First printed map of Assinine Atoll

Rob[er]t Williams, THE MYSTERY MAP OF ASSININE ATOLL. [San Francisco?], 1977.
Serigraph, 14 ½”h x 20 ¼”w plus margins, uncolored.

A crazed poster of “Assinine Atoll” drawn by pioneering artist Robert Williams for the legendary underground comic Zap.

The Asinine Atoll is dominated by Funnyman Isle, whose major features include landmarks such as “The Lost Temple of Mystic Symbols,” the “Region of the Unapproachable Skunk-Cult,” and “Turky-Furky’s Reptile Rodeo,” six of which are illustrated by large vignettes flanking the map. A legend identifies a variety of symbols used to locate pirates, cannibals, picnic tables and “pulpy material.” If one squints just so, the island vaguely resemble a horribly distorted biped, facing left, with “Cape Choad” forming the nose and “Hydrant Rock” the chin.

A self-portrait of artist Robert Williams (1943-) appears just below the map. Williams’ Wikipedia page describes him as:

“an American painter, cartoonist, and founder of Juxtapoz Art and Culture Magazine. Williams was one of the artists who produced Zap Comix, along with underground cartoonists, such as Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, and Gilbert Shelton. His mix of California car culture, cinematic apocalypticism, and film noir helped to create a new genre of psychedelic imagery.”

The Mystery Map of Assinine Atoll also appeared in 1978 as a centerfold in issue 9 of Zap, the revolutionary underground comic first published by Robert Crumb ten years earlier. This serigraph bears a copyright date of 1977, but it is not clear whether it predated the appearance in Zap, or vice versa. One source claims that only 200 impressions were pulled.

Rumsey 6869. Not in OCLC.


Tiny bit of dog-earing at upper left corner, else excellent.