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excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
Slow Death #2
Back Cover
Wraparound Cover
(click for larger image)

Back Cover
Indicia Comparison
(click for larger image)

Back Cover
Page 34 Comparison
(click for larger image)

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4th Printing / early 1970s / 36 pages / Last Gasp
First Printing December 1970
The second issue of Slow Death abandons both the "Funnies" in the book's title and the environmental agenda of the first issue. Instead, we're treated to four consecutive stories set in the future, with various spaceship travel and post-nuclear disaster plots. One the one hand, it is a jarring departure from the previous mind set, but on the other hand it is a logical progression for a world that ignores obvious signs of impending catastrophe.

Check out the link in the right sidebar to view the full wraparound cover art for Slow Death #2.
There are five known printings of this comic book, all by Last Gasp. The first four printings have 50-cent cover prices and the 5th printing has a $1.00 cover price. The 1st printing (20,000 copies) is distinguished by several identifiers. On the inside front cover, the ghoul figure has no screentone shading, which he does have in subsequent printings. On page 34, there is a graphic for Last Gasp that states "1st Edition," which does not exist on subsequent printings. On the front cover, there is very little yellow (only in some barely visible screentone) in the astronaut figure.

About 100 copies of the 1st printing were produced with the covers printed on silver paper stock (silver color on the outside, white color on the inside), which were collated and stapled on top of the regular cover (producing a double cover with different covers). I don't have an example of that special edition of the 1st printing.

For the 2nd printing (10,000 copies), the ghoul on the inside front cover has had screentone added, which will remain for subsequent printings. The artwork on page 34 has been entirely replaced with advertising for a marijuana co-operative called "Amorphia" (see page 34 comparison linked in right sidebar). The front cover art does not change much from the 1st printing, though there are slight variations.

The cover art of the 3rd printing introduces bright yellow ink to the skull in Last Gasp's logo, the space ship and the astronaut. The astronaut's head is colored purple (with other accent coloring). The Amorphia ad on page 34 and the inside front cover are the same as they were in the 2nd printing, so the very different cover art is the only way to distinguish between the 2nd and 3rd printings. I also have a cool cover variation of the 3rd printing, in which the yellow ink has been replaced with a light green ink. It really changes the look of the Slow Death title lettering. Everything else is the same as the 3rd printing, so I believe the press men were just having a little fun switching out an ink color, and this variant does not constitute a different printing.

The 4th printing is just like the 3rd printing, except the advertising on page 34 has been changed to one for Last Gasp's mail order business, with the title "Mind Candy for the Masses." The 5th printing has the same cover art as the previous two printings, but is easily distinguished because it has a $1.00 cover price. The Last Gasp ad on page 34 also has some hand-written updates to the offerings.
Ron Turner - editor, 33 (letter)
Jack Jackson - 1 (collaboration), 2, 11-18, 36 (collaboration)
Dave Sheridan - 1 (collaboration), 3-10, 34, 36 (collaboration)
Jim Osborne - 19-24
Richard Corben - 25-32
Gary Grimshaw - 33
Robert Crumb - 33
Stephen Vincent - 33 (poem)
Gilbert Shelton - 34-35 (ads)
Greg Irons - 34-35 (ads)
Trina Robbins - 35 (ad)
Fred Schrier - 35 (ad)

Slow Death 2 1st _ Slow Death 2 2nd _ Slow Death 2 3rd _ Slow Death 2 3rd Green Variant
1st Printing
No screentone on IFC, "First Edition" graphic
on page 34.
2nd Printing
Screentone added
to IFC, "Amorphia"
ad on page 34.
3rd Printing
Yellow color added
to several areas of cover art.
3rd Print Variant
Light green ink replaces yellow on cover art.