Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tundra Hippy Comix

Now there's gonna be another month of the new topic category "Cheechako" which'll document some samples from the archives of my initial efforts in the Interior. As usual, this series of posts will be interspersed with current events and updates Down East.
More below the fold...

In 1986 the sole issue of my first homegrown comic "THC" made its debut in Interior Alaska. Shown above is the front + back cover featuring the star of the comic, the Great White Freak, in uh, peaceful repose. The original is in pretty sad shape, with some water damage (or beer) and the Flair pen is starting to creep and yellow through the decidedly non-archival xerox paper. also the old-school Letra-Tone/Zip-A-Tone is shrinking and flaking off. But now, it will live forever on the internet.

Loosely based on one of my first acquaintances made in Fairbanks who took pity on a broke and severely under-dressed (for January sub-zero temps) kid from New York: I would often bum taxi rides from him after closing down the gas station/convenience store I was working at.

For my first summer in Alaska after working a construction job doing demolition and hanging drywall, I earned enough money to get a motorcycle, and started camping out around Fairbanks (another way to say it would be living as a vagrant). One of the places I often pitched my tent was in the yard of this same dude's cabin out in Goldstream Valley, where he lived in a far-out converted farm silo. Another tenant on the property was a guy by the name of Pope, who started up the legendary and infamous "Pope and Company Pipes and Stuff" - the original roadside stand peddling paraphernalia.
This was back in the day when there still was such a thing as "underground comix," and my little xeroxed, hand-folded and stapled 'zine sported such fascinating features as "Land of the Midnight Nun," "The Valley of Ten Thousand Tokes" and a handful of what would eventually morph into the Freeze-Frame single-panel gag cartoon feature later on that year.

“Marijuana is self-punishing. It makes you acutely sensitive, and in this world, 
what worse punishment could there be?” - P. J. O'Rourke

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