"There is no way now that I can convey the excitement and the thrill of when those first underground comics came out, when there was nothing but overground comics until us outlaws came into the picture, whippin' out this no stops pornography... Anything we could think of we would do. The energy and power was unbelieveable, we thought we were all going to jail, that we were bordering on sedition."
- Robt. Wms.
Legendary imagist painter Robert Williams sprang from the custom car culture of Southern California and the roots of the Underground Comix movement. Though known today as one of the world's most iconoclastic fine artists, Williams was also, of course, first and foremost a cartoonist. As a member of the legendary ZAP collective, along with R. Crumb, Williams eventually transcended the world of comics by cultivating his mastery of oil paints and forging a career as the preeminent artist among a generation of imagist painters gathering inspiration from the shadowed corners of contemporary culture. Williams singlehandedly became the model of the "Outsider" art movement, influencing a generation of artists to create without concern for the fine art world, held in contempt by Williams (a feeling which had been reciprocated in kind for years by the established fine art community, although Williams' sheer mastery of his craft has caused a grudging retreat - Williams paintings now command tens of thousands of dollars each in the gallery scene and the artist has a long waiting list of potential buyers).