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Pirates In The Heartland: The Mythology Of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1 Hardcover – July 19, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Do you remember the first time you saw an S. Clay Wilson panel? It was almost as powerful as your first blowjob. … S. Clay Wilson was just beautiful filth -- just mind-blowing. (Marc Maron - WTF Podcast)

Pirates in the Heartland: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson Vol. 1 surveys the early, graphically fecund years of the most outrageous of the original cadre of underground cartoonists. Wilson… turned his id inside out and vomited forth exquisitely crosshatched panels… The best drawings coalesce into orgies of entwined, bulging, wriggling lines ― the grotesque tickling the sublime. (R.C. Baker - Village Voice)

...[F]or those readers with sufficiently girded loins, Wilson’s art -- and renegade life-story -- will prove a source of unhealthy, vital fascination. (Sean Rogers - The Globe and Mail)

…S. Clay Wilson’s comics are... profoundly underground creations, works by a man who doesn’t give two f***s about society, and that frustrates and annoys, offends and angers, brings bile to the throat while also bringing a thrill to the soul. …[An] outstanding collection of vintage Wilson work… Pirates in the Heartland is the best kind of biography of an artist because it gives readers both context and classics. Patrick Rosenkranz, the unparalleled chronicler of the undergrounds, delivers yet another outstanding biography… (Jason Sacks - Comics Bulletin)

Thoroughly estimable and highly recommended. (Bob Levin - The Comics Journal)

About the Author

S. Clay Wilson, one of the founding members of the Zap comics collective. (Zap is a seminal underground comic book anthology, with contributors like R. Crumb.) He lives in San Francisco.

Patrick Rosenkranz is widely acknowledged as one of the premiere scholars of the underground comix movement. His books include Rebel Visions (the most widely-heralded history of the era) and The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective. He lives in Portland, OR.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; 1 edition (July 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606997475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606997475
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrick Rosenkranz is an author, photo-journalist, educator, and filmmaker. He is widely recognized as one of the leading scholars of the underground comix movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Weaver on August 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As far as I'm concerned, S. Clay Wilson is a genius. I've been an avid fan for almost fifty years and have always felt this way. I love to read through his work, then go back with a magnifying glass and slurp up the eye-candy, the tiny drawings within drawings found in the corners and everywhere else in his wonderfully complex work. Wilson is totally fearless in his art, as he has been in his life. He has hung with the scum of the earth, recreated them and brought them to us, still steaming, with daring and mad joy. I've seen him drink beer from a motorcycle boot, streaming out his metalstorm hipster patter, between glugs, and finessing the tits of the beautiful Russian woman sharing the potables with him. He has been there, in all his work, as a guide to those of us who don't have keys to the dungeon doors, and who don't have the courage to venture down those dark blood-slick streets, pirate ship decks, biker bars you need proof of a tetanus shot to get in, and all the other hellish venues he is so familiar with. He's the only guide you need, both to get in and to get out. He's sure as hell made my life more fun. Thank you, "Mudcat"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Fowler on July 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hope the book generates new interest in Wilson's work. The print quality varies from excellent to acceptable -- it's really difficult to get things printed just the way you want them, especially when you have such a mixture of source material: paintings, comic pages, letters, etc. The AMAZON "Look Inside" gives a good preview of the contents.

The narrative with comments from friends and fellow artists captures some sense of Wilson as I've known him, and the progression of art work shows the increasing density of line and the intricate black-white patterns he developed. I've always loved the "topology" of his motorcycle engines, the overlapping layers of pipes and frames. Wilson worked in print, but he has great 3-D spatial visualization.

And -- the price is quite reasonable, especially for an art book of this quality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Follett on September 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wilson is an old friend from back in the days, so I'm obviously prejudiced in any opinions I might have, but this is more than a pretty good look at the man and compilation of his work. Being an old friend you come to these things with a jaundiced eye, more distrustful than otherwise, and in this case I have to say I'm impressed.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BME on July 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
There's a line pop culture likes to flirt with. It's the line between naughty and nasty, between seamy and sordid, between icky and "come on, really, I just ate lunch." Back in the mid-'60s, when ladies always wore stockings and gentlemen still wore hats, S. Clay Wilson left that line in his rearview mirror.

Amazingly, he still does. Fantagraphics' new collection of Wilson's early comics, The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson: Pirates in the Heartland, is so downright ... *blechhy* that it's impossible to even describe most of what's in it. That's not because it might trigger inappropriate frissons in your nethers, no — but it might make you barf on your desk.

Wilson's characters, which include such playful-seeming figures as the Checkered Demon, Star-Eyed Stella and hordes of randy pirates, all seem to have memorized the Marquis de Sade. They engage in sex and violence with the same joyless compulsion, anatomical precision and tortured misogyny as the mad Marquis.

And yet Wilson, no extraordinary draftsman, won countercultural stardom for these visions of the vile. He was a leader in the celebrated Zap Comix collective, which included Spain Rodriguez and comics king R. Crumb. His many fans included underground greats Ken Kesey and William S. Burroughs, and this is just the first of Fantagraphics' planned three-volume retrospective of his work.

To understand why Wilson's comics felt so necessary at the time, consider what happened when Crumb published a strip about incest in Zap's fourth issue. "Booksellers from Berkeley to New York were arrested for sale and possession of Zap #4," editor Patrick Rosenkranz notes. "This news brought a mixture of triumph and apprehension to Zap's creators.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sick, I know. Perverse beyond measure. But it does take one back to the head trip scene that was the collegiate sixties. But seriously, have you ever noticed the stylistic similarities between Wilson's work and Durer's woodblock prints? I mean, if you squint your eyes and angle it just right . . .
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I've been a fan since the '60s and have most of the content in original format. The narrative and insights of this volume are worth the price of admission. I wish the next 2 volumes were available now. The best s. clay book ever. Totally irreverent and an icon of humor
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By w3 search on July 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You have to know S Clay Wilson (aka Steve, or Wilson) and his work to understand the modern age and art and comic books -- Zap,
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