Thursday, December 8, 2011
Comics and Crosleys
Such was the case today when Georgia Crosley nut Pete Berard posted a page of a comic strip about a Crosley convertible that looked just like mine, asking if anyone knew the source. I didn't know where it came from, but I recognized the artist instantly: underground comix legend Justin Green.
Justin Green started doing comics around 1970 and is credited with creating the first autobiographical comic book: Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary. He used to live not far from me in Winters, California, which was then also the home of underground cartoon legends Robert Crumb (Mr. Natural) and Robert Armstrong* (Mickey Rat). Green had a regular strip in Pulse! Magazine and also did a comic for the signpainter industry magazine - signpainting was his dayjob.
Cincinnati Magazine. A little more sleuthing and I managed to get a copy of the two page strip (click on the images for bigger versions):
comic strip I did for my college paper around 2001:
Perhaps more amazing is that this isn't the first time the two worlds have collided. An ultra rare Crosley-powered Bandini racecar popped up for sale about a decade ago. The ad said it needed a total restoration (there was a tree growing through it) and didn't have a price, so I called, thinking that maybe I could swing it. I was a little surprised at the price ($75K). I was a lot surprised by the provenance: it had been Alex Raymond's car.
Hemmings blog. I wish I still had the 'pre-restoration' pics... that was some project.
When I learned of the Bandini's Raymond connection, I couldn't believe it. I'd known that Raymond had been killed in an auto accident, but not much more than that. Discovering that one of my heroes (I'd actually done a tribute comic strip called Alex Raymond in Junior High) had actually owned a Crosley-powered sports car was an incredibly exciting revelation - I'd found a connection to one of the best cartoonists who ever lived. Not much, maybe, but I'll take it!
*To get really incestuous: Robert Armstrong provided the cover art for the Sol Hoopii LP which features 'I Like You' - the soundtrack to the Crosleykook movie.