelt in charge of the military regime!

Once again, part two of The Idiots Abroad concludes "to be continued..."" but contains no reference to when the next chapter in the story will be published.

If readers of part two had already read part one (and then read part one again after buying part two so the story was fresh in their heads), it would be fairly easy to slip right back into the adventure and enjoy the ride. Part two of The Idiots Abroad moves at a brisk pace and has fewer supporting characters, sub-plots and side issues than part one, which improves the impact and accessibility of the plotting. And, in fact, the cliffhanger at the end of part two would leave most readers pining with bated breath for the next chapter of the story to be published.

But that wouldn't happen for another two years. That's a long wait, even for underground comic book fans, but I guess it's no worse than movie fans waiting three years between Star Wars movies.

While the indicia for Freak Brothers #8 credits Guy Colwell with "color separations," the indicia for #9 states "Color by Paul Mavrides and Guy Colwell." However the color duties were divided, the coloring of part two of The Idiots Abroad is nearly on par with part one, with some terrific panels and pages.
There are seven printings of this comic book, all by Rip Off Press. It is currently unknown how many copies were produced during any of the printings. The first four printings of the comic book (up to the printing with a $2.95 cover price) featured full-color interior artwork. For the last three printings, the color artwork was converted and printed in black-and-white. The print editions are easy to tell apart, since each one has a distinct cover price, which are identified below:

1st printing: $2.00 cover price.
2nd printing: $2.25 cover price.
3rd printing: $2.50 cover price.
4th printing: $2.95 cover price.
5th printing: $3.25 cover price.
6th printing: $3.95 cover price.
7th printing: $4.95 cover price.


Gilbert Shelton - 1-36 (collaboration)
Paul Mavrides - 1-36 (collaboration)
Guy Colwell - 1, 3-34, 36 (color collaboration with Mavrides)