Harold Hedd

In 1972 the Georgia Straight published the Collected Adventures of Harold Hedd by Rand Holmes in an oversized comic book. "The Harold Hedd strips ran just about every week between May 1971 and April 1972 and all appeared in the Georgia Straight," he said. "The paper originally paid me $25.00 a strip until they discovered that a lot of people read the paper just for the cartoon. Then they upped it to $50 which I was just about able to live on". The title character had Holmes's face, but somebody else's personality. While Harold Hedd was bold and blatant, Holmes was shy and quiet.
He made his home upstairs from the Georgia Straight offices for five years, where he holed up with a Persian cat and his drawing board. "There were two large rooms up there. I lived in one and Brent Boates had the other. 'Fridge and washroom in the hall." Allan Earle, Straight editor, remembered Holmes as a recluse:

"The quintessential solitary artist, paying his rent by drawing covers for his publisher and landlord. His talent knocked me out. I'd give him the manuscript to the cover story and he'd hand me back the illustration a few days later, absolutely on target, the heart and essence of the 2000 word piece".

Holmes produced more than one hundred Georgia Straight covers through the 1970s.
Although Herold Hedd was inspired by the Freak Brothers and had a similar cast of funny dopesters, it was a local treatise on the drug culture, not a carbon copy, said Holmes. The stories were based on actual and imagined events in British Columbia, and addressed local issues. If Canadian authorities objected to his rude caricatures of police and government officials, and to the explicit depictions of sex and drug use, he declared that he had the right to draw whatever he wanted.

" I'm not an immoral person, and I put into my comics what I feel is right. I would personally be outraged if anyone saw fit to tell me what should go into them. I think I should have the same rights as any novelist, painter or songwriter."

-pp. 204- 205, Rebel Visions: The Underground Comix Revolution, 1963 - 1975 by Patrick Rosenkranz (2002)

Rand Holmes
Harold Hedd #1
ShareThis