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Dennis Harper & Jay Gaulding -

Story by Jay Gaulding
Illustation by Dennis Harper

The Continuing Story of God was an every-issue comic strip published by Dallas NOTES from the Underground and HOOKA newspapers in the early 1970s. This was going to be the last strip. There were more later, but both Dennis Harper, who drew it, and Jay Gaulding, who wrote the story, said this was going to be the last strip.

This is the heavy-paper original art. You should know that the orthochromatic press cameras used at that time to reproduce line art (no intermediate tonalities) for offset presses were equally sensitive to red and black. And not at all sensitive to "nonreproducible blue" (actually a light cyan).

So the red areas in this original art reproduced as black. The streaks and spots of liquid paper were used to block out red or black lines. The strip appeared as high contrast black and white, with only crosshatching to show tonality.

As with many God strips, if you don't fully grasp all the nuances in the story, read it again. Some are subtle, some overt. I remember one in which God, who according to its creators was "a Black dude from Pleasant Grove," was miraculously growing pot on a hillside while carrying on a conversation. A couple people on the staff got it right away. The rest of us had to read the words and look at the pictures time after time after time.

This page is more than 30 years old, was drawn on fully acidic paper and not that well cared for since. It's been hanging on my wall and slowly yellowing with age. The transition seems subtle now.

And I don't know what to do to save it for the next three or more decades.

 

Story and photograph by J R Compton.
Copyright 2006 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.
No Reproduction in any medium without specific
written permission. E-mail J R.

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