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The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen Hardcover – June 29, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
This book shows Denis as a gifted and dedicated cartoonist who seems to have drawn inspiration from Basil Wolverton, Boris Artzbasheff, Aubrey Beardsley, and of course R. Crumb. Denis, however, never veered as far into the outrageous, misogynistic or disgusting as Crumb and many of the other UG cartoonists. His work relied on good design, compelling psychedelic hippie inking, and amusing stories, that in retrospect hold up as iconic representations of the hippie era in which they were produced, much better than some of his contemporaries. These qualities are furthermore exemplified by another recent publication, Denis Kitchen's Chipboard Sketchbook, in which his iconic designs, inventive and fantastic creatures, and fabulous Wolvertonesque inking is displayed to its best effect. One can only imagine where he got so many writing tablets and we pray that he at least recycled the rest of the pages. All this is to say that Denis is a most wonderful, talented guy who has contributed much to this industry both as an artist and publisher, and now as a packager of intriguing---or shall I say 'compelling'---works.
Although comic books were strictly forbidden in my house (bad spelling!) I grew up with Archie, followed by Lulu and Donald Duck, then graduated to the pointed satire of Mad Magazine before discovering small press alternative underground comix and their humorous breakthrough exploration of taboo subjects: forbidden drugs, holier than thou religion, and the most unspeakable sex acts. The love and passion I developed for underground comix only grew stronger through the years.
Since the 60s, these comix have steadily gained recognition and respect, becoming mainstream with award-winning movies like American Splendor, and New Yorker Magazine front covers by R. Crumb. Perhaps this popularity is somehow influenced by the fact that hippies who could scarcely afford the 50 cents cost of a Snoid comix, can now afford the originals as higher priced collectibles. But back then, the era of Vietnam protests, busts for single joints or even pot seeds, Black Panthers killed in their sleep, the sexual revolution, Woodstock, civil rights, gay rights, rock music, free love, and outspoken feminists changing attitudes and declaring a new front in the struggle for equality, the underground movement was magic, an intense era of significant social changes, something not experienced before or since.
One of the brilliant, pioneer, creative forerunners of this historical comix movement was Denis Kitchen.Read more ›