FRANK STACK (1938-), a.k.a. FOOLBERT STURGEON, is something of a schizophrenic artist. Part of him is an accomplished fine arts academic, while the other half is a disreputable underground cartoonist. We'll start with the respectable part. Stack was born in Houston TX and educated at the University of Texas at Austin, earning a bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He also studied at the Art Institute in Chicago and obtained his Master of Art at the University of Wyoming. He did further study at the Academie Grande Chaumiere in Paris. A longtime Professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia, he has taught courses as diverse as painting, watercolor, drawing, anatomical drawing, etching, lithography, comic strip and art appreciation.
He has achieved several academic awards and recognition, including Artist in Residencies at the Appalachian State University in North Carolina, Shepherd College in West Virginia and Virginia Polytechnic University. Selected to be among Who's Who in American Art and in the current Who's Who in America, Stack has received several research fellowships and has studied in New Mexico and Paris. His work has been exhibited in the United States, France, Italy, Poland, South Korea, Switzerland and Turkey.
One of the earliest of the "underground" cartoonists, he didn't want to jeopardize his chance at tenure and financial security, particularly since he taught in the Bible Belt and his cartoons were often sacrilegious, among other political offenses. So for many years he drew his cartoons under the unlikely nom de plume of Foolbert Sturgeon. His early comix work included The Adventures of Jesus (1962), Amazon Comics (1972), Dorman's Doggie (1979), Feelgood Funnies (1972), The New Adventures of Jesus (1969), Jesus Meets the Armed Services [#2](1972) and Jesus Comics #3. Stack also contributed to such anthologies as Blab!, Hydrogen Bomb Funnies, Radical America Komiks, Rip Off Comix, Rip Off Review of Western Culture and Snarf. Some, including his old Texas friend Gilbert Shelton, regard Stack's Adventures of Jesus in 1962 to be the very first underground comic, though it was a 14-page Xerox zine circulated only among a small group of friends and never offered for sale. Nonetheless, Stack's status as one of the pioneer underground cartoonists is unquestioned.
Stack also edited and contributed introductory material to several volumes of V.T. Alley Oop collections (Kitchen Sink Press) and has contributed to National Lampoon magazine.
These days Stack spends much of his time in France, painting and hanging out with other expatriate American underground cartoonists Shelton, R. Crumb and Peter Poplaski