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the Looniverse
with nothing to smoke


The Real Free Press

Amsterdam in the 1970s

The first issue of the Real Free Press was of November 1968 - the business died around 1980. The height of the Underground Press. Hippie time. Run by Olaf Stoop and Martin Beumer, it grew out of the Provo scene and was the only publishing house I know of that ran on dope money. Their shop was affectionately known as boek en dopie among the clientèle. In the start, it was weed, but later this changed to cocaine, which took away all the fun: They never produced much after the Blue Lady really took over. The end really came when Olaf got busted in 1978, just about when we left Holland. After a series of solid quarrels, Martin went to live on Mallorca. Neither lived to see the New Millennium.



The RFP published The Real Free Press magazine, ÉHÉ-CATL, Witzend, original strips and reprints from some of the greatest strips, books, produced recordings, my movie Cosmic Comics, and imported comics, magazines, books, recordings; all definitely not only "underground".
As many artists, especially musicians, had exclusive contracts for Europe with other publishers, at Olaf Stoop's request I established the Real Free Press International Foundation in Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles to publish and distribute those guys. In our age, the magazine would most likely be online, published on a good and cheap blog hosting site to save every penny. Magazines are definitely more affordable online but that wasn't a luxury at the time.

rfp01 rfp02 rfp03 rfp04
RFP 1978 list

The Real Free Press magazine was printed in tabloid size. #1 had 5 sheets, # 6 had 6 (20-24 pages). No color. Almost all issues were entirely hand-lettered by Olaf. As far as contents are concerned, it's a strange hodge-podge. Olaf himself was a guy with great sophistication, and at the same time incredibly naïve. The RFP carries articles pushing scientology, something Olaf would have been dead against, had he but known. He was a True Believer in Arthur Conan Doyle's notorious tales of Fairies and fell completely for the infamous Alternative 3 and Illuminati hoaxes. On the other hand, that's where I first found Sprague de Camp's wonderfully skeptical books on mysteries.
Martin, an ex-sports instructor, was more together. Both were very nice people to get along with, while it lasted.

Martin Beumer
Martin Beumer

strips, strips, strips
A lot of the magazine was taken up by strips, the most obvious names being Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton. So, gradually, as Milt Gross would say, a sideline developed. Strips were reprinted, first in tabloid magazine format, Witzend (4 issues), which was followed by EHÉ-CATL #1, another tabloid dedicated mainly to Mutt & Jeff but containing many other classic strips. After that, most publications were in color, with a lot of color separation work done by Joost Swarte.

upside upsidedown down
1973, The Incredible Upside-Downs of Gustave Verbeek

wizardking
Wallace Wood

modernart
Joost Swarte

skippy father dreams
father2
Bringing Up Father - Geo. McManus

gulliver
The Modern Gulliver by Windsor McCay


spirit1 spirit2 spirit3 spirit4 eisner
Will Eisner
spirit5


krazy kat

kkat1 kkat2 kkat3 kkat4 kkat5
George Herriman

armadillo
Armadillo III
Jim Franklin

bladecathay
El Gringo

wipeout1 WIPEOUT2

ppepper
Basil Wolverton

tobacco rolling papers

designed by Joost Swarte and Ramon de Sousa

records
iowapot
Jerry Samuels, once taken away

beasts
Indonesian beasts


movies
CosmicComics
Cosmic Comics
produced by Olaf Stoop
director Harrie Verstappen
based on the strip by Victor Moscoso


hoax
papalagi
The book is not bad at all, but Olaf and Martin (who translated) were shocked and incredulous when I figured it to be a hoax. More on it here. Enjoyable enough, don't get me wrong. Joost Swarte did the artwork, which alone would be worth the price. Nice Work, If You Can Get It.

CD

Well, you can now, after a fashion - I have produced this copy on CD.

Some of all this I have double - those are for sale:
Armadillo III - Powerhouse Pepper - Red Blades of Cathay - WITZEND # 4 (Wood/Eisner/Frazetta)
The Bintangs
rolling papers
Sorry! only empty covers left!
Also in stock: ZAP Comix # 6 (1975)


Prices of strips:
I charge twice the new price, adjusted for inflation plus shipping;
Air Mail only - Pay by PayPal
or
moneybookers.com
A Note on Paying
PayPal does not allow payments
to residents of the Netherlands Antilles.
Please use MoneyBookers or send me an e-mail.
Sorry! Can't help it.


Want to know more?

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Olaf Stoop
Olaf Stoop

More that you might want to buy:
paintings by Yayoi Kusama

Rebel Visions


Patrick Rosenkranz
The Underground Comix Revolution
1963-1975

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Solid Strips
lambiek

booksmoviesmusic

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