New York: Tibor de Nagy Editions, 1964. First Edition. Wraps. 4to. Stapled pictorial wraps. Some faint soil to front wrapper. Mild toning overall. Very good. One of 500 unnumbered copies. Very good. Item #13390
A scarce and important publication which apparently ran just one issue. Forakis, Yampolsky, and Fleming (all artist's better known for other mediums) each contribute one work or "story" utilizing the conventions of the comic (panels, word balloons, etc.), but all non-narrative and veering towards the completely abstract, psychedelic and/or nonsensical. The motifs and styles clearly prefigure the work of later underground comic artists, and this is easily among the earliest we've seen to exhibit a non-commercial, "underground" aesthetic (albeit mixed with a fine art influence). Indeed, this publication predates by at least several months what is generally considered the first underground comic: Jack Jackson's GOD NOSE (which though printed the same year was clearly published sometime after January). And though the three pieces in GROPE don't quite demonstrate the over-the-top subversive quality one typically associates with the underground, all three clearly exhibit a prescient style that would soon come to fuller fruition in R. Crumb and others. Curiously, published by Tibor de Nagy, who had previously done nothing quite like this. OCLC shows just 12 holdings.