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Fringe

Out there and off the grid

In the land that time forgot, 1960s and 1970s America (Amerika to some), there once were some bold, forthright, thoroughly unashamed social commentators who said things that "couldn't be said" and showed things that "couldn't be shown." They were outrageous -- hunted, pursued, hounded, arrested, busted, and looked down on by just about everyone in the mass media who deigned to notice them at all.

They were cartoonists -- underground cartoonists. And they were some of the cleverest, most interesting social commentators of their time, as well as some of the very best artists, whose work has influenced the visual arts right up until today.

A History of Underground Comics is their story -- told in their own art, in their own words, with connecting commentary and analysis by one of the very few media people who took them seriously from the start and detailed their worries, concerns and attitudes in broadcast media and, in this book, in print.

Author, Mark James Estren knew the artists, lived with and among them, analyzed their work, talked extensively with them, received numerous letters and original drawings from them -- and it's all in A History of Underground Comics. What Robert Crumb really thinks of himself and his neuroses...how Gilbert Shelton feels about Wonder Wart-Hog and the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers...how Bill Griffith handled the early development of Zippy the Pinhead...where Art Spiegelman's ideas for his Pulitzer-prize-winning Maus had their origins...and much, much more.

Who influenced these hold-nothing-sacred cartoonists? Those earlier artists are here, too. Harvey Kurtzman -- famed Mad editor and an extensive contributor to A History of Underground Comics. Will Eisner of The Spirit -- in his own words and drawngs. From the bizarre productions of long-ago, nearly forgotten comic-strip artists, such as Gustave Verbeek (who created 12-panel strips in six panels: you read them one way, then turned them upside down and read them that way), to modern but conventional masters of cartooning, they're all here -- all talking to the author and the reader -- and all drawing, drawing, drawing.

The underground cartoonists drew everything, from over-the-top sex (a whole chapter here) to political commentary far beyond anything in Doonesbury (that is here, too) to analyses of women's issues and a host of societal concerns. From the gorgeously detailed to the primitive and childlike, these artists redefined comics and cartooning, not only for their generation but also for later cartoonists. In A History of Underground Comics, you read and see it all just as it happened, through the words and drawings of the people who made it happen.

And what "it" did they make happen? They raised consciousness, sure, but they also reflected a raised consciousness -- and got slapped down more than once as a result. The notorious obscenity trial of Zap #4 is told here in words, testimony and illustrations, including the exact drawings judged obscene by the court. Community standards may have been offended then -- quite intentionally. Readers can judge whether they would be offended now.

And with all their serious concerns, their pointed social comment, the undergrounds were fun, in a way that hidebound conventional comics had not been for decades. Demons and bikers, funny "aminals" and Walt Disney parodies, characters whose anatomy could never be and ones who are utterly recognizable, all come together in strange, peculiar, bizarre, and sometimes unexpectedly affecting and even beautiful art that has never since been duplicated -- despite its tremendous influence on later cartoonists. It's all here in A History of Underground Comics, told by an expert observer who weaves together the art and words of the cartoonists themselves into a portrait of a time that seems to belong to the past but that is really as up-to-date as today's headlines.

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A History of Underground Comics: 20th Anniversary Edition
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Discusses consciousness, the nature of God, sexuality, human knowledge, robots, and the future.
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Right Where You Are Sitting Now: Protecting Animal Companions After You Die
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Is history a vast conspiracy? A cosmic joke? Discover the truth - maybe - in the long-awaited new edition of Robert Anton Wilson's classic cult bestseller The Illuminati Papers. Created as a vehicle to amuse and enlighten, the story of the Illuminati has attracted devoted readers world-wide, who have found in it a perfect metaphor for our times. This edition has a new introduction, cover and layout.
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Illuminati Papers
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GHOSTHUNTING is a common sense approach to the investigation and resolution of cases of reported ghostly happenings, including apparitions, hauntings and poltergeists. Written so that the reader quickly grasps what parapsychologists think ghosts are and how to best deal with the phenomena and the experiences of the people having them. Covers the investigative process from the initial call and assessment to the on-site investigative techniques and technology. Deals with how to come up with solutions and resolutions--ways to get "rid" of the phenomena. Includes a discussion of the use of technology and the use of psychics in paranormal investigations and if anyone can prove the existence of ghosts. Finally, the book covers information resources and organizations that the new ghost-hunter and the person who encounters a ghost can find to learn more about the subject and for help with cases they're investigating or phenomena they're experiencing.
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Ghost Hunting: How to Investigate the Paranormal
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Explains the theories behind ghostly phenomena from the perspective of parapsychology. Covers whether or not anyone can prove the existence of ghosts. What these hauntings and poltergeists are are and what they tell us about human experience.How knowledge of parapsychological lab research enhances understanding of apparitions, hauntings and poltergeists, both from the perspective of an investigator and the people who encounters them. How investigators can recognize and enhance their psychic abilities. Written by a world-renowned ghostbuster, Loyd Auerbach

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Hauntings and Poltergeists: A Ghost Hunter's Guide
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In some spaces we feel immediately comfortable, while in others we feel ill at ease. From feng shui we've learned that energy in houses, as well as offices and stores, influences us. Negative energy from violence and trauma can linger, which is what we feel in a "sick" house. Healing Houses shows how a professional cleanses these energies to transform such sick houses into healthy homes.

Healing Houses tells how negative energies, overpowering feelings, and physical effects remain in a house from violent and tragic deaths. More importantly, it shows how the negative energy can be resolved and dispelled, so that the house feels like new. The house itself changes as vibrational patterns that have been left by years of negative emotion are cleansed. Healing Houses includes a fascinating case history where recurring attacks by bird and rats stopped after house cleansing. It also provides a sophisticated metaphysical perspective and traces its development through case studies of dozens of the houses that Sheldon Norberg has "healed" or cleansed.

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Healing Houses: Transforming Sick Houses Into Healthy Homes
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California, long a Mecca for eccentric cults, has also hosted more than its share of unusual and unorthodox Christian evangelists and sects. From pre-Gold Rush days to the 21st Century, visionaries seeking to revive or transform the Faith have flocked to California's shores, or have emerged from its environs as native sons and daughters. Their often-idiosyncratic crusades have influenced not only Golden State history and culture, but Christianity as a whole.

California Jesus tells the little-known yet fascinating stories behind the people and groups that populate Californian Christendom, including:

- The Children of God -- Born on the Huntington Beach boardwalk, this "Jesus People" hippie-ministry turned to prostituting its members and molesting its children in the name of Christ

- Bebe and C. Thomas Patten -- married evangelists, these Oakland-based Pentecostal preachers scammed penniless Okie immigrants and major banks alike for millions

- Joe Jeffers -- a renegade Baptist minister who started a murderous religious war between his followers and a rival's, made headlines in lurid L.A. sex scandals, and claimed that "Yahweh" had stashed several billion dollars for him in the constellation Orion

- The Metropolitan Community Church -- Gay L.A. evangelist Troy Perry challenges homophobia with a hugely controversial, and much-attacked sect that ministers Christ's love to sexual "outsiders"

- Church of the Holy Family -- film-star Mel Gibson's schismatic, secretive Malibu parish, which claims to be literally more Catholic than the Pope

- Holy Mountain -- a huge, bizarre, ever-growing folk-art monument in the Imperial Valley desert built by an aging drifter to glorify God's love, that's now become an international tourist destination
- And many, many more

Filled with captivating anecdotes about the state's most colorful and controversial Christian pastors and sects, and accompanied by many rare photos and illustrations, California Jesus illuminates this absorbing yet little-discussed aspect of both state history and culture, and the Christian experience. Believers and doubters alike, as well as anyone interested in the Golden State's unique spiritual heritage, will find this work hard to put down.

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California Jesus: A (Slightly) Irreverent Guide to the Golden State's Christian Sects, Evangelists and Latter-Day Prophets
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Part fictional narrative, part send-up of the New Age movement, and part comedic triumph, Tales of Tongue Fu splits the reader's sides with hilarious misadventures and wicked social commentary. The book's hero, Tongue Fu, evolves from the humble son of a radioactive mother and a kamikaze pilot father to a guru -- with an incredibly long tongue, which he uses for both romance and martial arts. Tongue Fu meets a cadre of riotous characters along his way, from Baba Blabla, who has been silent for 30 years, to Rosebud Zwaliyeh, an activist who joins a cult. At every turn, comedy legend Krassner skewers phony spiritualism with his formidable wit, and endlessly entertains with his razor-sharp satire and notorious sense of humor, as Trina Robbins delights with her singular artistic vision.
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Tales of Tongue Fu
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With an air of discernment, Bennett introduces the reader to startling incidents and supportive evidence of UFOs, including Roswell, Farmer Billy Meier's photographs, and the U.S. government's disinformation campaign. She shares an absorbing true personal encounter with 'The Woman with Alien Eyes' and tells of UFO connections with crop circles, animal mutilations, and more. This highly illustrated, informative book is fun to read.
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UFOs
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