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kanned korn komix
average writing
skilled art
historical bonus 3
total score 6
Kanned Korn Komix
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Only Printing / 1969 / 20 pages / Canned Heat Fan Club
There were several underground comic books that were about rock and roll musicians or financed by musicians or their labels, but Kanned Korn Komix preceded all of them. While Kennedy and all other sources list the book's publisher as the Canned Heat Fan Club, it seems likely the comic book was actually produced by the band's label, Liberty Records, and dedicated to the fan club. Kanned Korn Komix features an illusory and underground-styled history of the band's key members; Bob "The Bear" Hite, Al "Blind Owl" Wilson, Larry "The Mole" Taylor, Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra, Henry "The Raccoon" (better known as "The Sunflower") Vestine, and Harvey "The Snake" Mandel.
_canned heat future blues_
Canned Heat Future Blues 1970
Though the copyright on Kanned Korn Komix states a publication date of 1969, the book actually came out in 1970, when it was included with the first pressing of Canned Heat's sixth album, Future Blues. The comic was also sold in head shops, where the cover price of 10 cents was typically obliterated by a price sticker of 25 cents. Future Blues was the final Canned Heat album to feature co-founder and primary songwriter Alan Wilson, who died from a drug overdose (at the age of 27) the same year the album debuted.

Kanned Korn Komix was written by Neal Aberman and illustrated by Bo Schnepf. Neither of the pair appears to have done anything else in comic books, though Schnepf's cartoons are clearly professional grade. The book is neatly divided into stories about the six band members (all portrayed as their nicknamed animals), each bestowed a brief and absurd personal history that led to them joining the band. None of the stories are particularly compelling, but that comes as no surprise given that the book accompanied a nationally released album by a major recording label.

Despite the lack of menace or controversy (and the band had its share of both), Kanned Korn Komix remains a landmark underground comic because it was an early affirmation of the commercial and creative power of counterculture cartooning. Grunt, Douglas Comix, and The Pink Floyd were similar affirmations, though only Grunt managed to channel a true underground vibe. Kanned Korn Komix can only claim it was the first to give it a shot.
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted.
Kanned Korn Komix is notorious for its fragile cover stock, which gets very brittle on the fold. The problem is exacerbated by the book having only 20 interior pages, so the cover encloses a very thin pamphlet and folds nearly flat. Several of the copies I have owned include
a spine split on the cover. One copy I had was a beautiful Near Mint book, except the spine split went from top to bottom, completely separating the front cover from the back! So, handle your Kanned Korn with Kare!
Al Wilson's death by a barbituate overdose on September 3, 1970 occurred just weeks before the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Canned Heat is still active today, though the band has had an amazingly volatile history that includes dozens of official band members, constant infighting, heavy drugs, drug smuggling, and deaths.


Bo Shnepf - 1-20 (art)
Neal Aberman - 1-20 (story)