The Provocations of Spain Rodriguez is a forthcoming feature-length documentary about the life and work of the late underground cartoonist Spain Rodriguez.

Spain…was a cartoonist whose radical politics and hyperbolic macho imagery, all presented with sly humor, were influential elements in the rise of underground comics. (He) was part of a wave of artists — including R. Crumb, S. Clay Wilson and Bill Griffith— who established the irreverent, profane, highly sexed, antiwar, anti-capitalist spirit of underground comics. His characters, who originally appeared in leading underground publications like The East Village Other and Zap, included the counterculture superhero known as Trashman, an urban guerrilla with a ruthless disregard for the lives of the rich and powerful; Manning, a corrupt cop (whose strips bore the slogan “Some call it police brutality; he calls it Justice”); and an adventuress, known as Big Bitch, who was a sexed-up counterpart to Trashman, a pornographic cross between a Charlie’s Angel and Rambo.

–The New York Times


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Spain was one of the seminal, in probably all meanings of that word, figures of the underground comics planet. I don’t know that there’d be such a things as these nice gentrified graphic novels that I’m associated with as well if it weren’t for the energy unleashed with such vehemence by Spain, Crumb and others.

Art Spiegelman, author of the graphic novel “Maus.”

He struck me as an archetypal character. Crazy artist, crossed with left-wing radical, crossed with working class Latino hood. He had a big influence on me through his artwork. He was top of the line in that generation of underground breakaway cartoonists.

Robert Crumb