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excellent writing
skilled art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
R. Crumb's Comics and Stories
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fritz the cat
Fritz the Cat
1st Printing-Version B / June, 1969 / 12 pages / Rip Off Press
R. Crumb's Comics and Stories is a neat little comic that Rip Off Press published to capitalize on one of the most provocative Fritz the Cat stories from Crumb's early career. The 1964 referenced on the cover is the year Robert drew the comic, not the publication date.

The booklet contains one 10-page story about Fritz the Cat coming home to his mom and sister after a long absence from the family. After a typical homecoming celebration and family dinner, Fritz and his sis head out to play in a river and end up skinny-dipping until dark. During their frolic in the water, Fritz bumps into his sister's tender young breasts, which trips his horny radar and... well, they end up fucking like wild dogs... except of course, they're cats.

This is a digest-size book, approximately 5.75 by 8.125 inches, with some print variations having slightly different dimensions. The story in this slender book is not reprinted in the more famous Fritz the Cat book that was published by Ballantine Books just a few months later in 1969.
There are three printings of this comic book, all by Rip Off Press. It is commonly believed that there were 10 printings of the book with all manner of cover and interior paper variations, but this seems entirely illogical, and therefore unlikely. And I read somewhere (on good authority, but damned if I can remember where) that it was not true that the book actually went through 10 separate printings. It seems much more likely that there were three printings and the variations took place within those three press runs and subsequent binding operations.

It is currently unknown how many copies were made during each printing or for each variation.

The 1st printing had three variations, all of which had no cover price and white offset paper interiors. Version A had a glossy, heavy cover stock, Version B had a matt, pebble-textured, heavy cover stock and Version C had a matt, cross-hatch-textured (linen), heavy cover stock. Version C was trimmed to be a slightly taller and narrower book.

The 2nd printing had six variations, all of which had a 35-cent cover price. The variations are described below:
Version A: matt, pebbled-textured heavy cover stock, light beige interior stock.
Version B: matt, linen-textured, heavy cover stock, light beige interior stock.
Version C: matt-gloss, heavy cover stock, light beige interior stock.
Version D: matt-gloss, heavy cover stock, butter yellow interior stock.
Version E: matt-gloss, heavy cover stock, white interior stock.
Version F: matt-gloss, regular-weight cover stock, white interior stock.

The 3rd printing did not have multiple variations. It has a 50-cent cover price, a glossy white cover stock and white interior paper.

The papers used during these printings would most likely be the papers that Rip Off Press (or Don Donahue of Apex Novelties) had around their shops (in Mowry's Opera House in S.F.) during the press runs. Different types of paper could easily be loaded into the press feeder system and as long as other press adjustments did not need to be made, all the variations could be produced in one run.
R. Crumb - 1-12