#03 Planet of the Pigs
1st Printing / March 1978 / 52 pages / Rip Off Press
EZ Wolf’s Kangaroo Court • FFF He Who Hesitates • Fat Freddy’s Cat • Griffith Observatory Objective Study • Normals • ‘Zine Scene • Ostentatious Humility • Worriers • Media Addicts • 40 Year Old Hippie • Wings of Charley &bull Dealer McDope Islands • Stupid Stories • Luncheon Counters of the Worst Kind • Star Weevils Barroom Scene • Wonder Warthog Return from the Planet of the Pigs • Gilbert Sheldon’s Advanced Motoring Tips • Proposed Rip Off Press Office Building
#03 Planet of the Pigs
about this issue
On the inside cover of Rip Off Comix #3, Ted Richards foretells the popularity of reality TV and live webcam shows with "E.Z. Wolf's Kangaroo Court," in which a major TV network executive is sentenced by a judge to live 24 hours with uncensored TV cameras following his every move. The executive pleads, "But what if I have to go to the bathroom?" The judge exclaims, "Great! You'll double your ratings!" If only Richards had known he was predicting the TV revolution of the future!
Gilbert Shelton gets the third issue officially started with the three-page Freak Brothers tale, "He Who Hesitates," in which Phineas is involved in a calamitous traffic accident with a police officer. The officer is so traumatized by the accident that Phineas takes him home to recuperate, but the cop never does recover, as weeks later he is still hiding out at the Freak Brothers' apartment, sitting on the floor with a dazed look on his face and a joint in his hand. This story sets the stage for one of the most popular Freak Brothers stories, "The 4th Freak Brother," which appears in the next issue.
After a couple pages of Fat Freddy's Cat strips (always well conceived), Bill Griffith provides several one-page "Griffith Observatory" comics. As noted in my review of the comic book of the same name, a few of the strips' topics are a little dated today, but it's more remarkable how many are still on target, more than three decades after they were produced. Ted Richards follows with several "Forty Year Old Hippie" one-pagers, which are quite solid as well. All of the one-pagers from Griffith and Richards were previously distributed through the Rip Off Press Syndicate.
Harry Driggs (aka R. Diggs) contributes "The Wings Of Charley," a seven-page story that's narrow in scope for him, but it still makes you think. It's followed by a nine-page classic from Dave Sheridan, "Dealer McDope in The Islands," which is a terrific tale about Dealer and his girlfriend Flo Wiffit visiting a friend's pot farm in Hawaii. They have a great time and take part in an awesome pot party until an alien space ship crashes the scene. Or is it an alien space ship? Leave it to Dealer to get to the bottom of this mystery!
After a few other one-pagers, Shelton returns with a Wonder Wart-Hog story, called "Return from the Planet of the Pigs." This adventure spans across the galaxy and over 68,000 years as it pits Wonder Wart-Hog against his modern-day counterpart (also named Wonder Wart-Hog). The two Wart-Hogs agree to compete in a motorcycle race to decide which Wonder Wart-Hog will remain on Earth and which will have to vamoose. Fortunately for the original Wart-Hog, a wise bartender makes up the unconventional rules for the race, which allows him to decide which Wart-Hog truly deserves to serve mankind.
Shelton, Griffith, Driggs and Richards are four of the best underground comics writers in the business, and with their efforts—along with a great story from Sheridan—Rip Off Comix #3 delivers the best issue yet in the series.
There are two printings of this comic book. The 1st printing (unknown copies) has a 75-cent cover price. The 2nd printing (unknown copies) has a $1.25 cover price. Given the popularity of the Freak Brothers, I'd guess the 1st printing had 10,000+ copies and the 2nd printing had 5,000 copies.
Gilbert Shelton 1 (shared), 3-7 (art, script), 39-52
Ted Richards 1 (shared), 2, 14-19
Manfred Mroczkowski 3-7 (story inspiration)
Bill Griffith 1 (shared), 8-13
Harry Driggs 1 (shared), 20-26
Dave Sheridan 1 (shared), 27-35
Fred Schrier 1 (shared), 36
Larry Rippee 1 (shared), 37
J. Michael Leonard 38