#06 Philbert Desanex 100k Dream
Only Printing / March 1980 / 52 pages / Rip Off Press
Fat Freddy’s Cat • FFF Death of Fat Freddy • Philbert Desanex 100,000th Dream • Gilbert Sheldon’s Advanced Motoring Tips • Gilbert Sheldon’s Studio
#06 Philbert Desanex 10k Dream
about this issue
Rip Off Comix #6 leads off with a popular Freak Brothers story, "The Death of Fat Freddy." When Phineas tries to wake up Freddy to smoke the freshly arrived pot from the "weed-of-the-month" club, he finds that Freddy is dead, apparently from some sort of overdose. Phineas and Franklin don't want to report Freddy's death to the government because then the cops would look into everything and it would be a big hassle.
Instead, the two remaining Freaks organize a secret wake, during which they plan to sell all of Freddy's stuff to pay for his funeral. But it turns out that Freddy owed money to everyone who shows up, so they take all his stuff (and then some!) in payment for the debts. Phineas and Franklin end up burying Freddy on the cheap in some family burial ground and just a week later they've practically forgotten him. But when they get bored and decide to have a picnic, they head out to the burial site (picking up hitchhikers along the way) and soon discover that Freddy ain't as dead as they thought he was!
"The Death of Fat Freddy" is pretty funny and I wish the depictions at Freddy's wake had lasted longer, as Gilbert Shelton and Paul Mavrides deliver some caricatures of underground comic legends in attendance. The story also appeared at about the same time in Freak Brothers #6.
Following the Freak Brothers tale is Shelton's 42-page "Philbert Desanex' 100,000th Dream," which obviously takes up the rest of the book. As expected from the title, this epic story chronicles an extensive dream of Philbert Desanex. One might expect Wonder Wart-Hog to be involved in the dream at some point, but Philbert's superhero persona never appears. Instead, Desanex "the normal guy" dreams about venturing through surrealistic deserts, traveling back in time to his childhood home, getting captured by slave traders and eventually becoming the leader of Russia, which has disastrous consequences.
The story is well paced and plotted, but a few passages seem to be rather "undreamlike" and progress in too linear a fashion to be a dream. But who the hell can define what a dream should be like? You ever have those dreams where you wake up and think, "my God, it all seemed so real!"? Well, that's the kind of dream Philbert has here. Shelton later produced two other Desanex dream adventures and published all three dreams along with another Desanex story in the 1993 comic, Philbert Desanex' Dreams.
Rip Off Comix #6 doesn't fit the pattern of content of the previous five issues, which were loaded with content from several different creators. This one is nearly all Shelton, which is never a bad thing. But "Philbert Desanex' 100,000th Dream" is no "Mexican Odyssey" or "Grass Roots." As long as you don't expect a masterpiece, you'll find this issue to be a very enjoyable read.
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted.
Gilbert Shelton 1 (collaboration), 2, 3-8 (collaboration), 9-52
Paul Mavrides 1 (collaboration), 3-8 (collaboration)