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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
Rip Off Comix #2
Back Cover
Back Cover
(click for larger image)

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1st Printing / July 1977 / 52 pages / Rip Off Press
Like the first issue of Rip Off Comix, the second begins with a Freak Brothers story, this one called "Phineas Goes to the Store." When the boys run out of rolling papers, Phineas goes to the local head shop, where he suddenly wins ownership of the entire store through a contest run by a rolling paper company. He just as quickly sells the store to a big corporation for $400,000 and uses the money to begin making a big-budget movie. Needless to say, Phineas overspends just a weee bit and ends up broke, but all's well that ends well...unless you still don't have any rolling papers! "Phineas Goes to the Store" is a typically outlandish multipage Freak Brothers story and (like the lead Freak Brothers story from the first issue) was reprinted in Freak Brothers #6 in 1980.

Following the Phineas adventure, Frank Stack contributes an extended "Dorman's Doggie" story that offers a few smiles, but I must admit that it's hard to fall in love with eight-page stories about unloved, timid, neurotic dogs. Stack later offers a one-page satire about Clark Kent meeting Dr. Feelgood that is quite enjoyable. Bill Griffith has four "Griffith Observatory" one-pagers scattered through the book that are still amusing decades after their publication.

Harry Driggs and Dave Sheridan also pitch in with four-page stories that look at modern relationships (Driggs, circa 1977) and future civilizations (Sheridan, circa 3711). Driggs story is especially adroit in depicting the changing landscape for knuckle-dragging chauvinists. Sheridan's tale is a bit fractured, but if you read it carefully you can at least make the connection between the aliens on page one and their appearance in the final panel.

As is usual with early issues of Rip Off Comix, Gilbert Shelton not only provided more content than anybody but also the most ambitious stories. Rip Off #2 closes with his 16-page epic, "Wonder Wart-Hog in 'Epidemic,'" which is about the federal agency for disease control infecting citizens with a contagious disease so they can keep their budget funding. Only Wonder Wart-Hog can keep this plague from destroying the entire country! "Epidemic" bogs down a bit too much to be a Wart-Hog classic, but it's still an entertaining read.
There are two printings of this comic book. The 1st printing (unknown copies) has a 75-cent cover price. The 2nd printing (unknown copies) has a $1.25 cover price. Given the popularity of the Freak Brothers, I'd guess the 1st printing had 10,000+ copies and the 2nd printing had 5,000 copies.
Gilbert Shelton - 1 (shared), 3-7 (art), 20, 34-52
Bill Griffith - 1 (shared), 2, 17, 21, 33
Frank Stack - 1 (shared), 8-15, 32
Justin Green - 1 (shared), 16
Dave Sheridan - 1 (shared), 18, 27-30
Ted Richards - 1 (shared), 19, 31
Harry Driggs - 1 (shared), 22-26
Dan Baumgart - 3-7 (script)