DescriptionVictor Moscoso Zap Comix #4 Wraparound Cover Original Art (Apex Novelties/Print Mint, 1969). Underground comic books, or "Comix," as they like to be referred to, opened up a real can of worms with the fourth issue of Zap. This was the infamous comic book that was the subject of a lengthy obscenity trial in New York City in the early 1970s, one that eventually caused the rules on what exactly was considered "obscene" to be left in the hands of local authorities, rather than any kind of federal ruling. When this comic book was first published late in 1969, America was far different place than it is now, with extremely conservative viewpoints held on matters of sex. The sixties, for all their "free love" celebrations that are best remembered today, were actually more of an extension of outmoded 1950s ideas of repressed sexuality, permissiveness, and social mores, with only a small percentage, mainly the younger generation, who had decided to push the accepted boundaries of what was allowed to be openly expressed. And nothing quite pushed those boundaries like Zap Comix #4. From Victor Moscoso's transformation of innocent advertising icon Mr. Peanut into a bizarre "Mr. Penis" to Robert Crumb and his viscious satire on a "typical" American family in his notorious story, "Joe Blow," the public perception of comic books, once thought of only as entertainment for children, was changed forever. In fact, it was Crumb's story that really raised eyebrows when NYC police got wind of it, resulting in the busts of two book stores, and the subsequent trial that followed. The story of that trial and its aftermath was well chronicled in Mark James Estren's landmark book, A History of Underground Comix.
This incredible wraparound cover art by Victor Moscoso has never really been offered for public sale before. The original owner, a San Francisco-area patron of the arts, obtained it directly from the artist, and it has stayed stashed away in that private collection for all these years -- until now. The art, done in ink, graphite, blue pencil, and white-out, was produced on two separate sheets of bristol that the artist affixed to a larger piece of illustration board, adding detail and amberlith film overlay, to create the front and back cover art as printed. The image area is approximately 19" x 13.5", and is matted and framed to an overall 26" x 21". It is in Excellent condition. This is a very historic piece, one that we expect much discussion and spirited bidding on. Once sold, it may not be offered again for many, many years, so don't wait too long to get your bid in. We're sure that upon examining the art in person, your reaction will be the same as ours -- "Wow, man!"
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