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gas comics 2
average writing
skilled art
historical bonus 3
total score 7
Gas Comics #2
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Only Printing / March, 1970 / 16 pages / Vulcan Gas
In the early 1960s, Austin, Texas native Jim Franklin studied drawing and painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. He returned to Texas in the mid-'60s and helped launch the first psychedelic music club in Austin, called the Vulcan Gas Company. Franklin served as the club's chief album cover artist and poster maker. When the underground comics revolution hit in 1968, Franklin jumped in on the action. In 1969 he self-published a remarkably beautiful comic book entitled Dillo Toons. Immediately afterwards, Franklin and his creative buddies put together a couple of funky little undergrounds called Gas Comics.

Gas Comics
#2 is the only one of the two I have, though a link to a cover scan of the first issue is provided below. The second issue has one serious flaw; it was trimmed so poorly that it cut off parts of the artwork, but sometimes that's just the way it is in the underground. Presuming Gas Comics #1 is much like the second issue, and you're a big Jim Franklin fan, AND you have a thick wallet, you'll want to get both issues. Cuz Gas Comics #2 has some awesome Franklin ink illustrations. But since the comic is only 16 pages, there's not a lot of them. Only six, including the front cover, which is two more than the first issue (which is only 12 pages long). John Shelton and Michael Brown also contribute multiple pages to Gas Comics.

The second issue includes a blurb promoting the Vulcan Gas Company music club on page 10. The inside back cover has spot ads for a local hippie boutique, a record shop, and Oat Willie's, a notorious head shop, which now has three stores in Austin selling a variety of gift merchandise. There's also a schedule of concerts at the club for the month of March, 1970, which includes Shiva's Headband, who went on to tour with bands like Steppenwolf, ZZ Top, Janis Joplin, Canned Heat and Steve Miller.

Gas Comics
#2 is a fascinating little artifact from the era when Austin was still establishing its legendary status as a breeding ground for counterculture artists and musicians. Jim Franklin, who still lives near Austin and continues drawing and painting to this day, is widely credited, along with Jack Jackson, with giving Austin its earliest visual identity in the counterculture.
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted.


Jim Franklin - 1, 3, 6, 7, 12, 13
Anon? - 2, 11
Bill Walsh - 4
Michael Brown - 5, 14
John Shelton - 8, 9, 15
Marty - 10 (art collaboration)
Rick Turner - (art collaboration)
Gayle - 10 (text)
Jim Harter - 16
gas comics 1
Gas Comics #1
No review: provided for informational use only.