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grunt comix 2
excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 8
Grunt Comix #2
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Only Printing / 1973 / 36 pages / Grunt Records
I can't say that Grunt #1 was such a great promotional tool for Grunt Records that they just couldn't resist getting Greg Irons and Tom Veitch to produce a follow-up comic, but it's nice to think that was the case. I am sure of one thing: Jefferson Airplane and Grunt Records were making more than enough money to afford the (ridiculously cheap) services of Irons and Veitch if they so desired.

Grunt Comix #2 came out about a year after the first issue. Instead of pitching Grunt Records' services to unsigned Bay Area bands as they did in the first comic, the second issue was more about promoting the new records that Grunt had out on the market. Therefore, the thematic foundation of Grunt Comix #2 was more about the superiority of "grass roots" music compared to the mundane pablum offered by corporate music companies.

The comic features a two-part story entitled "Crystal City Blues," which is about a group of "society's rejects" living on Grunt Farm that lead a pirate-radio revolution against the "crap-rock" music controlled by corporations. The two parts of this black-and-white story are divided by a four-page center section that promotes Grunt's newest albums in full color, accompanied by exquisite art-poster renditions from Irons.

I've never seen a comic story by Irons and Veitch that didn't include the product of their full effort, and "Crystal City Blues" is no different. Veitch weaves a complex tale about the radio disc jockeys who are born and raised to host 24-hour-a-day broadcasts of crap-rock; a job that burns them out before they're 30 years old and relegates them to a deadly scrap heap when they finally self-implode from the stress. But when one of the DJs survives the scrap heap, he crawls his way to the welcoming party at Grunt Farm, where he conspires with Jumpin' Jack Flesh to lead a music revolution.

Irons illustrates the story with his typical ingenuity, combining the wisdom of his line art with his dexterous application and painting of screentone patterns. I'm not sure anyone has ever conducted a better orchestration of manufactured black dots with pen and brush than Gregory Irons. And it's not just his exceptional command of the tools and techniques, but his mastery of portraiture that sets him apart from every cartoonist beyond Robert Crumb. Grunt Comix #2 is just one more example in the expansive repository of Irons' art that illuminate his extraordinary talent.
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted. This book is titled Grunt 2 on the front cover but referred to as Grunt Comix #2 in the indicia.

Greg Irons - 1-24 (art)
Tom Veitch - 1-24 (story)