31 décembre 2008 3 31 /12 /décembre /2008 08:53

S. Clay Wilson
(born July 25, 1941) is an American underground cartoonist and central figure in the underground comix movement. Wilson is known for aggressively violent and sexually explicit panoramas of "lowlife," often depicting the wild escapades of pirates and bikers. He was an early contributor to Zap Comix, and Wilson's artistic audacity has been cited by R. Crumb as a liberating source of inspiration for Crumb's own work.
Wils on was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and later attended the University of Nebraska. He was trained as a medic in the United States Army and held odd jobs before moving to San Francisco in 1968. He met up with Charles Plymell, who was publishing Robert Crumb's Zap Comix. Wilson had been drawing since he was 12, and needed little persuasion to contribute to Zap. His work was praised by such counterculture icons as William S. Burroughs and Terry Southern. A striking feature of S. Clay Wilson's work is the contrast between the literate way in which his characters spoke and thought and the depraved violence in which they engage. Wilson's later work became more ghoulish, featuring zombie pirates and visualizations of the Virgin of Guadalupe as a rotting vampire mother. In many respects, however, his work has remained consistent since his emergence in the 1960s. In contrast to the many countercultural figures who have moderated their more extreme tendencies and successfully assimilated into the mainstream of commercial culture, S. Clay Wilson's work has remained troubling to mainstream sensibilities and defiantly ill-mannered.

The main book collection of S. Clay Wilson's comics is the Checkered Demon Anthology Vol. 1 from Last Gasp. The Art of S. Clay Wilson, published in 2006 by Ten Speed Press, covers his prints and paintings as well as his comics work.

The last of the Zap artists to be anthologized, Wilson has always been the most extreme. His wild stories of pirates, bikers, and deviants, centering around the character of the Checkered Demon, have kept their humor and philosophical bent while keeping their author far from mainstream comics publishing. This is what the cognoscenti have to say about the latest wonder from Last Gasp: "I have always found Wilson's art hilarious, relevant, and timely. Should have been collected a long time ago!" - William S. Burroughs. "My fate sealed, doomed to subliminal exposure to S. Clay Wilson waves, I found myself immune to the sophomoric antics of Curious George or the coy alliteration of Cat in the Hat. Luckily, I outgrew the bed but, sadly, not before I developed dorsal spines on my penis." - Leonardo DiCaprio. "The Demon is an inspirational figure for poets and bikers alike. Wilson's creations are the heights of the underground." - Michael McClure. "The madness, villainy, and corruption let loose in Wilson's den of iniquity is as scarringly unforgettable as it is beyond all hope of redemption or exorcism." - Carlo McCormick



Published by D.Vicente - dans Art
31 décembre 2008 3 31 /12 /décembre /2008 07:51

Eric Frank Russell
(January 6, 1905 - February 28, 1978) was a British author best known for his science fiction novels and short stories. Much of his work was first published in the United States, in John W. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction and other pulp magazines. Russell also wrote horror fiction for Weird Tales, and non-fiction articles on Fortean topics. A few of his stories were published under pseudonyms, of which Duncan H. Munro was used most often.Russell was born in 1905 in Sandhurst in Berkshire, where his father was an instructor at the Royal Military Academy. Russell became a fan of science fiction, and in 1934 while living near Liverpool he saw a letter in Amazing Stories written by Leslie J. Johnson, another reader from the same area. Russell met up with Johnson, who encouraged him to embark on a writing career. Together, the two men wrote the novella "Seeker of Tomorrow" which was published in Astounding in July 1937. Both Russell and Johnson became members of the British Interplanetary Society. 
Russell's first novel was Sinister Barrier, published in the first issue of Astounding's short-lived sister magazine Unknown (March 1939). This is an explicitly Fortean tale based (as Russell explains in the novel's foreword) on Charles Fort's famous speculation "I think we're property". His second novel, Dreadful Sanctuary (serialized in Astounding during 1948) is an early example of conspiracy fiction, in which a paranoid delusion of global proportions is perpetuated by a small but powerful secret society. After serving with the Royal Air Force during World War II and working briefly as an engineer, Russell took up writing full-time in the late 1940s. He became an active member of British science fiction fandom and the British representative of the Fortean Society. He won the first Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1955 for his humorous short story "Allamagoosa".Russell was awarded a posthumous Prometheus Hall of Fame award in 1985 for "The Great Explosion", and in 2000 he was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. Russell also wrote a large number of shorter works, many of which have been reprinted in collections such as Deep Space (1954), Six Worlds Yonder (1958), Far Stars (1961), Dark Tides (1962) and Somewhere a Voice (1965). His non-fiction includes a compendium of Forteana entitled Great World Mysteries (1957) as well as The Rabble Rousers (1963), a sardonic look at human folly including the Dreyfus affair and the Florida land boom. Two omnibus collections of Russell's science fiction are available from NESFA Press: Major Ingredients (2000), containing 30 of his short stories, and Entities (2001) containing five novels. The 1995 novel Design for Great-Day, published as by Alan Dean Foster and Eric Frank Russell, is an expansion by Foster of a 1953 short story of the same name by Russell.

Writing style and themes

Russell had an easy-going, colloquial writing style that was influenced in part by American "hard-boiled" detective fiction of the kind popularized by Black Mask magazine. Although British, Russell wrote predominantly for an American audience, and was often assumed to be American by readers.

Much of Russell's science fiction is based on what might be described as "Fortean" themes, with Sinister Barrier and Dreadful Sanctuary being the most notable examples. Another common theme is that of the single resourceful human pitted against a ponderous alien bureaucracy -- this is the basis for the novels Wasp and Next of Kin, as well as several shorter works.

Russell is sometimes categorized as a humorous writer, and Brian Aldiss describes him as John W. Campbell's "licensed jester".However, Russell's humour generally has a satirical edge, often aimed at authority and bureaucracy in its various forms. On other occasions, for example in the short stories "Somewhere a Voice" and "The Army Comes to Venus", his work has a deeper and more serious tone, in which the spiritual aspects of humanity's endeavours and aspirations shine through.


Cultural influences

Russell's short story "Jay Score" (1941) is unusual amongst the pulp fiction of its time in presenting a black character, the ship's doctor, without any racial stereotyping. Indeed, this story and its sequels (collected in Men, Martians and Machines) may be considered an early example of the science fiction sub-genre in which a spaceship is crewed by a multi-ethnic, mixed human/non-human, complement (cf. the much later Star Trek).

It has not been proven, but Russell may be the originator of the phrase "May you live in interesting times," which is frequently attributed as an ancient Chinese curse. The phrase is quoted with this attribution in Russell's short story "U-Turn", published in the April 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction under the pseudonym of Duncan H. Munro. It is unclear whether Russell invented the phrase for the story, or whether it existed prior to that.

Russell also appears to have originated the colloquialism "myob" for "Mind your own business", which appears frequently in the novella "...And Then There Were None" (Astounding, June 1951) and in the novel The Great Explosion based upon it.



Published by D.Vicente - dans Culture
31 décembre 2008 3 31 /12 /décembre /2008 06:08

        General Standards Part A:

1) Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals.
2) No comics shall explicitly present the unique details and methods of a crime.


3) Policemen, judges, government officials, and respected institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect for established authority.

4) If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity.

5) Criminals shall not be presented so as to be rendered glamorous or to occupy a position which creates the desire for emulation.

6) In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds.

7) Scenes of excessive violence shall be prohibited. Scenes of brutal torture, excessive and unnecessary knife and gun play, physical agony, gory and gruesome crime shall be eliminated.

8) No unique or unusual methods of concealing weapons shall be shown.

9) Instances of law enforcement officers dying as a result of a criminal's activities should be discouraged.

10) The crime of kidnapping shall never be portrayed in any detail, nor shall any profit accrue to the abductor or kidnapper. The criminal or the kidnapper must be punished in every case.

11) The letters of the word "crime" on a comics magazine shall never be appreciably greater than the other words contained in the title. The word "crime" shall never appear alone on a cover.
12) Restraint in the use of the word "crime" in titles or subtitles shall be exercised.



General Standards Part B:

1) No comic magazine shall use the word "horror" or "terror" in its title.

2) All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.

3) All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated.

4) Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly nor so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader.

5) Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited.

General Standards Part C:

All elements or techniques not specifically mentioned herein, but which are contrary to the spirit and intent of the Code, and are considered violations of good taste or decency, shall be prohibited.


1) Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, or words or symbols which have acquired undesirable meanings are forbidden.

2) Special precautions to avoid references to physical afflictions or deformities shall be taken.

3) Although slang and colloquialisms are acceptable, excessive use should be discouraged and wherever possible good grammar shall be employed.



Ridicule or attack on any religious or racial group is never permissible.


1) Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue exposure.

2) Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.

3) All characters shall be depicted in dress reasonably acceptable to society.

4) Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.

NOTE: It should be recognized that all prohibitions dealing with costume, dialogue, or artwork applies as specifically to the cover of a comic magazine as they do to the contents.
Marriage and Sex:

1) Divorce shall not be treated humorously nor shall be represented as desirable.

2) Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable.

3) Respect for parents, the moral code, and for honorable behavior shall be fostered. A sympathetic understanding of the problems of love is not a license for moral distortion.

4) The treatment of love-romance stories shall emphasize the value of the home and the sanctity of marriage.

5) Passion or romantic interest shall never be treated in such a way as to stimulate the lower and baser emotions.

6) Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested.

7) Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.

Code For Advertising Matter:

These regulations are applicable to all magazines published by members of the Comics Magazine Association of America, Inc. Good taste shall be the guiding principle in the acceptance of advertising.

1) Liquor and tobacco advertising is not acceptable.

2) Advertisement of sex or sex instructions books are unacceptable.

3) The sale of picture postcards, "pin-ups," "art studies," or any other reproduction of nude or semi-nude figures is prohibited.

4) Advertising for the sale of knives, concealable weapons, or realistic gun facsimiles is prohibited.

5) Advertising for the sale of fireworks is prohibited.

6) Advertising dealing with the sale of gambling equipment or printed matter dealing with gambling shall not be accepted.

7) Nudity with meretricious purpose and salacious postures shall not be permitted in the advertising of any product; clothed figures shall never be presented in such a way as to be offensive or contrary to good taste or morals.

8) To the best of his ability, each publisher shall ascertain that all statements made in advertisements conform to the fact and avoid misinterpretation.

9) Advertisement of medical, health, or toiletry products of questionable nature are to be rejected. Advertisements for medical, health or toiletry products endorsed by the American Medical Association, or the American Dental Association, shall be deemed acceptable if they conform with all other conditions of the Advertising Code.

(Source: "Comix, a History of Comic Books in America,"
by Les Daniels, ©1971 Les Daniels and Mad Peck Studios)

Examples of some parodies of the comics code seal of approval



Published by D.Vicente - dans Comics