Cover of the Freak Brothers Comic: the brothers run from the cops while smoking marijuana from a hookah

About the Book

Title: The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers
Published: 1971

Cover Story:There’s Some Kind of Theme Here
Drinking Buddy:
I’ll Have a ‘Cold’ ‘Frosty’ ‘Beer’ With You Guys
Testosterone Level:
It Lowers Testosterone Levels
Talky Talk:
It Was Totally, Like…What Was I Talking About?
Arty Art:
(Stoned Laughter)
Bonus Factors:
Cat, Underground Comix
Bromance Status:
Those Guys I Lived With In College and Still Do

A Special Message From Former First Lady Nancy Reagan

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan

“Just say ‘no’ to drugs!”

Cover Story: There’s Some Kind of Theme Here

Can’t put my finger on it.

Cover of Freak Brothers comic 'Grass Roots', featuring the boys in a giant field of marijuana
Cover of the Freak Brothers comic 'A Year Passes Like Nothing.' The boys pass a joint around with some beautiful hippie chicks, a la Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe.

It’ll come to me…

I got nothing.

The Deal: The year is…some time in the sixties/seventies/eighties. Maybe the nineties. The fifties once. Three roommates share an apartment in the Basura Vista neighborhood of San Francisco. There’s Freewheelin’ Franklin, the older, hardened, ex-biker cowboy. There’s Phineas, the radical activist and scientist. And Fat Freddy, who likes to eat and occasionally bust heads. There’s also Fat Freddy’s nameless cat, and the cockroach military dictatorship that has evolved under the fridge.

They boys sit around, do a lot of drugs, do a lot of drugs, and stay one step ahead of Notorious Norbert the Narc. When the landlord eventually evicts them, they go on adventures, such as running a shuttle service to New York, selling plutonium, fighting right-wing radicals in Mexico, and attempting to buy cheap dope in Colombia. Sometimes they do drugs.

Drinking Buddy: I’ll Have a ‘Cold’ ‘Frosty’ ‘Beer’ With You Guys

Two pints of beer cheersing

Pass me that ‘can’ of ‘Bud’, would you? Get it? Bud? (laughs uproariously).

Actually, the boys do like to relax with a keg of beer or two.

Now I’ve ‘drank’ a lot of ‘beer’ with a lot of different people, in both the US and Mexico. However, no one could ever measure up to these three. Like the time they though Freddy OD’ed and they accidentally buried him alive. Or when Phineas won the deed to a head shop in a contest and blew all the profits on making a Star Wars knock-off. Or when Franklin robbed the grocery store by pretending it was all an episode of Candid Camera.

It certainly beat the heck out of my evenings of ‘Let’s watch Lifetime Television for Women because it’s the only thing on in English.’

Testosterone Level: It Lowers Testosterone Levels

Smoking marijuana actually does depress testosterone levels. At least that what I told her that one time.

Seriously, though, the guys have nonstop adventures, such as Fat Freddy becoming an anti-drug spokesman, Phineas taking on the John Birch Society, and Franklin getting sold into slavery in North Africa. Plus they sit around and get high a lot.

Also, they are a big fan of the ladies, so I do have to warn you: there’s cartoon wieners.

Naked Franklin with his nether regions covered by Nancy's photo

Talky Talk: It Was Totally, Like…What Was I Talking About?

Now obviously, this is not the sort of comic that will resound with everyone. It helps if you’ve ‘drank’ a lot of ‘beer’ in your time. In fact, the comics are a lot funnier if you’ve been ‘drinking’ ‘beer’ while you read them.

Still, these comics aren’t just about drugs. They are the epitome of the screw the system, turn on, tune in, drop out attitude that recent generations have missed. I like to think that had I been born in the fifties, I could have been the fourth brother.

Arty Art: (stoned laughter)

Okay, we’re not talking phenomenal art here. Hey, they’re underground comics, what do you expect?

These comics were created by Gilbert Shelton:

A cartoon self portrait of Gilbert Shelton, ranting in fury

After the Freaks sold his house to buy drugs.

Later issues were drawn by Dave Sheridan and Paul Mavrides. Mavrides, by the way, is a member of my church.

Bonus Factor: Cat

Fat Freddy and his cat, drinking a beer and smoking a joint

Fat Freddy has a cat with no name. Many of the strips are dedicated solely to this feline, his secret work for the federal government, his battles with aliens, and the way he craps outside the box. Freddy is too stoned to realize that the cat he abandons after each eviction and the cat he adopts at each new apartment is the same one.

Bonus Factor: Underground Comix

Mr. Natural

In an age where comic books are now graphic novels and are becoming library staples, it’s nice to go back to the age where these books were dirty, anti-establishment, filthy little pieces of counter culture.

Bromance Status: Those Guys I Lived With In College and Still Do

Hey, remember that time when we all drove down to Gruntville, and…you know (laughs). Pass the chips. Hey, did you know if you play Dark Side of the Moon over The Wizard of Oz, there’s some seriously freaky stuff going on?

Dudes, you guys are the best. Totally. Damn, I’ve got the munchies…

FTC Full Disclosure: Buzz off, narc.

Brian wrote his first YA novel when he was down and out in Mexico. He now lives in Missouri with his wonderful wife and daughter. He divides his time between writing and working as a school librarian. Brian still misses the preachy YA books of the eighties.