Artistic Expression

Sexual identity cartoon

The Bird, like many other underground papers of the era, also made liberal use of graphics and effectively utilized comics and cartoon strips to provide commentary on political and social issues. Both entertaining and provocative, the illustrations used by the paper stand out for their quality and range of topics.

Squalor King and slum lords
Industrial war Machine and puppet dictatorships

The graphics used could also get the paper into legal trouble. A particularly notorious instance was when staff members had to fight charges of breaking obscenity laws for a cover juxtaposing the Coca-Cola logo with a machine-gunning figure uttering an expletive. While The Bird was able to defend itself successfully when faced with legal action of this kind, the cost in time and money was something that a small, community-driven paper could ill afford.

Great Speckled Bird v. 2 no. 11 (May 26, 1969)