Yes, true believers all knew that this day would one day come, and now it has finally arrived: The Holy Grail of underground/alternative comics has been carefully collected in a single hardcover volume of high resolution scans. Here we have replicas of the original Hairy Who art/comic books, each of which served double-duty as an exhibition catalogue for the four group shows of the work of the Chicago Imagists that were presented under the umbrella of The Hairy Who. Here, with this volume, us mere mortals can at long last gaze upon these long lost (into the tightly locked collections of the few, fortunate cognoscenti that managed to get their mitts on these extremely limited editions published close to fifty years ago). This volume has been edited by erstwhile PictureBox publisher, Dan Nadel, who has long championed this work. Nadel also provides and informative essay that will bring readers up to speed.
Take a moment to click through the thumbnails on this preview page provided by the publisher.
And here are the publisher's remarks, taken from that page:
Over the course of five collaborative exhibitions from 1966 to 1969, the six artists who made up the Hairy Who — Jim Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum — represented a break from the then-dominant forms of image-making. Each artist’s approach was unique, but uniting their work was a shared sensibility: a hallucinatory vision of the human body rendered with cartoonish intensity. Over the subsequent decades, their work would leave a deep impression on the art of Chicago and beyond.
Much of the Hairy Who’s legacy rests on four self-published books made to accompany their exhibitions. These comic books, as the artists called them, are among the first artist’s books executed in full color, and they are exemplary models of artistic collaboration. The pages teem with unforgettable characters (including Juan Dollar, Poodle Woman, and Lotte Da) rendered in energetic lines and intense colors. The artists’ formal inventiveness and penchant for wordplay are on full display in these illustrations. Even the group's name is a pun. At one of the first meetings, the younger members were discussing Harry Bouras, a Chicago artist and critic, and they delightedly riffed on Karl Wirsum’s repeated question “Harry who?”
The Collected Hairy Who Publications 1966–1969 gathers these seminal books for the first time in a single hardcover volume, reproducing them at actual size and in full color. Accompanying them are a scholarly essay by Dan Nadel and an extensive archive of Hairy Who posters, exhibition photographs, and ephemera.
106 color images, 9 black and white images
12 x 8 1/4 inches; 30.5 x 21 cm