Zap Comix No. 1. Robert Crumb, Charles Plymell.
Zap Comix No. 1
Zap Comix No. 1

Zap Comix No. 1

San Francisco, CA: Apex Novelties, 1968. First Printing (Charles Plymell Edition). Stapled Wrappers. This is the legendary, coveted, very first printing of Zap Comix No.1, which inaugurated the "underground comix" phenomenon, a highlight of the 1960s counterculture. Robert Crumb illustrated & wrote the entire issue, his subversive genius broke all barriers. Mr. Natural, the "Keep on Truckin'..." figures & other images that made their debut here have resonated in the collective consciousness, & they continue to influence art & culture. As Crumb describes it in Vol. V of the new box set, The Complete Zap Comix (Fantagrafic Books, Inc.; 2014): "I drew one issue in October and one in November (1967). They were twenty-four pages each. It went fast. Don Donahue (publisher of Apex Novelties) saw the original art for Zap and really liked it. Donahue knew Charles Plymell, an old hipster poet who had a small offset printing press, a Multilith 1250. Donahue paid for the first printing of Zap by trading his $300 tape recorder to Plymell in early 1968. The first print run of five thousand copies came out. The first edition had an orange and blue cover, and the cover price was twenty-five cents. Dana (Robert's wife at the time) and I, Donahue, and some friends of ours sold Zap on the street and took it around to all the shops on Haight Street..."(from "Coming Together," pg. 887) The issue Crumb refers to drawing in October 1967 was published as Zap No. 0 in late 1968, around the time that Zap No. 3 was published. Charles Plymell, the "old hipster poet" referred to by Crumb, is of course the noted Beat-&-beyond poet, prose writer & publisher who collaborated with & issued works by William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg & others in addition to Crumb & co. According to Charles & Pamela Beach Plymell, his wife & co-publisher, there were far fewer than the 5,000 copies of the first printing as recalled by Crumb, somewhere between 600-1,500. It is believed that approximately 500 copies were destroyed in a fire. As noted in the various grading & price guides, essays & commentaries that have appeared & expanded over decades like a comix Talmud, the first printing is distinguished by several points, all present here: A 25-cent cover price, small white border at top & right edge, & orange along with blue, black & white colors on front cover (further printings have 35-cents & over cover price, usually yellow instead of orange & no borders); pagination beginning with "3" & ending with "23" at lower right of interior pages, 24 pages in total as noted by Crumb including front, back inner & outer covers (further printings are unpaginated); the words "Printed by Charles Plymell" in blue fine print at lower left edge of back cover. We are pleased to offer this iconic production, among the rarest & most sought-after by collectors. As famously stated on front cover above the title, "Fair Warning: For Adult Intellectuals Only!" In relatively fine condition, approximately equivalent to a 6.0 grade per Fogel's, CGC, etc.: Light to moderate creasing, rubbing, soiling & spotting to front, back covers & stapled spine; tiny bump-creases at corners of same; one approx. 1&1/2" angled crease at lower right corner of front cover. Interior very fine except for browning of just-above-newspaper quality pages esp. margins & edges (slightly effecting inner front & back covers), but pages not brittle & with barely any acidic scent. Near Fine. [Item #2164]

Price: $6,000.00