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Underground Comics

Everyone needs a hobby, and one of Dr. Estren's is comics and cartoons -- including the notorious "undergrounds." The 20th-anniversary edition of Dr. Estren 's landmark study of underground cartoonists and comics, packed to the gills with illustrations (many created especially for the book) and filled with interviews with the artists themselves, appeared in August 2012 from Ronin Publishing, www.roninpub.com.  You can preview the book here. CAUTION: SEXUALLY EXPLICIT CARTOONS!


A sampling of comments on earlier editions:

"Both a landmark study in its field and a book which is just plain fun to read." - TV News/Greenwich Village

"In the highly politicized atmosphere of the mid '60s, these new comics were a much needed, usually humorous counterpoint to the dead seriousness of the underground press in which many of them first appeared." -- Buffalo (New York) Reporter

"Seems to me you've displayed plenty of affectionate respect for even the lowliest just or being part of a movement, but kept a clear eye on their actual achievements, and organized the whole with clarity and style.  How's that for a rave?" -- Bill Pearson, "Witzend"

"It's a great book.  There is nothing like it anywhere." -- The Fifth Estate

"A massive job and a highly successful one." -- The Buyers' Guide

"Estren's book is one of the best studies of comic art in print." -- Seattle Times

"A long, loving, yet still perceptive look at the artwork, the philosophies and the satire." -- Santa Barbara News-Press

"Lavishly illustrated, with ample examples of not only underground artists but several who set many of the trends and styles in earlier days." -- San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle

"A generous genealogy of this warped genre." -- Swank

"This history will be a revelation to many comix fans." -- Atlanta Journal

"Lively and provocative." -- Richmond Times-Dispatch

"I thought it was great and an important contribution to the comics library shelf." -- Will Eisner ("The Spirit" cartoonist and the most important establisher of the graphic novel as literature, in a hand-written letter)

"I am in your fan club." -- Fred W. Friendly (Edward R. Murrow's CBS News producer)

"It's beautiful!" -- William M. Gaines ("Mad" publisher; another hand-written letter)

"A far-reaching sampler full of exuberance and irreverent fun." -- San Francisco Examiner

"You've got a winner!  Really a fine book." -- Harvey Kurtzman ("Mad" editor and a major influence on many underground cartoonists)

"A loving monograph, a paean to the men and women who kept the counter-culture's sense of humor alive during one of the most humorless times in this nation's history." -- Chicago Sun-Times

"A long, strange -- and generously illustrated -- trip." -- Radio & Records