Mike Friedrich is an American comic book writer and publisher best known for his work at Marvel and DC Comics, for publishing the anthology series Star*Reach, one of the first independent comics. He is an artists representative, his notable works include runs as the regular writer of DC's Justice League of America and Marvel's Iron Man. Mike Friedrich, unrelated to fellow Silver Age of Comics writer Gary Friedrich, entered comics professionally after years of writing to DC letter columns in the 1960s and developing a mail acquaintanceship with the famously responsive editor Julius Schwartz. "My letter-writing began around the time the'new look' Batman was introduced, though I'd been a fan of Julie's for two or three years before then. A couple of years it turned into a bit of correspondence as Julie began to send short replies," Friedrich recalled. Schwartz, after rejecting an Elongated Man story Friedrich submitted, bought Friedrich's first professional script on May 10, 1967, a 10-page Robin backup story and published in Batman #202 as Friedrich's third published comics story.
Friedrich used the $10-per-page payment to visit New York City the following month, after his high school graduation, took a DC Comics tour in order to meet Schwartz in person. "That first summer," Friedrich recalled, "he worked with me on a handful of scripts, including the one, first to be published, The Spectre #3", in which Friedrich teamed with artist Neal Adams on the 25-page supernatural superhero story, "Menace of the Mystic Mastermind". Afterward, the same month, Friedrich published the full-length Batman story "The Man Who Radiated Fear", penciled by Stone ghosting for Bob Kane, in Batman #200. Friedrich began writing stories for a number of DC publications, including Challengers of the Unknown, Detective Comics, The Flash and Teen Titans. With penciler Jerry Grandenetti in Showcase #80, he reintroduced the supernatural-mystery story narrator the Phantom Stranger, created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino in 1952, he wrote the 30th anniversary Batman story in Detective Comics #387, drawn by Bob Brown.
Friedrich's first extended run on a title was on the superhero-team series Justice League of America from #86–99. He had scripted "His Name Is... Kane", in House of Mystery #180, in which the short tale's penciler, Gil Kane, stars as an artist drawing for DC Comics and venturing into the physical House of Mystery. Friedrich co-created Merlyn in Justice League of America #94 and the character was adapted into the Arrow TV series in 2012. Moving to Marvel after four years, Friedrich scripted every issue of Iron Man but three from #48–81. In issue #55, he co-scripted the introduction of the popular characters Thanos and Drax the Destroyer, created and co-scripted by artist Jim Starlin. Other work includes issues of Marvel's Captain America, Captain Marvel, The Power of Warlock, "Ka-Zar" in Astonishing Tales, "Ant-Man" in Marvel Feature, The Outlaw Kid, writing a short-lived revival of Doug Wildey's Western series from Marvel's 1950s predecessor, Atlas Comics. Friedrich's most notable contribution may be his 1970s anthology series Star*Reach, a forerunner of the independently produced comics that proliferated, beginning in the 1980s, with the rise of the "direct market" of comic-book stores.
Star*Reach styled itself as a "ground-level" comic book – not an underground comix publication, but not mainstream or "overground". Eighteen issues were released between 1974 and 1979, with Friedrich's same-name publishing company expanding to other series, including Quack. For this and other efforts, Friedrich received an Inkpot Award at the 1980 San Diego Comic-Con. Comics historian Richard J. Arndt wrote in 2006 that Star*Reach...was an independent comic, long before anyone mentioned or had really conceived of an indy market that could challenge the major publishers. At its beginning, Star*Reach sold through the few comic shops around, as well as head shops, or via subscriptions and mail order.... Published science fiction and fantasy stories, at a time when the conventional wisdom was that those genres didn't sell. Plus, they were intelligent science fiction stories. If you read Tolkien or Heinlein or Bester or Le Guin, these stories fit right in.... Michael T. Gilbert, John Workman, Lee Marrs, Robert Gould, Dave Sim, Ken Steacy, Dean Motter, Gene Day and Paul Kirchner got their first major exposure here....
Howard Chaykin's Cody Starbuck and Gideon Faust characters both demonstrated what Chaykin was capable of, long before the mainstream allowed him the same creative freedom. Friedrich closed Star*Reach as a publisher in 1979 but reopened it as a talent agency in 1982. In the 2000s, Friedrich served as Chair of the National Legislative Committee for the Graphic Artists Guild, while a member of the California/Northern chapter. Friedrich, in partnership with Joe Field and operated the San Francisco Bay Area comic book convention WonderCon for 15 years before selling it to Comic-Con International in 2001. Wulf the Barbarian #4 Butch Cassid
American Splendor is a series of autobiographical comic books written by Harvey Pekar and drawn by a variety of artists. The first issue was published in 1976 and the most recent in September 2008, with publication occurring at irregular intervals. Publishers have been, at various times, Harvey Pekar himself, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics; the comics have been adapted into a number of theatrical productions. Despite comic books in the United States being traditionally the province of fantasy-adventure and other genre stories, Pekar felt that the medium could be put to wider use: When I was a little kid, I was reading these comics in the'40s, I kind of got sick of them because after a while, they were just formulaic. I figured there was some kind of a flaw that keeps them from getting better than they are, when I saw Robert Crumb's work in the early'60s, when he moved from Philadelphia to Cleveland, he moved around the corner from me, I thought'Man, comics are where it's at'. Pekar's philosophy of the potential of comics is expressed in his repeated statement that'comics are words and pictures.
You can do anything with words and pictures'. In an interview with Walrus Comix, Pekar described how the idea of producing his own comic book developed. In 1972 when Crumb was visiting him in Cleveland, Pekar showed him his story ideas. Not only did Crumb agree to draw some of them but offered to show them to other artists to draw. By 1975, Pekar decided to publish his own comic book; the stories in American Splendor concern the everyday life of Pekar in Cleveland, Ohio. Situations covered include Pekar's job as a file clerk at a Veteran's Administration hospital and his relations with colleagues and patients there. There are stories about Pekar and his relations with friends and family, including his third wife Joyce Brabner and their adopted daughter Danielle. Other stories concern everyday situations such as Pekar's troubles with his car, his health, his concerns and anxieties in general. Several issues give accounts of Pekar's becoming a recurring guest on the NBC television show Late Night with David Letterman, including a 1987 interview segment in which Pekar criticized Letterman for ducking criticism of General Electric, the parent company of NBC.
American Splendor sometimes departs from Pekar's own life, with stories about jazz musicians, the artists for his comics, a three-issue miniseries American Splendor: Unsung Hero, which chronicles the Vietnam experience of Pekar's African-American co-worker Robert McNeill. As Pekar was not an artist himself, was incapable of "drawing a straight line", according to a line in the film version of his story, he recruited his friend, underground comics artist Robert Crumb, to help create a comics series. Besides Crumb, other notable American Splendor illustrators include Alison Bechdel, Brian Bram, Chester Brown, Alan Moore, David Collier, Gary Dumm, Frank Stack, Drew Friedman, Dean Haspiel, Val Mayerik, Josh Neufeld, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sacco, Gerry Shamray, Jim Woodring, Joe Zabel, Ed Piskor, Greg Budgett. Issues employed a new crop of artists, including Ty Templeton, Richard Corben, Hunt Emerson, Eddie Campbell, Gilbert Hernandez, Ho Che Anderson, Rick Geary. Pekar produced seventeen issues of American Splendor from 1976 to 1993 — each May — which, except for the last few issues, he self-published and self-distributed.
By keeping back issues in print and available, Pekar continued to receive income on previously-completed work, although at the time some of them were published, according to his Comics Journal interview, he was losing thousands of dollars per year on the books. Starting in 1994, additional American Splendor were published by Dark Horse Comics, although these issues are not numbered, they include the two-issue American Splendor: Windfall and several themed issues such as American Splendor: Transatlantic Comics and American Splendor: On the Job. In September 2006, a four-issue American Splendor mini-series was published by the DC Comics imprint Vertigo. A second four-issue miniseries was published by DC in 2008. Many stories from American Splendor have been collected into trade paperbacks from various publishers, their material not overlapping. American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar ISBN 0-345-46830-9 More American Splendor ISBN 0-385-24073-2 The New American Splendor Anthology ISBN 0-941423-64-6 American Splendor Presents: Bob & Harv's Comics, with R. Crumb ISBN 1-56858-101-7 American Splendor: Unsung Hero, with David Collier ISBN 1-59307-040-3 Best of American Splendor ISBN 0-345-47938-6 American Splendor: Another Day ISBN 978-1-4012-1235-3 American Splendor: Another Dollar Pekar wrote two larger works which carry the American Splendor label, Our Movie Year, a collection of comics written about or at the time of the American Splendor film, Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story, a biography of the early life of the author Michael Malice.
Pekar wrote two graphic novels which are not labeled American Splendor but which should arguably be considered part of it: Our Cancer Year, co-written with Pekar's wife Joyce Brabner and illustrated by Frank Stack, covering the year when Pekar was diagnosed with cancer. Our Cancer Year, with Joyce Brabner and Frank Stack ISBN 1-56858-011-8 American Sp
Florence Steinberg was an American publisher of one of the first independent comic books, the underground/alternative comics hybrid Big Apple Comix, in 1975. Additionally, as the secretary for Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee and the fledgling company's receptionist and fan liaison during the 1960s Silver Age of Comic Books, she was a key participant of and witness to Marvel's expansion from a two-person staff to a pop culture conglomerate. Steinberg appeared in fictionalized form in Marvel Comics, spoke at comic book conventions and was the subject of a magazine profile; the daughter of a taxi-driver father and a public-stenographer mother, Steinberg was born in Boston, United States and raised in that city's Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhoods. There she attended Roxbury Memorial High School for Girls, serving a term as president of the student council. Steinberg majored in History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she was a sister of Sigma Delta Tau sorority and received her B.
A. in 1960. Afterward, while working as a service representative for the New England Telephone Company in Boston, she was a volunteer on Ted Kennedy's first U. S. Senatorial campaign. After moving to New York City in 1963, Steinberg additionally worked in what she said was "in a minor way" for Robert F. Kennedy's Senate bid. In March 1963, Steinberg moved to New York City, in the career-girl fashion of that era spent some months living at a YWCA and job-hunting through employment agencies. "After a couple of interviews, I was sent to this publishing company called Magazine Management," she said in a 2002 interview. "There I met a fellow by the name of Stan Lee, looking for what they called a'gal Friday'... Stan had a one-man office on a huge floor of other offices, which housed the many parts of the magazine division... Magazine Management published Marvel Comics as well as a lot of men's magazines, movie magazines, crossword puzzle books, romance magazines, confession magazines, detective magazines...
Each department took turns, one day a week, covering the switchboard...when the regular operator took her lunch break". Marvel's only staffers at that time were Lee and Steinberg herself, with the rest of the work handled freelance. De facto production manager Sol Brodsky "would come in and set up an extra little drawing board where he would do the paste-ups and mechanicals for the ads," Steinberg said, she recalled that the "first real Bullpen" — the roomful of artists at drawing boards making corrections, preparing art for printing, and, as envisioned within Marvel's letter pages and "Bullpen Bulletins", a mythologized clubhouse in which the likes of Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck and others would be found kibitzing — was created when Marvel moved downtown a few buildings from 655 Madison Avenue to 635 Madison Avenue. "Stan had his own office. There was a big space with windows where I was, Sol Brodsky, now on staff, had his own desk", she said that at the time, "ou were lucky to make $60 a week starting... and Stan offered me $65, a big incentive to sign on!".
In addition to serving as Lee's secretary, Steinberg coordinated with and cajoled artists to turn their work in by deadline, responded to fans' letters, including sending paying members the Merry Marvel Marching Society fan-club kit, sending artwork to the Comics Code Authority to be examined in order to carry the industry's self-censorship Comics Code seal. She had to field uninvited fans who would appear at the office, hoping to meet the comics creators. "eople started coming up to the office. And I would have to see what they wanted, and little kids would try to run by me... and I would have to trip them.... Everyone thought that it was nice that the kids were coming up, but at the same time... this was a business, y'know."Artist Jim Mooney once recalled, She was wonderful! You’d go to DC and it was a business-like thing and I'd come out of there and I'd feel,'Oh, God, I need a drink'. I'd go to Marvel and I'd come in and Flo would say,'Hello, Jim! Oh, I'll call Stan right away! Stan!!! Jim Mooney is here!!!'
And I'd think,'Oh my God, who am I? I'm a celebrity', she was great. It wasn't just me, believe me, it was everybody and anybody, but I still felt, well, it was just me; the all-purpose Steinberg — given the sobriquet "Fabulous Flo", in the manner of many other Marvel Comics endearments — said that she... became so overwhelmed with the fan mail and the Merry Marvel Marching Society fan club that Stan started. There was just so much work! I need extra help and had gotten this wonderful letter from a college girl in Virginia by the name of Linda Fite, she came up and was hired to help me out, though she went on to do writing and production work. Steinberg became exposed to the underground comix scene after meeting and becoming friends with Trina Robbins, who had come to the Marvel offices to interview Lee for the Los Angeles Free Press alternative newspaper. Through her, Steinberg became acquainted with contributors to the New York City alternative paper the East Village Other, met underground cartoonists.
Journalist Robin Green, who succeeded Steinberg at Marvel in 1968, wrote in Rolling Stone: It was three years ago that I went to work at Marvel Comics. I replaced Flo, whose place I couldn't take. Fabulous Flo Steinberg, as she was known to her public, was as much an institution in Marvel's Second Golden Age as Editor Stan Lee himself, she joined Marvel just after Stan had revolutionized the comic industry by giving his characters dimension and personality, just as Marvel was catching on big. Steinberg left Marvel in 1968. "I was just tired. The last years were so long. Bags of it
Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc. Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Worldwide's parent company. Marvel started in 1939 the common name in the Golden Age was Timely Comics, by the early 1950s, had become known as Atlas Comics; the Marvel era began in 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and many others. The Marvel brand had been used over the years, but solidified as the company's only brand with in a couple of years. Marvel counts among its characters such well-known superheroes as Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, the Punisher and Deadpool, such teams as the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Midnight Sons, the Defenders, the Guardians of the Galaxy, supervillains including Galactus, Doctor Doom, Ultron, Green Goblin, Red Skull, Doctor Octopus and Venom.
Most of Marvel's fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with most locations mirroring real-life places. Pulp-magazine publisher Martin Goodman founded the company known as Marvel Comics under the name Timely Publications in 1939. Goodman, who had started with a Western pulp in 1933, was expanding into the emerging—and by already popular—new medium of comic books. Launching his new line from his existing company's offices at 330 West 42nd Street, New York City, he held the titles of editor, managing editor, business manager, with Abraham Goodman listed as publisher. Timely's first publication, Marvel Comics #1, included the first appearance of Carl Burgos' android superhero the Human Torch, the first appearances of Bill Everett's anti-hero Namor the Sub-Mariner, among other features; the issue was a great success. While its contents came from an outside packager, Inc. Timely had its own staff in place by the following year; the company's first true editor, writer-artist Joe Simon, teamed with artist Jack Kirby to create one of the first patriotically themed superheroes, Captain America, in Captain America Comics #1.
It, proved a hit, with sales of nearly one million. Goodman formed Timely Comics, Inc. beginning with comics cover-dated April 1941 or Spring 1941. While no other Timely character would achieve the success of these three characters, some notable heroes—many of which continue to appear in modern-day retcon appearances and flashbacks—include the Whizzer, Miss America, the Destroyer, the original Vision, the Angel. Timely published one of humor cartoonist Basil Wolverton's best-known features, "Powerhouse Pepper", as well as a line of children's funny-animal comics featuring characters like Super Rabbit and the duo Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal. Goodman hired his wife's cousin, Stanley Lieber, as a general office assistant in 1939; when editor Simon left the company in late 1941, Goodman made Lieber—by writing pseudonymously as "Stan Lee"—interim editor of the comics line, a position Lee kept for decades except for three years during his military service in World War II. Lee wrote extensively for Timely.
Goodman's business strategy involved having his various magazines and comic books published by a number of corporations all operating out of the same office and with the same staff. One of these shell companies through which Timely Comics was published was named Marvel Comics by at least Marvel Mystery Comics #55; as well, some comics' covers, such as All Surprise Comics #12, were labeled "A Marvel Magazine" many years before Goodman would formally adopt the name in 1961. The post-war American comic market saw superheroes falling out of fashion. Goodman's comic book line dropped them for the most part and expanded into a wider variety of genres than Timely had published, featuring horror, humor, funny animal, men's adventure-drama, giant monster and war comics, adding jungle books, romance titles and medieval adventure, Bible stories and sports. Goodman began using the globe logo of the Atlas News Company, the newsstand-distribution company he owned, on comics cover-dated November 1951 though another company, Kable News, continued to distribute his comics through the August 1952 issues.
This globe branding united a line put out by the same publisher and freelancers through 59 shell companies, from Animirth Comics to Zenith Publications. Atlas, rather than innovate, took a proven route of following popular trends in television and movies—Westerns and war dramas prevailing for a time, drive-in movie monsters another time—and other comic books the EC horror line. Atlas published a plethora of children's and teen humor titles, including Dan DeCarlo's Homer the Happy Ghost and Homer Hooper. Atlas unsuccessfully attempted to revive superheroes from late 1953 to mid-1954, with the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner, Captain America. Atlas did not achieve any breakout hits and, according to Stan Lee, Atlas survived chiefly because it produced work cheaply, at a passable quality; the first modern comic books under the Marvel Comics brand w
A graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. Although the word "novel" refers to long fictional works, the term "graphic novel" is applied broadly and includes fiction, non-fiction, anthologized work, it is distinguished from the term "comic book", used for comics periodicals. Fan historian Richard Kyle coined the term "graphic novel" in an essay in the November 1964 issue of the comics fanzine Capa-Alpha; the term gained popularity in the comics community after the publication of Will Eisner's A Contract with God and the start of Marvel's Graphic Novel line and became familiar to the public in the late 1980s after the commercial successes of the first volume of Art Spiegelman's Maus in 1986 and the collected editions of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns in 1986 and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen in 1987. The Book Industry Study Group began using "graphic novel" as a category in book stores in 2001; the term is not defined, though Merriam-Webster's full dictionary definition is "a fictional story, presented in comic-strip format and published as a book", while its simplest definition is given as "cartoon drawings that tell a story and are published as a book".
In the publishing trade, the term extends to material that would not be considered a novel if produced in another medium. Collections of comic books that do not form a continuous story, anthologies or collections of loosely related pieces, non-fiction are stocked by libraries and bookstores as "graphic novels"; the term is sometimes used to distinguish between works created as standalone stories, in contrast to collections or compilations of a story arc from a comic book series published in book form. In continental Europe, both original book-length stories such as La rivolta dei racchi by Guido Buzzelli, collections of comics have been published in hardcover volumes called "albums", since the end of the 19th century; as the exact definition of the graphic novel is debated, the origins of the form are open to interpretation. The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck is the oldest recognized American example of comics used to this end, it originated as the 1828 publication Histoire de M. Vieux Bois by Swiss caricaturist Rodolphe Töpffer, was first published in English translation in 1841 by London's Tilt & Bogue, which used an 1833 Paris pirate edition.
The first American edition was published in 1842 by Wilson & Company in New York City using the original printing plates from the 1841 edition. Another early predecessor is Journey to the Gold Diggins by Jeremiah Saddlebags by brothers J. A. D. and D. F. Read, inspired by The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck. In 1894 Caran d'Ache broached the idea of a "drawn novel" in a letter to the newspaper Le Figaro and started work on a 360-page wordless book. In the United States there is a long tradition of reissuing published comic strips in book form. In 1897 the Hearst Syndicate published such a collection of The Yellow Kid by Richard Outcault and it became a best seller; the 1920s saw a revival of the medieval woodcut tradition, with Belgian Frans Masereel cited as "the undisputed king" of this revival. His works include Passionate Journey. American Lynd Ward worked in this tradition, publishing Gods' Man, in 1929 and going on to publish more during the 1930s. Other prototypical examples from this period include American Milt Gross's He Done Her Wrong, a wordless comic published as a hardcover book, Une semaine de bonté, a novel in sequential images composed of collage by the surrealist painter Max Ernst.
Charlotte Salomon's Life? or Theater? Combines images and captions; the 1940s saw the launching of Classics Illustrated, a comic-book series that adapted notable, public domain novels into standalone comic books for young readers. In 1947 Fawcett Comics published Comics Novel #1: "Anarcho, Dictator of Death", a 52-page comic dedicated to one story. In 1950, St. John Publications produced the digest-sized, adult-oriented "picture novel" It Rhymes with Lust, a film noir-influenced slice of steeltown life starring a scheming, manipulative redhead named Rust. Touted as "an original full-length novel" on its cover, the 128-page digest by pseudonymous writer "Drake Waller", penciler Matt Baker and inker Ray Osrin proved successful enough to lead to an unrelated second picture novel, The Case of the Winking Buddha by pulp novelist Manning Lee Stokes and illustrator Charles Raab. Presaging Will Eisner's multiple-story graphic novel A Contract with God, cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman wrote and drew the four-story mass-market paperback Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book, published in 1959.
By the late 1960s, American comic book creators were becoming more adventurous with the form. Gil Kane and Archie Goodwin self-published a 40-page, magazine-format comics novel, His Name Is... Savage in 1968—the same year Marvel Comics published two issues of The Spectacular Spider-Man in a similar format. Columnist and comic-book writer Steven Grant argues that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's Doctor Strange story in Strange Tales #130–146, although published serially from 1965–1966, is "the first American graphic novel". Critic Jason Sacks referred to the 13-issue "Panther's Rage"—comics' first-known titled, self-contained, multi-issue story arc—that ran from 1973 to 1975 in the Black Panther series in Marvel's Jungle Action as "Marvel's first graphic novel". Meanwhile, in continental Europe, the tradition of collecting ser
St. Louis is an independent city and major inland port in the U. S. state of Missouri. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois; the Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River just north of the city. These two rivers combined form the fourth longest river system in the world; the city had an estimated 2017 population of 308,626 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois, the 22nd-largest in the United States. Before European settlement, the area was a regional center of Native American Mississippian culture; the city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, named after Louis IX of France. In 1764, following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War, the area was ceded to Spain and retroceded back to France in 1800. In 1803, the United States acquired the territory as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
During the 19th century, St. Louis became a major port on the Mississippi River, it separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its own political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Summer Olympics; the economy of metropolitan St. Louis relies on service, trade, transportation of goods, tourism, its metro area is home to major corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, Boeing Defense, Energizer, Enterprise, Peabody Energy, Post Holdings, Edward Jones, Go Jet and Sigma-Aldrich. Nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies based in Missouri are located within the St. Louis metropolitan area; this city has become known for its growing medical and research presence due to institutions such as Washington University in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. One of the city's iconic sights is the 630-foot tall Gateway Arch in the downtown area.
The area that would become St. Louis was a center of the Native American Mississippian culture, which built numerous temple and residential earthwork mounds on both sides of the Mississippi River, their major regional center was at Cahokia Mounds, active from 900 to 1500. Due to numerous major earthworks within St. Louis boundaries, the city was nicknamed as the "Mound City"; these mounds were demolished during the city's development. Historic Native American tribes in the area included the Siouan-speaking Osage people, whose territory extended west, the Illiniwek. European exploration of the area was first recorded in 1673, when French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette traveled through the Mississippi River valley. Five years La Salle claimed the region for France as part of La Louisiane; the earliest European settlements in the area were built in Illinois Country on the east side of the Mississippi River during the 1690s and early 1700s at Cahokia and Fort de Chartres. Migrants from the French villages on the opposite side of the Mississippi River founded Ste.
Genevieve in the 1730s. In early 1764, after France lost the 7 Years' War, Pierre Laclède and his stepson Auguste Chouteau founded what was to become the city of St. Louis; the early French families built the city's economy on the fur trade with the Osage, as well as with more distant tribes along the Missouri River. The Chouteau brothers gained a monopoly from Spain on the fur trade with Santa Fe. French colonists used African slaves as domestic workers in the city. France, alarmed that Britain would demand French possessions west of the Mississippi and the Missouri River basin after the losing New France to them in 1759–60, transferred these to Spain as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain; these areas remained in Spanish possession until 1803. In 1780 during the American Revolutionary War, St. Louis was attacked by British forces Native American allies, in the Battle of St. Louis; the founding of St. Louis began in 1763. Pierre Laclede led an expedition to set up a fur-trading post farther up the Mississippi River.
Before Laclede had been a successful merchant. For this reason, he and his trading partner Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent were offered monopolies for six years of the fur trading in that area. Although they were only granted rights to set-up a trading post and other members of his expedition set up a settlement; some historians believe that Laclede's determination to create this settlement was the result of his affair with a married woman Marie-Thérèse Bourgeois Chouteau in New Orleans. Laclede on his initial expedition was accompanied by Auguste Chouteau; some historians still debate. The reason for this lingering question is that all the documentation of the founding was loaned and subsequently destroyed in a fire. For the first few years of St. Louis's existence, the city was not recognized by any of the governments. Although thought to be under the control of the Spanish government, no one asserted any authority over the settlement, thus St. Louis had no local government; this led Laclede to assume a position of civil control, all problems were disposed i
Underground comix are small press or self-published comic books which are socially relevant or satirical in nature. They differ from mainstream comics in depicting content forbidden to mainstream publications by the Comics Code Authority, including explicit drug use and violence, they were most popular in the United States between 1968 and 1975, in the United Kingdom between 1973 and 1974. Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Barbara "Willy" Mendes, Trina Robbins and numerous other cartoonists created underground titles that were popular with readers within the counterculture scene. Punk had its own comic artists like Gary Panter. Long after their heyday underground comix gained prominence with films and television shows influenced by the movement and with mainstream comic books, but their legacy is most obvious with alternative comics. Between the late 1920s and late 1940s, anonymous underground artists produced counterfeit pornographic comic books featuring unauthorized depictions of popular comic strip characters engaging in sexual activities.
Referred to as Tijuana bibles, these books are considered the predecessors of the underground comix scene. Early underground comix appeared sporadically in the early and mid-1960s, but did not begin to appear until after 1967; the first underground comix were personal works produced for friends of the artists, in addition to reprints of comic strip pages which first appeared in underground newspapers. The United States underground comics scene emerged in the 1960s, focusing on subjects dear to the counterculture: recreational drug use, rock music and free love; these titles were termed "comix" in order to differentiate them from mainstream publications. The "X" emphasized the X-rated contents of the publications. Many of the common aspects of the underground comix scene were in response to the strong restrictions forced upon mainstream publications by the Comics Code Authority, which refused publications featuring depictions of violence, drug use and relevant content, all of which appeared in greater levels in underground comix.
The underground comix scene had its strongest success in the United States between 1968 and 1975, with titles distributed though head shops. Underground comix featured covers intended to appeal to the drug culture, imitated LSD-inspired posters to increase sales. Crumb stated that the appeal of underground comix was their lack of censorship: "People forget that, what it was all about; that was. We didn't have anybody standing over us saying'No, you can't draw this' or'You can't show that'. We could do whatever we wanted."American comix were influenced by EC Comics and magazines edited by Harvey Kurtzman, including Mad. Kurtzman's Help! magazine featured the works of artists who would become well known in the underground comix scene, including Crumb and Shelton. Other artists published work in college magazines before becoming known in the underground scene; the earliest of the underground comic strips was Frank Stack's The Adventures of Jesus, begun in 1962 and compiled in photocopied zine form by Gilbert Shelton in 1964.
It has been credited as the first underground comic. Shelton's own Wonder Wart-Hog appeared in the college humor magazine Bacchanal #1-2 in 1962. Jack Jackson's God Nose, published in Texas in 1964, has been given that title. One guide lists two other underground comix from that year, Vaughn Bodē's Das Kampf and Charles Plymell's Robert Ronnie Branaman. Joel Beck began contributing a full-page comic each week to the underground newspaper the Berkeley Barb and his full-length comic Lenny of Laredo was published in 1965; the San Francisco Bay Area was an epicenter of the underground comix movement. Just as the major underground publishers were all based in the area: Don Donahue's Apex Novelties, Gary Arlington's San Francisco Comic Book Company, Rip Off Press were all headquartered in the city, with Ron Turner's Last Gasp and the Print Mint based in Berkeley. In 1968, Crumb, in San Francisco, self-published Zap Comix; the title was financially successful, developed a market for underground comix.
Zap began to feature other cartoonists, Crumb launched a series of solo titles, including Despair, Big Ass Comics, R. Crumb's Comics and Stories, Motor City Comics, Home Grown Funnies and Hytone Comix, in addition to founding the pornographic anthologies Jiz and Snatch. By the end of the 1960s, there was recognition of the movement by a major American museum when the Corcoran Gallery of Art staged an exhibition, The Phonus Balonus Show. Curated by Bhob Stewart for famed museum director Walter Hopps, it included work by Crumb, Vaughn Bodé, Kim Deitch, Jay Lynch and others. Crumb's best known underground features included Whiteman, Angelfood McSpade, Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural. Crumb drew himself as a character, portraying himself as he was perceived—a self-loathing, sex-obsessed intellectual. While Crumb's work was praised for its social commentary, he was criticized for the misogyny that appeared within his comics. Trina Robbins stated "It's weird to me how willing people are to overlook the hideous darkness in Crumb's work...
What the hell is funny about rape and murder?" Because of his popularity, many undergro