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cover
 
excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 9
Rip Off Comix #12
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18 Introduction
Table of Contents
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Back Cover
Back Cover
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AVERAGE SCORE 7
Only Printing / 1983 / 64 pages / Rip Off Press
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The 12th issue of Rip Off Comix follows the magazine format of the previous issue, except that the number of pages has been reduced by a dozen (from 72 to 60 interior pages). It features the second installment of "The Freak Brother in Idiots Abroad," the conclusion of "Wonder Wart-Hog in the Battle of the Titans," and a section on Eurpopean cartoonists (this one is focused on Denmark).

The magazine begins with a section of short articles, including one about censorship by Sally Harms that promises to be a series of articles in subsequent issues, but additional installments will not be found in the future. This is a problem with any serialized publication that unexpectedly ceases production, as Rip Off does after this issue (for the next four years, anyway). The expectation of a 13th issue is mentioned several times in the 12th, so you know Rip Off Press was sincere about continuing the magazine...but it just didn't happen.

At least we do get the fifth and final chapter of Wonder Wart-Hog's epic "The Battle of the Titans." Wonder Wart-Hog, Paranoid Punkpig, Piltdown Pig and Pig-of-the-Future face off against crime kingpin Louie in a fight to the death. It appears to last about 30 seconds (and less than two pages) before Louie is dead. Never fuck with Wonder Wart-Hog! After vanquishing the criminal mastermind, our gang of four pigs goes about cleaning up the entire city of suspected criminals and banishing all of them to the future through a portable time machine. This leads to a satisfying conclusion with three warthogs and a city who understand what kind of people really belong in prison.

The second installment of "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers in 'The Idiots Abroad'" appears here before it is reprinted in the eighth issue of the Freak Brothers own comic book. It's a shame that such a great story couldn't have continued in a magazine format, but at least the '87 trade paperback made it possible to enjoy in its full-size glory.

At least some stories here are self-contained, including "A Pissant's Chance" by Robert Williams, who briefly steps away from his meteoric fine art career to contribute a rare comic-book story that doesn't appear in Zap Comix. Better yet, "A Pissant's Chance" features Coochy Cooty in a hilarious tale about homelessness, police states and sex robots. Welcome to the underground President Reagan!

The second installment of "Taxi Driver" by Marti also appears, whetting our appetite for the full story, which starts to get really good in this issue. Alas, unlike "The Idiots Abroad," this pulp-fiction epic did not get its own comic book to complete its telling, as "Taxi Driver" would only be continued and published in Spain (as The Cabbie), where virtually none of Rip Off's readers would ever find it (and it would be in Spanish if they did). It took nearly 30 years for an English version of the graphic novel to be published by Fantagraphics. Man, would I have been ticked off if this happened to me in the '80s!

Following "Taxi Driver" is this issue's international comics section, which features cartoonists from Denmark. Unfortunately, the reduced page count in Rip Off #12 means 15 fewer pages of European comics (there are only 11 here compared to 26 in the previous issue), and that's a shame because the ones that did make the cut are quite good.

After Rip Off #12 was published, Rip Off temporarily halted production on future issues and focused on publishing Freak Brothers comic books, which were sufficiently profitable. After The Idiots Abroad trilogy was completed in 1987, and after the company experienced another catastrophic fire and moved 120 miles northeast to Auburn, Rip Off finally resumed production of Rip Off Comix. This time they kept it up for 18 more issues in four years. Despite the long hiatus, those 18 issues were all modeled after the 11th and 12th issues, which set the high quality standards that made the publication such a special comics anthology.
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keyline
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES:
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted. Like other magazine-format comics with numbered pages and a table of contents, the index of comic creators below follows the page numbers defined in the magazine instead of counting the covers as additional numbered pages.
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COMIC CREATORS:

Gilbert Shelton - front cover (art and color collaboration), inside front cover, 9, 13-23 (collaboration), 27-34 (art collaboration), 52-53 (script contribution), 59-61 (art collaboration)
Paul Mavrides - front cover (art and color collaboration), 25-26 (collaboration), 27-34 (art and color collaboration), 59-61 (art and color collaboration)
Guy Colwell - front cover (color collaboration), 27-34 (color collaboration), 59-61 (color collaboration)
Robert Williams - 1
Spain Rodriguez - 3
Don Baumgart - 4 (text), 8 (photo)
Dennis Hearne - 4-5 (photo collaboration)
Fred Todd - 4-5 (photo collaboration)
Sally Harms - 6-7 (text)
Hal S. Robins - 6, 25-26 (collaboration), 45-54 (lettering)
Willem - 7
Charles G. Oldham - 8
Filipandre - 9
Kim - 10
Charlie Schlingo - 11
Frank Stack - 12
Tony Bell - 13-23 (collaboration), back cover
Reiser - 24
Robert Williams - 35-38
Marti - 39-43
Storm Petersen - 44 (shared)
Freddy Milton - 44 (shared)
Rune Kidde - 44 (text), 45-54 (translations), 52-53 (collaboration)
Claus Deleuran - 44 (shared), 54
Peter Madsen - 44 (spot illo)
Ole Pihl - 45 (art)
Poul Moeller - 45 (script)
Peter Kielland-Brandt - 46-47
Mardon Smet - 48
Henning Kure - 49
Sussi Bech - 50
Joergen Nielsen - 51
Harry Blunk - 54