Thursday, August 16

Fat Freddy's Cat

Pre-Spider Man and the Hulk, which I collected with madness, I recall the Fabulous Freak Brothers found in the back-bin of Berkely's North Side book store which sadly closed in the early '80s. (Sonnet and I watched American Splendour last night about R Crumb's contemporary Harvey Pekar). Freddy was a creation from the late 1960s during a time of free love, Vietnam War protests, Berkeley marches and underground comix. The spelling of 'comix' instead of 'comics' helped differentiate them from the mainstream comic books available. The 'x' also warned the reader that contents was sometimes adult-oriented. From the off-campus book store I found "The Adventures of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers." Created by Gilbert Shelton, it featured three brothers: Phinneas, Freewheelin' Franklin and Fat Freddie, the '60s equivalent of the Three Stooges. The brothers were usually found in some form of wacky hijinx, chasing girls or running from the 'fuzz.' Fat Freddy Freekowtski had a tom cat, known as 'Fat Freddy's Cat,' who became a regularly featured character in the series. Fat Freddy often forgot to feed the cat, who would then eat his weed, shit in his boots or cat-claw the water bed. I'm pretty sure Grace was unaware that I was sneaking reads and hoping for tits (and utterly clueless about marijuana but curious too). Those were good times to be in Berkeley, a promise eventually fulfilled in the public school system-- but that's for another day.