FROM THE UNDERGROUND COMIX VAULT! AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF UNDERGROUND HISTORY! PRE-DATES ZAP #1 by 1-YEAR. “THE LIFE AND LOVES OF CLEOPATRA”. Please see photo of Artwork provided. YES, THIS PHOTO IS OBSCURED. A 3RD PRINT EDITION of The UNDERGROUND COMIC BOOK. Print run unknown (estimated 250-500). The Original 1ST PRINT (Give-Away) Edition (1967) is nearly Impossible to find! I have never seen one for sale, not even Heritage. Only example I have seen is one posted online. 3rd Print (REPRINT OF 2ND EDITION) by Harry Driggs & DAVE GIBSON (1976). (1967) by HARRY DRIGGS. Ink on 10″ x 15″ JACKSON ILLUSTRATED BOARD. ARTWORK 7 1/4″ x 10″. Before Zap Comix launched the underground revolution in February of 1968, there were many precursors that hinted of what was to come. A number of fanzines and college humor magazines paved the historical road, and underground newspapers like the East Village Other provided a birthplace for many underground artists. One of the precursors that showed up in San Francisco was The Life and Loves of Cleopatra, a scandalous comic book from Harry Driggs that parodied the life and times of Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Egypt from 34 to 30 BC, mistress to Julius Caesar, and wife of Marc Antony. Originally an oversize (about 14 x 8.5 inches) 28-page book, The Life and Loves of Cleopatra depicts bawdy sex scenes from two millenia ago, including those involving children, which may have been relatively common during that long-ago era but certainly considered obscene by the 20th century. The book, published in the midst of the Summer of Love in 1967, was a free giveaway at Digger’s Free Store in San Francisco. After Zap launched the underground comix era, Don Donahue printed a second, much smaller edition (about 6.5 x 4.75 inches) in November, 1969. Driggs, who was well into his thirties when he published The Life and Loves of Cleopatra, went on to create much tamer underground comics through the’70s, including the contemporary parody series Great Diggs. Driggs worked as a graphic designer and art director for several non-profit publications in San Francisco and fashioned a second career as a fine art painter and sculptor, specializing in portraits, nudes and figurative ceramics. The Life and Loves of Cleopatra was a significantly groundbreaking work, as nothing that came before it (outside of the Tijuana Bibles) depicted such explicit scenes of sex in comic book form. It is unlikely that Robert Crumb saw the book before setting out to draw Zap, given Cleopatra’s limited distribution and the fact that he was already drawing Zap #0 and Zap #1 in the summer and autumn of 1967. Those two issues of Zap have nothing in them that is remotely as sexually charged as Cleopatra. In fact, if Cleopatra came out today, it would almost certainly be busted for obscenity and child porn. There are four printings of this comic book. The 1st printing is 13.875 x 8.5 inches and 28 pages, self-published by Harry Driggs (as the “Communications Company”) in 1967. It was a comic book given away for free at Digger’s Free Store, one of a small chain of stores set up by the San Francisco Diggers, a non-profit group that provided free food, medical care, transportation and temporary housing to local San Franciscans. They once drove a truck of semi-naked belly dancers through the financial district in San Francisco, inviting brokers to climb on board and forget their work (several did). An image of the 1st printing of the comic book is provided below. I don’t have a copy of the first printing myself, so there is no other link associated with that image. Three printings of The Life and Loves of Cleopatra followed the first. The 2nd printing was published by Apex Novelties and is 6.625 x 4.75 inches and 36 pages. The interior pages are all newsprint. The 3rd printing was published by Dave Gibson and Harry Driggs, who utilized left over newsprint pages from the 2nd printing and combined them with newly printed pages on off-white paper stock to produce a new edition. None of the first three printings included a cover price. I’m not sure what the typical retail price of the 2nd and 3rd printings were. The 4th printing was produced by Rip Off Press in 1992. Rip Off was the publisher who printed most of Harry Driggs underground comics in the’70s. The 4th printing censored much of the most scandalous aspects of the book. Harry Driggs – 1-28. 1ST PRINT NOT INCLUDED. The Life and Loves of Cleopatra. According to Claude Hayward this was created by Maurice Lacey who was a blind, albino, negro hipster. It is thought that the drawings are by Harry Driggs aka R. This was the first time that such explicit sex scenes were seen in comic book form (other than Tijuana Bibles). Subsequent editions were published by Apex Novelties believed to have been printed on. Charles Plymell’s old Multilith 1250 and by Rip Off Press. The Communications Company (Com/Co) was founded by Chester Anderson and his partners Claude and Helene Hayward as the publishing arm of the Diggers. Their remarkable output of manifestos, leaflets, broadsides, street sheets and other published items during the spring and summer of 1967 (and part of 1968 as The Free City Collective) is a record of the anarchist Diggers stirrings of the sixties counterculture in Haight-Ashbury. Com/Co publications were printed on two Gestetner mimeograph machines that were picked up from the Ramparts offices by Anderson; many were created anonymously while others were credited to their authors, including; Emmett Grogan, Chester Anderson, Lew Welch, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure and Richard Brautigan. 24 Com/Co items along with a related San Francisco Mime Troupe benefit dinner menu, Oct 15, 1965 and a card Do Not Touch created by Richard Brautigan for a Peter Berg (co-founder of the Diggers) and Brautigan event in support of artist Bruce Conners’ 1967 run for City Supervisor. NOT EVEN “THE ERIC SACK” COLLECTION OR THE LATE HOWARD GREBER – “EGGSACKLEY” COLLECTION; BOTH RECENTLY FEATURED AT. HERITAGE AUCTIONS HAD AN EXAMPLE FROM THIS HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT UNDERGROUND COMIX WHICH PREDATES ZAP #1 & ZAP #0. YOU MAY NEVER SEE ANOTHER PAGE FROM THIS BOOK. AND THIS IS THE BEST SPLASH PAGE! Harry Driggs (November 3, 1935 July 14, 2007). Was an American artist, graphic designer, political activist and underground cartoonist who designed the leafy graphic logo for California’s Green Party. In June 1967 the San Francisco Diggers published a small edition of his pioneering 28-page underground comic The Life and Loves of Cleopatra, an obscene travesty inspired by the Elizabeth Taylor film Cleopatra, which they gave away free in the Diggers’ Free Store at the corner of Cole and Carl in Haight-Ashbury. This small first edition was issued anonymously without the knowledge or permission of Driggs, who left for New York City where he joined the staff of the radical newspaper The National Guardian. A third edition was self-published by Driggs in 1977 and Rip Off Press put out a reformatted fourth edition with new comix by Driggs in 1991. He was a longtime resident of San Francisco, where he worked in advertising as a graphic designer and art director. He served as art director for the underground newspaper Good Times where he recruited Trina Robbins to draw for the paper.  In the 1980s he joined the newly-formed Green Party, for which he designed posters, newsletters, and other materials, and did design work for local non-profits. He also contributed to Rip Off Comix and Last Gasp’s Anarchy Comics. Two volumes of his political cartoons were published by Rip Off Press in 1977 and 1979, under the title Great Diggs. Jump up ^ “In Memoriam: Harry Driggs, November 3, 1935 – July 14, 2007″ Retrieved December 29, 2017. Jump up ^ Donahue, Don. Introduction, The Life and Loves of Cleopatra (Rip Off Press, 1991). Jump up ^ Robbins, Trina. Last Girl Standing (Fantagraphics Books, 2017), p. PLEASE KEEP CHECKING MY LISTINGS. RARE TOP CENSUS HIGH GRADE. CGC GRADED UNDERGROUND COMIX. IN THE NEXT DAYS. AND RECENTLY GRADED CGC. RARE UNDERGROUND COMIC BOOKS. But NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA. Acknowledgement that if Item is UNDELIVERED. That the RESPONSIBILITY is SOLELY upon PURCHASER. ALWAYS INTERESTED IN PURCHASING RAW HIGH GRADE UNDERGROUND COLLECTIONS. Please feel free to contact me with what you have. The item “THE LIFE AND LOVES OF CLEOPATRA (1967) HARRY DRIGGS ORAL SEX SPLASH ORIGINAL ART” is in sale since Thursday, October 25, 2018. This item is in the category “Collectibles\Comics\Original Comic Art\Covers”. The seller is “showponysydnee” and is located in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. This item can be shipped worldwide.
- Country/Region of Manufacture: United States
- Grade: Excellent
- Publication Date: 1967