S. Clay Wilson Hospitalized
The Oregonian is reporting that S. Clay Wilson, “one of the seminal figures in the underground comix movement, suffered a "severe brain injury." Wilson’s partner, Lorraine Chamberlain, stated on Sunday, "I just talked to the neurologist a few minutes ago. He’s in a decline because of the pneumonia. They can’t seem to stabilize him."
The 67-year-old Wilson was originally thought to be the victim of a mugging when he was found but doctors now theorize that he may have repeatedly fallen given his medical condition. He’s been at San Francisco General since Saturday.
"That’s what we think now, that he fell several times and hit his head," Chamberlain said. "He has a fractured orbital bone in his eye and he fractured his neck. He looks like he’s been kicked in the face and beaten up. But if he’d been beaten up, he would have been robbed. There’s no way to know. But he had way too much to drink.
"It was very bad news today," Chamberlain said. "The most important thing is that he gets over the pneumonia, but he’s had a very severe head injury." Chamberlain and Wilson have known each other for four decades but have been together for only the last eight years.
As a youth, Wilson relocated from Kansas to San Francisco in 1968, just as the Underground Comix movement was gaining traction. He found R. Crumb, who produced Zap Comix and showed his artwork off.
"I was just completely blitzkrieged by the guy," Crumb said. "I’d never seen anything like those drawings of his before." The founder of the movement credits Wilson for pushing him to cease self-censorship and let everything flow on the page including sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
"I get a lot of flak from feminists, but we all do," Wilson said previously. "But within that group of feminists, there’s all kinds of mentalities. Some don’t understand what we’re dong — making fun of everything. Spain (Rodriguez) gets a lot of shit about it, we all do. I like the idea of keeping the boat rocking."