Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

MS 630
Clay Gerdes (1934-1997)
Historical Underground Photographs, 1971-1977

Descriptive summary

creator: Geerdes, Clay (1934-1997)
title: Historical Underground Photographs
dates: 1971-1977
extent: 1.0 linear feet (1 oversize box)
collection number: MS 630
repository: Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.


Administrative information

access: Open for research
publication rights: Consult Head, Special Collections Department
preferred citation: Clay Geerdes, Historical Underground Photographs, MS 630, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.


Biographical note

Clay Geerdes was born in 1934 and grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He joined the Navy in 1954 and served for four years. He enrolled in San Francisco State College (University) in 1958 and earned a B.A. (1962) and M.A. (1963) in English Literature. He subsequently did additional graduate work at University of California, Berkeley.

Geerdes taught English at Fresno State College (now California State University, Fresno) and Sonoma State College (University) prior to becoming a fulltime photojournalist in 1970.

His personal interests led him to the Underground Comix movement, and he published the newsletter Comix Wave (originally Comix World) as well as a series of "Mini-Comix." His photographs of Underground Comix artists have appeared in many publications, and a book of his photographs The Underground Comix Family Album was published in 1998.

Clay Geerdes died of cancer in 1997.


Collection description

This collection (1971-1977) consists of forty-six black and white photographs taken by Clay Geerdes, compiled into an album titled "Historical Underground Photographs." The photographs portray leading underground comix artists, including Gary Arlington, Joel Beck, Vaughn Bode, Tim Boxell, Roger Brand, Justin Green, Bill Griffith, Rand Holmes, Jack Jackson (or Jaxon), Jay Kinney, Harvey Kurtzman, Lee Marrs, Dan O'Neill, Trina Robbins, "Spain" Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, David Sheridan, and Larry Todd. The scrapbook was formerly catalogued with call number PN6725 G44x 1978.

Related material may be found in MS 636, Underground Comix collection, including copies of Geerdes' newsletter Comix Wave and "Mini-Comix" catalogues.


Container list







Album "Historical Underground Photographs" (46- 3.5x5" b/w photographs)