Underground comix cartoonist Ted Richards has passed away.
Talked to Miranda Lee Richards today… She let me know her father, the cartoonist Ted Richards had passed away on Friday of Lung Cancer… Ted was the creator of Dopin’ Dan comix, The Astral Outhouse and was one of the infamous Air Pirates who dare take on the Disney mega company. Memorial services are pending.
Ted Richards was one of the funniest and greatest of the 1970s underground cartoonists.
Ted never fit in with the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll aspect of underground comix; well, maybe the drugs (mostly marijuana). Ted’s comix were funny, some of the funniest of the underground era, with a great comic art style.
After getting a start in Cincinnati in 1969 Ted migrated to San Francisco hooking up with the hostile, anti-establishment Berkeley Tribe (and meeting Bobby London there). Later in 1970 Ted and Bobby met with Shari Flenniken and the Disney Corp-obsessed Dan O’Neill at the Sky River Festival a bit east of Seattle Washington, and soon after Gary Hallgren. These talents joined to form the famous Air Pirates.
Throughout the early 1970s, the high times of the comix industry, Ted contributed to a number of anthology comix books as well as his own Dopin’ Dan books.
By the mid-1970s he was syndicating his Ezekiel Wolf and Forty Year Old Hippie characters to underground and college papers through the Rip Off Syndicate.
Ted’s comic strips were a regular part of the Rip Off Comix anthology where Ted more than held his own in a title that also featured Gilbert Shelton, Foolbert Sturgeon (Frank Stack), Bill Griffith, Dave Sheridan, and other greats.
Ted occasionally teamed up with others – Willy Murphy and Ted were partners toward the end of Willy’s life. Ted and Willy, with Gilbert Shelton and Gary Hallgren all teamed to create a one of the best underground comic books for this Revolutionary War and Comic enthusiast: Give Me Liberty.
Ted would spread out to “groundlevel” comic books, National Lampoon and other markets, but…
By the late 1970s the “comix” scene was dying. Ted found a place in Skateboarder Magazine with a Mellow Cat series from 1978 – 1981. From there he segued into computer software designing while still dipping a brush into an ink bottle on occasion.
The Daily Cartoonist sends our most sincere condolences to Ted’s family and friends.