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hear the sound of my feet walking
excellent writing
competent art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
Hear the Sound of My Feet Walking..
Drown the Sound of My Voice Talking..
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dan o'neill's comics
Dan O'Neill's Comics...
2nd Printing / December, 1973 / 128 pages / Glide Urban Center
1st Printing 1969
Dan O'Neill dropped out of college at the age of 21 and launched his Odd Bodkins comic strip at the San Francisco Chronicle in 1964. Odd Bodkins, which centered on the adventures of a twerpy little guy named Hugh and a big-beaked bird named Fred, became an instant hit and soon had over 50 million readers in over 350 papers acround the country. From the mid to late '60s, O'Neill used his syndicated strip to satirize religion and politics, skewering everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Jesus Christ. His strips were very entertaining to some but highly offensive to many others (especially newspaper editors) and O'Neill lost almost all of Odd Bodkins' syndication distribution before finally being fired by the Chronicle.

But before that, a compilation of Odd Bodkins strips were published in an oversize book by Glide Urban Center Publications in San Francisco.
Glide Urban Center was apparently formed near Haight-Ashbury around 1962 as a countercultural community center that offered city guides and published offbeat books like Homosexuality: A Contemporary View of the Biblical Perspective and The Tenderloin Ghetto: The Young Reject in Our Society, among others. With titles like those, little wonder this book ended up with the title Hear the Sound of My Feet Walking.. Drown the Sound of My Voice Talking... The first printing was in 1969 and probably didn't sell particularly well. But after the underground comix era became quite popular and Company & Sons published three issues of Dan O'Neill's Comics and Stories, which also featured Odd Bodkins strips, Glide Urban Center printed a second edition of their book in 1973 and a third in 1975.

Hear the Sound of My Feet Walking.. Drown the Sound of My Voice Talking.. presents the Odd Bodkins comics in thematic sections, like "God is a Rock," "100% American Dog," and "Bat-Winged Hamburger Snatcher." The literally titled sections obscure the Zen-influenced satire and nearly stream-of-conscious storytelling infused in the book. Hugh, Fred and a variety of supporting characters get entangled in conversations about a wide range of sociopolitical and existential matters, including fear of technology, spiritual dependence, and individuality. There's no shortage of musings and rants by a number of characters, some of which are brilliantly insightful and amusing and some of which seem to lead nowhere.

Odd Bodkins is not not everyone's cup of tea and neither is Dan O'Neill. His drawing style is, as always, loose and sketchy, sometimes appearing sloppy, which almost no other underground comic legend gets away with. But there's no denying the intelligence in his writing and (as demonstrated by his role in the Air Pirates) his willingness to challenge conventional thought and long-established cultural and business customs. Hear the Sound of My Feet Walking.. Drown the Sound of My Voice Talking.. is the singular best example of O'Neill's unique philosophical ruminations and observational powers.

There are three printings of this book, all printed by Glide Urban Center Publications in San Francisco. It is currently unknown how many copies were produced during any of the printings. The 1st and 2nd printings both have a $3.95 cover price, but they are very distinct with different cover art. The 3rd printing has a $4.95 cover price and states "Second Printing 1975" on page six. Contrary to Kennedy, the 2nd and 3rd printings are 10 x 13" large, not 9 x 12". The size of the 1st printing is correctly stated in Kennedy as 10.25 x 12.875". The image of the 1st printing provided here is not from a book I own, but offered for educational purposes only.

Dan O'Neill - 1, 3, 5-126
Gary Hallgren - 1, 128 (covers design)
hear the sound 1st

1st Printing

$3.95 cover, original front and back cover art.