Gweek 118: The Weirdo Years

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In 1981, Robert Crumb launched Weirdo, a magazine-sized comic book that was inspired by Crumb's own underground comics and the post MAD-era magazines of Crumb's mentor Harvey Kurtzman. Weirdo was a launch pad for many talented cartoonists, including Peter Bagge, Dori Seda, and Dennis Worden. Crumb's own comic stories were the highlight of every issue, and Last Gasp (publisher of Weirdo) just released all of Crumb's Weirdo comics in a handsome 256-page anthology, entitled The Weirdo Years by R. Crumb: 1981-'93. I spoke to Janelle Hessig, a Bay Area cartoonist and writer and the current marketing director at Last Gasp Publishing, about Weirdo, and what became of some its the lesser-known contributors. Janelle also recommends the scandalous Life and Times of Little Richard, by Charles Wright. She calls it a "truly great oral history which includes a three-way with Buddy Holly, a childhood spent pooping in jars, and heeding the call of the Lord."

We were joined by returning Gweekster Rob Walker. He's a technology and culture columnist for Yahoo News, a regular contributor to Design Observer, and he recently started a new “watercooler therapy” advice column called The Workologist for the New York Times Sunday business section. His Procrastinaut blog is a must-read.


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