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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Dave Dugan Zen Comix Collection 2015-2017

© 2019 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Dugan, Dave. Zen Comix. Collection

Dates:

2015-2017

Size:

3 linear feet (2 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

The Dave Dugan Zen Comix Collection contains five artworks from 2015-2017: The Beerfoot Servants, Jack in the Box, and Tampon Platitudes from 2015, Electric Mud from 2016, and an untitled collection of 14 large-scale comics from 2016-2017.

Information on Use

Access

This collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Dave Dugan. Zen Comix. Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Dave Dugan is a cartoonist, painter, paper maker and printer living in Iowa City, Iowa. He was born in Boston in 1965 and studied painting at Skidmore College with David Miller, and animation at The School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He started Zen Comix in 2004 and continues to maintain it online. His works draw on political commentary, jazz music, and meta-commentary about the comic medium, often using a combination of abstract and figural imagery. Dugan often works with India ink, watercolor, handmade paper, and found objects.

Scope Note

The Dave Dugan Zen Comix Collection contains five artworks from 2015-2017: The Beerfoot Servants, Jack in the Box, and Tampon Platitudes from 2015, Electric Mud from 2016, and an untitled collection of 14 large-scale comics from 2016-2017.

The items in Box 1 are from 2015. The Beerfoot Servants is a comic about a jazz band, made with India ink and watercolor applied to both sides of four pieces of handmade paper (each 18 x 27 cm). The paper is stored in a cereal box (28.5 x 19.5 x 5 cm) decorated with white exterior house paint and a black ink drawing. Jack in the Box is comprised of a ring of handmade paper bearing the title, author’s name, and copyright date, wrapped around a painted Altoids tin, inside of which is an accordion-folded strip of paper (52 x 7 cm) made of two 27-centimeter strips of handmade paper adhered together. Each segment of the folded paper bears a few words and a related image, written and drawn using Crowquill, India ink, and watercolor. Tampon Platitudes consists of a receipt from a HyVee grocery store dated March 20, 2015, with a drawing of a woman on the back with text beginning “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows…”. The receipt is rolled tightly, to fit into two cardboard tampon applicator tubes, one end of each of which is blocked with rolled up handmade paper.

Box 2 contains Electric Mud, 2016, a loose-leaf book of words and drawings about blues music. The piece consists of six circular pieces of handmade paper (diameter 19 cm), decorated with India ink and watercolor. These papers are numbered (1-12) like pages in a book, and held in a cover (21 x 21 x 2.5 cm) made of handmade paper with the title, artist’s name, and copyright date on the spine. The book is housed in a plastic Ferrero Rocher box (21.5 x 21.5 x 4 cm) with a paper bearing title, artist and date adhered to the top. The box is tied with green ribbon to a piece of handmade paper (29 x 22 cm) on which is printed, “‘May you be in heaven a full half hour before Dick Cheney knows you are dead’ - Irish American Blessing”.

Box 3 contains an untitled collection of 14 large-scale comics from 2016-2017, drawn with India ink, acrylic paint, and watercolor on handmade paper (20 x 74 cm). The comics are stacked in a handmade wooden box (27 x 79 x 7.5 cm) with two sheets of blank handmade paper, one at the top and one at the bottom. Dugan has referred to these works as his “large scale comic strip project,” as well as “comic strips about comic strips,” on the Zen Comix website. Each comic has a title and a satirical author’s name, such as Live Free or Diet by “Newt Hempshire” (2017), Cow 3.1416 by “Anna Motapia” (2016) and Underdog, Invisible, with Liberace by “Anne Justizfahal” (2016). Several of the comics (such as Underdog, Indivisible, with Liberace; White Washing Ton; and The Fissure King) satirize Donald Trump.

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Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

The Beerfoot Servants, India ink and watercolor on handmade paper and cereal box with house paint, 2015

Box 1   Folder 2

Jack in the Box, India ink, Crowquill, and watercolor on handmade paper in an Altoids tin, 2015

Box 1   Folder 3

Tampon Platitudes, HyVee receipt, India ink, Crowquill, and colored pencil in two tampon tubes, 2015

Box 1   Folder 4

Receipt, 2015

Box 2

Electric Mud, India ink and watercolor on handmade paper in a plastic Ferrero Rocher box, 2016

Box 3

Untitled large scale comic strip project, India ink, acrylic paint, and watercolor on handmade paper in a wooden box, 2016-2017