Ghosts Of Elections Past

During the 1984 Democratic Convention in San Francisco, Dan O’Neill gathered a group of cartoonists and other disreputable types to accompany Warren Hinckle’s ongoing coverage of the goings on behind the scenes. The following is a sample of Hinckle’s column and cartoons by Gary Hallgren, Dan O’Neill, Bill Plympton, and now-deceased ink slingers Phil Frank and Spain…

In convention headquarters above the Mitchell Brothers theater the early morning calm is broken by the sound of zippers.

Across the hall are the girls’ undressing rooms. Downstairs the strippers strut in splendor. O’Neill is bent over his drawing board, utterly unaware of his surroundings, scratching away like a dog with permanent fleas. He scratches his head under the hat he never removes; it is a hat that has its own showercap for the shower.

The club room above the Mitchell Brothers sex palace has been turned into a cartoonist’s cityroom. To these unlikely surroundings, O’Neill has called the greatest scribblers out of the hills to cover the Democratic convention.

The room is stocked with booze and food and other conveniences to elevate the mind. The old members of the Air Pirates, the comic book gonzo artists who made ribald a generation, arrive like the Magnificent Seven showing up for a last roll in the hay -the great Victor Moscoso, Ted (One Hundred Year Old Hippie) Richards, R. (Keep On Truckin’) Crumb, S. Clay Wilson…

I asked O’Neill why he brought such a collection of talent to work atop a porno palace. “It’s the only place in town with enough silly putty,” O’Neill said.

Chron Wild Dogs II749

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