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Wednesday June 23, 2010 8:25 pm
Where In The World Is Spain Rodriguez?
I know the question you’ve been asking yourself lately: What’s Spain Rodriguez been up to since the publication of Che: A Graphic Biography?
Spain is perhaps one of the few artists to share a name with a country who is also one of the grand masters of the underground comix with his contemporaries like Robert Crumb, Skip Williamson, Gilbert Shelton and Jay Lynch. Spain is best known in those circles as the creator of Trashman and his work appeared in the East Village Other and Zap Comix back in the day when people were uptight about working for the man, baby.
This October, Spain’s illustrations will be enhancing a new book by author David Talbot called Devil Dog: The Amazing True Story of the Man Who Saved America. Published by Simon and Schuster, the book is part of their non-fiction Pulp History series of true stories of “extraordinary feats of bravery, violence, and redemption that history has forgotten.” The book also features a promotional blurb by Robert Crumb himself.
Devil Dog is the story of Marine Smedley Butler, who “took a Chinese bullet to the chest at age eighteen,” ran down rebels in Nicaragua and Haiti, and saved the lives of his men in France. Now here’s the kicker: “But when he learned that America was trading the blood of Marines to make Wall Street fat cats even fatter, Butler went on a crusade. He threw the gangsters out of Philadelphia, faced down Herbert Hoover to help veterans, and blew the lid off a plot to overthrow FDR.” That sounds awesome, the kind of two-fisted guy who’d be punching BP in the throat right now. I can picture the sweaty intensity of Spain’s pictures making it even more awesome.
Trashman Lives was published by Fantagraphics in 1997. Apparently it’s out of print, but still available through Amazon’s used book sellers at a decent price. Fantagraphics does, however, have other Spain titles available.
Graphic Classics also has a Spain story in their Edgar Allan Poe title. It’s a reprint of his classic 1976 Arcade story, “The Inheritance of Rufus Griswold.”
[Artwork: Cover to Devil Dog, © Simon and Schuster (top); cover the Trashman Lives, © Spain Rodriguez (bottom)]
[Disclosure: I’ve had books of my own published by Simon & Schuster, but I discovered this link on my own. So there.]
- Related Tags:
- devil dog, fantagraphics, graphic classics, pulp, pulp history, robert crumb, simon and schuster, smedley butler, spain rodriguez, trashman, underground comics, zap comix
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