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Skip Williamson defends against fascists 

Artist hits Decatur Book Festival, Dragon*Con

One of the most political, satirical and influential figures of the underground commix movement of the 1960s, cartoonist and painter Skip Williamson knew and worked with such diverse figures as Hugh Hefner, Gloria Steinem and activist Abbie Hoffman, who facilitated Williamson's courtroom illustrations of the notorious "Chicago Seven trial" in 1969. This weekend, Williamson will speak at the Decatur Book Festival on Saturday, be a guest at Dragon*Con Aug. 29-Sept. 1, and see the opening of one-man show The Irreverent Art of Skip Williamson at Vinson Gallery, Aug. 29-Sept. 27.

Come On In! by Charles Bukowski: "I've always been an avid reader of Charles Bukowski. This collection comes from late in his life and even includes two or three death-bed poems. One of the things that I like about him is that he captures what it's like to be an artist in the aging process, and the compulsion to create."

3 x Carlin: An Orgy of George: "This is a collection of humor by George Carlin that contains three books: Brain Droppings, Napalm and Silly Putty and When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? A lot of it is just thoughts and off-hand comments, but he also talks about his feelings about the decay of human social structures. I identify with his anarchic sense of humor."

America: Freedom to Fascism: "Aaron Russo, who produced the film The Rose for Bette Midler, directed this enlightening documentary about the Federal Reserve and all the other tentacles used to pin us down to whatever the fascists have in mind. It covers a wide breadth of time and space and explores how we are economically exploited and manipulated through the economy and politics."

"The Girls Next Door": "I'm not sure that it's a guilty pleasure, because I don't think I get much pleasure from it, but it reaffirms what I believe, how insipid the Hollywood vision of reality is, especially in terms of lifestyle. I worked for Playboy magazine in the disco era, so I saw it go from a freewheeling editorial base to corporate lockstep. I worked for Hugh Hefner and knew him personally. As an editor, he was an astute guy, but he's almost become a caricature of himself. Watching it is a kind of a time capsule for me."

-- Curt Holman

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