The Freak Brothers: A Brief History


Gilbert Shelton created the Freak Brothers comic books in the late 1960s. The series follows the misadventures of a trio of hippie drug users, and is one of the most well-known and popular underground comics ever created. While it was never published in mainstream magazines or newspapers, it achieved a large following through word-of-mouth and underground channels. Here we will take a brief look at the history of this iconic comic book series.

The first issue of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers was printed in 1968 and was an instant success. It featured art by Shelton, who also wrote the stories for the series. The comic book follows the misadventures of “Freak Brother”1 (Frank), “Freak Brother”2 (Phineas) and “Freak Brother”3 (Freewheelin’ Franklin). Through their adventures, the trio explore themes of freedom, civil disobedience and counterculture values.

The series quickly established itself as a cult favorite among readers and its popularity increased steadily throughout the 70s. In 1974, it was even adapted into an animated television special that aired on NBC.

The series also spawned several spin-off books, such as The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Coloring Book in 1979 and Tales of the Toad in 1982. In 2002, a live-action movie about the brothers was released to critical acclaim.

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers series is a classic example of underground comics. Its themes of freedom, civil disobedience, and counterculture values have resonated with fans for over 40 years.