Spain Rodriguez is one of the best-known artists in underground comix. After first gaining attention covering the 1968 Democratic Convention for The East Village Other, he was recruited by Robert Crumb to draw comix for Zap. There, his off-beat political stance and history in the Road Vultures Motorcycle Club proved rich material for showcasing his crisp, bold line drawing style, which is best demonstrated in his seminal tabloid Zodiac Mindwarp and his Trashman series. A former "intimate" friend of Janis Joplin and collaborator of Frank Zappa and Charles Bukowski, Spain’s work has appeared everywhere from Penthouse to Salon.
COMICS & CARTOONISTS
Wallace Wood - "Wallace Wood's style pops with a sense of complexity and texture. He can dance on the page."
Jack Davis - "Jack Davis is the master of the figure in motion."
Art Spiegelman - "Art is the first underground cartoonist I ever met and he's a good friend to this day. He always says something that gets me to argue with him."
R. Crumb - "When Crumb hit the scene he was like a tornado. There were underground artists before him but he was like a bolt of energy."
EC Comics - "In the 50's EC was a flourishing comic book empire, but I think the only comics they have left are Mad Magazine and Tales From the Crypt. They had some of best comics in history. Wallace Wood, Jack Davis...Harvey Kurtzman - who went on to do Little Annie Fanny... These guys were suppressed because people thought they were contributing to juvenile delinquency. As a former juvenile delinquent myself, I can tell you that few juvenile delinquents read anything, including comic books."
Bill Griffith - "Bill was the first of all of us to make it big and his Zippy the Pinhead can still be found in many great papers. His work is like eating Cheez-Its. Once you have a few you can't help but finish the whole box."
S. Clay Wilson - "When I first saw the work of S. Clay Wilson I became very depressed because he was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing."
Frank Zappa - "I did some illustrations for Frank. He had this bootleg project where he bootlegged his own music and released them in this sort of record-like box. I did the boxes for those."
Charles Bukowski - "I did the illustrations for the German edition of Women and he wrote a poem about me, which turned out to be a completely bogus report of our meeting. I really admire him."
Tompkins Square Park - "I've lived all around Tompkins Square Park. It was a great place for counter culture back in the day. Kim Deitch and I lived on 8th and Avenue C, in a building that was taken over by a Puerto Rican street gang. They used to kick holes in the wall and steal Kim's paintings - which were very beautiful and my girlfriend's panties. The landlord was affraid to come by so we just stopped paying rent."
German American Shooting Society - "This building on St Marks between 2nd and 3rd stands above all."
Bull & Bear Steakhouse at the Waldorf Astoria - "I had the best steak I've ever had in my life here but they charged an arm and a leg for it."
B & H Dairy and Vegetarian Restaurant - "This is a great little spot right by St. Marks and 2nd Ave. In the late 60's this was the corner where every kid wanted to hang out."
Whitney Museum of American Art - "It's hard to go wrong poking around the Whitney."
Museum of Modern Art - "Back in art school I was indoctrinated into the ideology of modern art. Many of my fellow underground cartoonists wouldn't have seen that as a compliment."
Metropolitan Museum of Art - "The MET always had various exhibits that I've enjoyed over the years."