welcome to EP.TC - Political ephemera, drug hysteria, vintage sex and health items. Delivered to you in a timely, inappropriate manner since 2001

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First time visiting this site?
Welcome - There's lots here. Here's a few recommendations:

MAIN ITEM: John Wilcock, New York Years — Currently serialized on Boing Boing. Read all issues here.

Comics with Problems
A comic to cure EVERY problem - From 1940s messages on Communism to other present-day hysteria. Featured on Mother Jones, Talking Points Memo, The Rachel Maddow Show, Metafilter, Jezebel, Wonkette, CSPAN and Air America.


The Realist Archive
As heard on WTF with Marc Maron, and recognized by the Webby Awards. Archive of Paul Krassner's groundbreaking 1960s counterculture satire magazine. Every issue scanned, restored, and viewable for free. Lenny Bruce, Robert Anton Wilson, others.
Winner of "weirdest website" at 2002 SXSW Interactive Festival web awards and included in Scott McCloud's top-ten list. Considered one of the key titles in the early history of online comics. Have you read Teddy?

Finding other material here: For a list of personal projects, including the George Bush Tijuana Bible, the Poodle Samizdat cartoon, other things - click here.

To peruse available rare comics and other material on this site, Click for a list of menus.


TRUMP TRACTS! - Donald Trump Religious Tracts

with many more through the summer.

Downloadable | Printable | Irredeemable

Click to view all available tracts.

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Cool documentary film (and even cooler kickster campaign) on the savagely stupid obscenity trial against Mike Diana, from the 1980s - where Diana was forced by a judge to not only stop publishing comics, but also NOT DRAW (even personally). The film is directed by horror legend Frank Henenlotter and features interviews with Jay Lynch, Neil Gaiman, others.

I was happy to have Frank stop by my studio a few years ago for an interview in the film. Here's a small clip from the Kickstarter, where I comment on dirty accountants (last interview on the piece)

The bulk of footage for the film is already compiled, with the crew just needing some financial assistance to handle legal concerns and other obstacles to completion. Check out the kickstarter here.


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April 2017: Sound Design on the Honeywell Lyric Thermostat

I've been meaning to write about this on the site for a little while. As a sound designer I have interesting jobs making buzzers and beeps for devices. One of these jobs a few years back was creating all the function noises for the Honeywell Lyric smart thermostat. Very proud of how this ended up, particularly the depth of sound that was able to be designed into a small memory allocation.

If you encounter a Lyric thermostat, give the dial a spin. A different tone was created for each temperature, going slightly up in pitch for each incremental (or hotter) degree, and slighter deeper in pitch for each lower (or colder) degree. The effect is nicely psychological. A set of sounds was designed to make this click sound rubbery so users would feel a perceived soft bouncing click on each dial adjustment. This was an amazing challenge to complete, as the number of degrees on the dial were not set up to be musical, nor was it desired to sound like an instrument (going up and down in notes) - So one of the challenges of the process was to create a scale that was microtonal and oddly measured in a way that sounded mechanical, subtle, and almost not perceivable. (Like the better special effects, you feel it but don't notice it immediately)

Other work included six or seven function beeps for weather, on/off, and other selections in the menu. There's also a unique chime a user will only hear once when they first power on and install the unit. The resulting product ended up terrifically well. You can see a demonstration of many of these sounds, clicks, and dial gestures, in a user review of the thermostat on youtube here:

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"Persoff's site is deep, well-scanned and researched, and completely unique." — SPD Blogs

"Evil Genius" — Dangerous Minds - Ha, thanks.

Photo of Ethan Persoff Ethan Persoff
P.O.Box 7254, Austin TX 78713 USA


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Books Now Available: Radio Wire and John Wilcock, Book One

January 2016 -


John Wilcock, New York Years
90 page full color collection of the first five years of comic strips. A limited run of these will be made available. Get a copy here.

Collecting the first three issues of Radio Wire into a nice compact set. Looks great. Similar to the Wilcock collection, these will be limited in run. Pick up a copy at this link.

(and issue two! -- and three!)

Our friends at the American Bystander, which includes writers from National Lampoon, Spy, and The Simpsons, have launched a new quarterly. Issue one contains a cover by Scott Marshall and me, and has eight pages of John Wilcock comics. Pick up a copy here. They've launched a Kickstarter for issue two, as well - More information here.

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Chapter Eight of JOHN WILCOCK Now Being Serialized on Boing Boing

January 2016 - UPDATE - a PRINT VOLUME of John Wilcock Book One is now available for purchase. Visit this link to pick up a copy.

August 27, 2015:

Very happy to present the next Chapter of John Wilcock, New York Years. Each chapter covers a year in John's life, as he helped establish the Underground Press community during the 1960s. Chapter Eight is a big one for this biography project, as the Warhol Factory is finally introduced. Here's the currently available comics:

Andy Warhol's Early Life in Nine Easy Panels

Andy Warhol, Virginia Woolf, and a Five Boy "Blow Job"

Early History of Andy Warhol's First Factory

The Gulf of Tonkin and Paul Krassner LBJ Hoax

The FUGS First Rehearsal and Lou Reed's Earliest Recording for 'Heroin'

The Filming of Andy Warhol's EMPIRE


Additionally, the Spanish magazine Yorokubu did an interview with me profiling Comics with Problems. It's a nice read with good images from many of the better issues. Here's a link.

(Thanks, Yorokubu and Eduardo Bravo)

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New Issues of Comics with Problems:

August 8, 2015:

Two new issues of Comics with Problems that haven't been highlighted here on the front page:

Issue #68 - The Body Odor Comics of Life Buoy Soap
Been working on this large collection of pungent stinkers for a few years, this is a large collection of advertising comics from Life Buoy Soap, who helped invent the phrase "BO" (for Body Odor) through a series of single-page comics. Click for a large gallery of many of the best of this. Plug your nose!

Issue #69 - Comrade Marxie and His Plans for America
HUGE FIND HERE. This website has featured a number of one-of-a-kind items in its history, and here's another one of them. From "One Million Americans", which very likely might have been a single person with a post office box, here's a gem of a self-produced comic from 1967 - The target of this one? - The Liberal Left! Click to enjoy Comrade Marxie

Two recent mentions:

Dangerous Minds had Comics with Problems in their Facebook photo cue. (the comments are quite good.)

The Onion's AV Club recently discussed the George Bush Tijuana Bible.

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(In stores April 2016 from Fantagraphics)

Happy to announce this deluxe collection of comics from The Realist

For the last six months or so I've been rescanning hundreds of pages from The Realist Archive for a collection of the best comics from the magazine. Fantagraphics will be publishing a deluxe multi-color volume, covering the full run of strips(1958-2001). Here's the blurb from Amazon:

The Realist Cartoons (Hardcover)
April 3, 2016

by Art Spiegelman (Author), R. Crumb (Author), Trina Robbins (Author), Jay Lynch (Author), Nicole Hollander (Author), Paul Krassner (Editor), Ethan Persoff (Editor), Gary Groth (Editor)

A collection of the comics Time magazine called the Charlie Hebdo of the 1960s.

The Realist was a legendary satirical periodical that ran from 1958 to 2001 and published some of the most incendiary cartoons that ever appeared in an American magazine. The Realist Cartoons collects, for the first time, the best, the wittiest, and the most provocative drawings that appeared in its pages, including work by R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, S. Clay Wilson, Jay Lynch, Trina Robbins, Mort Gerberg, Jay Kinney, Richard Guindon, Nicole Hollander, Skip Williamson, and many others. Two color illustrations throughout.

It really feels terrific to have work on the Realist Archive now result in a book collecting these comics. (Especially the Richard Guindon material.) More about this project as it gets closer to a publishing date. I've seen a few sample pages and it's really an exciting presentation. Pre-order one, why don't ya.

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Two Recent Press Reviews:

Saw this review recently for The Pogostick in The Sunday Guardian, and thought it'd be fun to post here - Ethan

The Pogostick is a Cult Classic Despite an Unresolved Cliff-Hanger

The Sunday Guardian | BOOK BEAT
July 5, 2015 (Page 26

Fantagraphics Books
Writer: Al Columbia
Artist: Ethan Persoff

Freudian metaphors and sequences are powerful tools in the hands of contemporary writers. In novels like Portnoy's Complaint we have seen how they can bring out the neurosis of a character in an unusually accurate way; the literal phrase "dream logic" is quite literal in these cases. The graphic novel medium gives artists the license to go a step further and directly include situations that Freud discussed in Interpretation of Dreams. In Al Columbia and Ethan Persoff's The Pogostick, we see the protagonist, a melancholy little man called Audrey Grinfield (the irony of the name becomes obvious fairly early on, when we see that Audrey isn't likely to break into a grin anytime soon) who does what can only be described as grunt work at a design firm that specializes in "nuts, screws, washers, bolts and rivets."

We are told that about a year ago, Grinfield had to choose a night shift at his firm due to a brain freeze moment where he walked through the office with his penis exposed, not realizing that he forgot to zip up his pants in the toilet. This, then, forms the crux of The Pogostick: It is the nucleus of Grinfield's mousy, clean-freak, deeply insecure behavior tics. The sequence, aided by Persoff's cartoonish grotesque art, becomes a Freudian therapy session by proxy. Grinfield undergoes what Freud calls "The Embarrassment-Dream of Nakedness", only in real life.

Freud writes, in the Interpretation of Dreams: "The dreamer's embarrassment and the spectator's indifference constitute a contradiction such as often occur in dreams. It would be more in keeping with the dreamer's feelings if the strangers were to look at him in astonishment, or were to laugh at him, or be outraged. I think, however, that this obnoxious feature has been displaced by wish-fulfillment, while the embarrassment is for some reason retained, so that the two components are not in agreement."

Hence, when Columbia tells us "He walked through all of Moggs before he noticed his mistake", he is suggesting that because of Grinfield's already fragile mental health, he experienced the early part of his episode in a dream-like state, where his "wish-fulfillment" part of his brain switched off a reality that hit home later, with devastating consequences: people were looking and some of them were disgusted enough to lodge a complaint.

Columbia is better known for his artwork (The Biologic Show, Pim and Francie) but here, his writing is in near peak form, perhaps from the reduced workload. The Pogostick was cancelled (abandoned/halted) after two issues, leaving the series on a bit of a cliff-hanger. The slight blemish aside, it is a compelling read, one that might even cause you to re-evaluate your priorities in life.

The Sunday Guardian | July 5, 2015, Page 26

Thanks for the gratifying review.

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Another item worth sharing - Never heard the term "Applied Comics" for educational comics - but I like it.

Review: "Comics with Problems"
Source: Applied Comics Network

I’ve recently been directed to Ethan Persoff’s fantastic archive of weird and off-the-wall informational comics, or Comics With Problems, as he puts it.

These are applied comics definitely from the weirder end of the spectrum: from government-sponsored oddities (Military Courtesy – a comic book all about how to salute properly), and classics (Will Eisner’s Treat Your Rifle Like a Lady), to well-known characters in public service publications (Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids in anti-drug Buzzy’s Rebound) or slightly obscure educational comics (Learn Cherokee with Blondie and Dagwood); to curiosities like a 1987 AIDS awareness comic sponsored by Madonna (Who’s That Girl?) and unusual mascots such as Pip, the Magic Safety Elephant (The Perils of PIP – Preventing Poisoning); all the way to the outer fringes of weirdness (Capn Veedee-O and Ms.Wanda Lust in VD Claptrap, or Daffy Qaddafi: A Dictator’s Nightmare in Wonderland, or Don’t Bruise that Pig), hysteria (America Under Socialism, and The Two Faces of Communism), and offensiveness (the pro-segregation comic George Wallace for the Big Job, or the bile-filled Homosexuality: Legitimate Alternative DEATHSTYLE).

Stranger danger, anti-fluoridation, temper tantrums, body odour, Mickey Mouse selling speed, family stress, Foreskin Man, heroin abuse, landmine awareness, the Phantom running for city council, group poop, dancing condoms – and Sam the Disaster Horse talking about terrorism awareness. Hats off to Ethan Persoff: this is a crazy archive of crazy comics. Explore at your leisure – and enjoy. If nothing else, perhaps learn some lessons about how not to make applied comics.

— Applied Comics Network | July 10, 2015 (online)

Thanks for the nice comments about the site.

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Welcome to this site. Featured work:

Teddy and RADIO WIRE
Love stories (see also)

Music, Now available in the U.S.

JOHN WILCOCK: New York Years
By Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall

1957 atomic revolution comic book
Lucky find


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(Note: Poodle and Masks done with Scott Marshall)

CURRENT INVENTORY of old and obscure comic books, recordings, other things of interest:

We post new things here pretty often. Subscribe to our RSS feed to know when new items are available.
We Have Many More Things Here
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