He was at the center of a study day this Friday, April 8, and specialists in the genre dissected his work from different angles. Comic book historian Jean-Pierre Mercier recounted the adventure of Éditions Artefact, of which he was one of the founders and which published Shelton’s stories in the mid-1970s in France until 1986. Either Shelton or Robert Crumb were authors by right own, classics. We owed them the best, be it printing, lettering, translation. We put out a first Freaks Brothers floppy in black and white with a print run of 2,000 copies, then went up to 15,000 color issues. We build a collection and an audience. »
Also very interesting is the deciphering of Gilbert Shelton’s “fascinating lyrics” according to researcher and professor Jean-Charles Andrieu de Levis. It must be said that the artist gave himself to the maximum in his writings and his records offer a panel full of styles, ascending and descending strokes, calligraphy, letters that underline onomatopoeia, express a sound, illustrate an emotion. Shelton is part of this era marked by great creative freedom, with completely and relentlessly inventive lyrics. Some of the lyrics are drawings in their own right, and his covers, typical of the underground press, had a truly spectacular dimension. Obviously he spawned heirs, in France in particular. So much so that at the beginning of the 2000s, the designer Olivier Josso-Hamel imagined a tribute book, a “tribute” to the style of rock, with authors, who had gone through punk, who were part of a filiation: we find there to Mattt Konture, Pakito Bolino, Menu Jean-Christophe…
We can only advise those who could not attend this study day, nor the previous day’s meeting at the Bakery Art Gallery, to hurry to discover the very nice and very rich exhibition “Comix, psychedelism and underground, freaks and warthogs : a graphic itinerary in the American counterculture”, visible until April 17, at 44, rue Saint-François in Bordeaux (05 56 75 40 81).
For more information: scaledulivre.com/