DAVE SHERIDAN 1943 – 1982
Dave Sheridan (June 7, 1943 – March 1982)
He was an American cartoonist and underground comix artist. He was the creator of Dealer McDope and Tales from the Leather Nun and collaborated with Gilbert Shelton and Paul Mavrides on The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.
Born in 1943 and raised in the Cleveland, Ohio area, Sheridan had arrived in San Francisco, California by the early 1970s. There he collaborated with fellow midwesterner Fred Schrier on three issues of Mother’s Oats Comix, Meef Comix,the Overland Vegetable Stagecoach (anthologized by And/Or Press in 1975), and a one-shot title called The Balloon Vendor, which were all published by underground comix pioneers Rip Off Press and The Print Mint. Dave Sheridan was the Art Editor for three issues of The Rip Off Review of Western Culture in 1972. This was a combination of a magazine and a comix book, also published by the Rip Off Press. His solo work can be seen in Slow Death and Skull Comix and in cartoons he made for the Berkeley Barb. He also did the art for the first mini-album produced by Cleveland area folk singer/songwriter John Bassette, Weed and Wine. The “Black Death Malt Liquor” shirt regularly worn by Howard Hesseman on WKRP in Cincinatti was designed and drawn by Sheridan.
Dave Sheridan eventually settled in San Anselmo, California. There, he became a member of the Artista collective, an artists collective with its own jackets and softball team. During the 1972 Major League Baseball strike, he appointed himself the head of the “Scab League”, offering to have his team take the strikers’ places for $100 per week and all the beer they could drink. He also befriended and worked closely with comedian Don Novello, drawing the album cover for Novello’s Father Guido Sarducci comedy album. A characterization of Sarducci appeared in a Dealer McDope adventure.
In 1974, Sheridan began collaborating on Gilbert Shelton’s strips. These were syndicated by Rip Off Press to alternative and college weeklies nationwide, and later collected into comix. His first issue of the Freak Brothers was Number 4, with a many-page story arc entitled The Seventh Voyage of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers: escaping the landlady and her demands for rent, the hirsute trio go to Mexico where they encounter far worse perils, including a Carlos Castaneda parody. Sheridan’s detailed graphic style lent itself well to the fantastic imagery needed to lampoon Castaneda’s drug-related Central American-cum-New Age sorcery. He then continued to collaborate on the Freak Brothers comix series through issues 5, 6 and 7; the team was joined by Paul Mavrides in 1978 for issue 6.
In 1981, a few months after his marriage to Dava Stone, Sheridan fell ill. Early in 1982 he was diagnosed with cancer, and he died of a brain hemorrhage in March 1982— just a week before the birth of his daughter Dorothy.
ARISTA ARTIST PAT RYAN TELLS IT LIKE THIS :
“Dave Sheridan was raised since birth in Cleveland, Ohio and was educated at the Cleveland Institute of Art. He moved to San Francisco in the early 1970’s and quickly built a niche career in the Bay Area’s art scene. Dave collaborated with artists including Paul Mavrides and Fred Schrier on Meef Comix, Mother’s Oats Funnies, the Overland Vegetable Stagecoach, and The Balloon Vendor, all published by Rip Off Press and The Print Mint. Dave’s solo work can be seen in Slow Death and Skull Comix and in cartoons he made for the Berkeley Barb.Dave Sheridan soon settled in San Anselmo where he was an active member of Artista, collaborating with Pat Ryan, Alton Kelley and the others. Back then the Artista artists collective was complete with its own embroidered jackets and equipped with a designer, if not coordinated softball team. During the 1972 Major League Baseball strike, Dave appointed himself the head of the “Scab League”, offering to have the Artista team take the strikers’ place for $100 a week and all the beer they could drink. (more info to come)
Dave worked frequently with close friend comedian Don Novello, and illustrated the album cover for Novello’s Father Guido Sarducci comedy album. A parody character of Sarducci even appeared in a Dealer McDope adventure. Dave collaborated with Paul Mavrides and others and worked endlessly on the Gilbert Shelton’s strips, syndicated by Rip Off Press and then later collected into comix. Dave’s vast contribution to publications such as the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Cartoonist Supreme, The Leather Nun, Time Twisted Tales and more gives him worldwide recognition today as a major artistic influence, primarily for his detailed graphic style, fantastic imagery, humor and imagination. Dave has left behind countless fans, friends and loving family, but lives on forever through the legacy of the body of his work and in those he embraced.”
Excellent detailed synopsis of a lot of the underground comix can be found here :
THIRTY YEARS SINCE HIS UNTIMELY DEATH IN 1982, HERE IS A RARE OBITUARY REPRODUCED IN PDF FORMAT FROM THE “CHANGELING TIMES” # 6 . FRED SCHRIER WRITES ABOUT HIS THEN, RECENTLY DECEASED FRIEND AND FELLOW UNDERGROUND CARTOONIST , DAVE SHERIDAN. NOT ENOUGH IS WRITTEN ABOUT THIS GREAT CREATOR FROM THE UNDERGROUND’S GOLDEN YEARS. HOPEFULLY SOMEONE WILL WRITE THAT BOOK SOMEDAY.HE DESERVES IT AS MUCH AS RAND HOLMES OR GREG IRONS .IN THE MEANTIME , I’LL DO MY BIT TO KEEP ONE OF MY FAVOURITES’ MEMORY ALIVE.CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL TEXT :
ALSO LINK TO MY PREVIOUS PIECE ABOUT BOTH DAVE SHERIDAN AND FRED SCHRIER HERE….