There is a Lesson Here Somewhere

As I inch closer to self-publishing, I’ve thought it best to do a little research into successful ventures of that type. I need a model. A mentor would be great, but I’ll settle for research.

Zap Comix by Robert Crumb (and a bunch of other dudes who pretty much all became names themselves) is an interesting study. This book caught the whole Haight Ashbury crowd and almost immediately had an intense and loyal following. Then, because it was conceived by a legitimate artist and those types are prone to acting out, it willfully alienated its readership and promptly bit the dust.

The idea of the book still resonates. A product for the few when the few happened to be numerous enough to support a product without help from the mainstream. What’s the practical application of this lesson? Should I appeal to current subcultures, the way Zap did to hippies? If so, which group? Juggalos seem the likeliest candidates.

As I try to find an application for what I’ve learned, you do yourself the favor of checking out this auction. How much would you guess a Zap issue one, in this condition, would go for? I found myself surprised.

PS. I was reading a copy of Zap on the plane yesterday and found it made the people next to me uncomfortable. The features with racial commentary are off-putting for many people even a half-century later.

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