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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
Rip Off Comix #4
Back Cover
Back Cover
(click for larger image)

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1st Printing / November 1978 / 52 pages / Rip Off Press
As is the case in 9 out of the first 10 issues of Rip Off Comix, the fourth issue leads off with a Freak Brothers story, this one entitled "The 4th Freak Brother." Continuing a story introduced in the previous issue, a fucked-up-in-the-head police officer is hanging out at the Freak Brothers' apartment, still traumatized by the traffic accident that Phineas had caused. By now the unshaven, unwashed cop suffers from drug-induced amnesia and has no idea who he is and the police department has no idea why he's disappeared.

The department receives a prank call from some punks that claim to have kidnapped the missing cop and demand a ransom. The police captain and a sergeant set up a sting operation at a bus station to catch the kidnappers, but the punks never show (since it was all a prank). But the Freak Brothers do show up with their cop as the "4th Freak Brother" to pick up a 500-pound load of dope shipped in from Bolivia. The captain and sergeant recognize the missing cop and try to "rescue" him, but the cop's feelings about the police department have radically changed after spending a month with the Freak Brothers!

"The 4th Freak Brother" is followed by a couple of "Griffith Obseratory" strips from Bill Griffith and a Harry Driggs (aka R. Diggs) story about a "Mom Squad" that foils an evil scientist plan to destroy Mother Nature. The Mom Squad is comprised of a couple of hot astronaut babes who secretly work for Mother Nature and don't take any threats to "Mom" lightly! Dave Sheridan follows with a fine Dealer McDope tale in which Dealer tries his hand at selling cocaine. That doesn't work out so well, but Dealer turns out to be a big fan of the nose candy anyway.

After another annoyingly insensitive dog owner story in "Dorman's Doggie" from Frank Stack, Shelton returns with a 20-page Wonder Wart-Hog story to close the book. In "Sudden Death," Wonder Wart-Hog joins a professional football team and becomes a star, but his escalating ego prevents him from achieving everything his remarkable physical stature might have enabled him to.

Rip Off Comix #4 is another solid issue in the series, but a minor step down from the quality of the preceding one.
There are two printings of this comic book. The 1st printing (unknown copies) has a $1.00 cover price. The 2nd printing (unknown copies) has a $1.25 cover price. Given the popularity of the Freak Brothers, I'd guess the 1st printing had 10,000+ copies and the 2nd printing had 5,000 copies.


Gilbert Shelton - 1 (shared), 3-10 (collaboration), 31-50, 52
Bill Griffith - 1 (shared), 11-12
Harry Driggs - 1 (shared), 13-18
Dave Sheridan - 1 (shared), 19-26
Frank Stack - 1 (shared), 27-30
Ted Richards - 2
Paul Mavrides - 3-10 (collaboration)
Joel Beck - 51