RIP Spain Rodriguez
Nov 29 2012
"It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing this morning of Spain Rodriguez. He passed at home with his daughter and wife at his bedside at about 7 this morning. He fought cancer for a long time. He was a wonderful father, husband, and friend. His art challenged, changed, enlightened, and entertained us for over five decades. His passing coincided with the penumbra eclipse of the moon, like Spain's shadow from the outer edge of the art world's face. Services are pending, please give the family some time. "
Janelle Hessig from Last Gasp Publishing sent that e-mail yesterday evening to me and Sean Aaberg from Pork Magazine. It arrived right after someone on Facebook told me that Spain had died and I yelled "WHAT!?" aloud at my computer in shock and anger. Janelle then sent me a link to this video that Spain's wife made about him.
In this 15 minute documentary, R. Crumb describes Spain pretty well. "When I met him, he struck me as an archetypal character. Somewhere between a crazy artist crossed with a left wing radical, crossed with a working class Latino hood."
Spain was a for real greaser who belonged to the Road Vultures MC. Many of his comics revolved around his motorcycle gang days. His people usually looked a little monstrous and odd to me, but his cars and motor vehicles were always perfect representations. His work took the super slickness of Wally Wood and Jack Kirby into a weird and beautiful place.
I put together a giant gallery of images that Spain made, which you can click through at the top of this page. You can also see a few of these pictures below. If you dig Spain's art and want to check out some of his printed work, I suggest either Last Gasp's new book SPAIN: Rock, Roll, Rumbles, Rebels & Revolutions or Fantagraphics's Cruisin' with the Hound.
Shout out to Sean Stewart, who scanned many of these images from his personal collection.
Love funny books? Check these out:
I Attended a Juggalo Wedding at the Gathering of the Juggalos
I Hunted Feral Hogs in Florida as a Favor to the World
My Week with Sydney
Reasons Why Comic-Con Is the Worst Place Ever
An Interview with a Guy Who Can't Sleep Because He Is Afraid of Dying
A Rigged Indian Casino Karaoke Contest Was the Low Point of My Life
The Jim Norton Show: Mike Tyson and Dana White - Part 2
Should We Look at and Share Photos of Dead Civilians in Gaza?
A Few Impressions: Watch James Franco's Short Film, 'The Clerk's Tale,' Based on a Poem by Spencer Reece
One of Our Writers Went on an All-Alcohol Diet for a Week