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excellent writing
skilled art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
Seattle Simpleton 1 _ Simpleton 2 _ Simpleton 3
Seattle Simpleton #1
Simpleton #2
Simpleton #3
Seattle Simpleton

1975-1976 / Homestead Press

Seattle was never known as a bastion of hippies or a motherland for underground comix, but anyone who knows America knows that Seattle is a sanctuary for progressive minds and modern culture. Though it doesn't attract as many countercultural types as California or Oregon, it's one of those cities known for its high percentage of artists, musicians, and drug users. After the crash of Haight-Ashbury in the late 1960s, it's no surprise that Seattle became the residence of choice for some underground and alternative comic artists.

Enter Seattle Simpleton. This short-lived but justly celebrated comics tabloid launched in 1975 and helped set the table for the alternative comics scene that would flourish in the years to come. The first issue of the tabloid was called Seattle Simpleton, but from the beginning its publisher was thinking on a much bigger scale than the city of Seattle. The second and third issues were simply titled Simpleton as it tried to establish additional markets in the region.

Simpleton was launched by David Tatelman, a regional comics distributor in Seattle who got the itch to publish his own comics. Tatelman and his brother, Doug (who edited the second and third issues), were well known amongst the local comics cognoscenti and recruited a few local artists to contribute to his inaugural issue, as well as national creators like Gilbert Shelton, Bobby London and Clay Geerdes (admittedly, London was a Seattle local at the time, having lived there with his recently divorced wife and long-time Seattle resident Shary Flenniken).

The first issue was pretty good despite a lot of advertisements from local businesses that helped finance the publication. The second and third issues were quite solid and should have led to a long-term series, but finances doomed the tabloid before it could really find its following. Seattle Simpleton introduced some great comics to the entire northwest region and remains a stellar example of what a local publishing venture could accomplish.