Trained at Vermont’s Center For Cartoon Studies, Sam Gas Can is a multimedia, performance artist and musician based in Northampton MA. At a live show he might incorporate any number of activities: harsh noise, improv drawing, costumery, naive melody, audience participation, standing on his head, experimental beat-box, you name it.


Apropos, “Faux-Pas Industries: Making Mistakes Since 1986” is the header for his DIY record label and “Fatal Faux-Pas” is one of his first published collections of comics. Sam likes the term ‘faux pas,’ which is perfect, because it sums up a lot of what we at Boston Hassle love about him. Thing is, ‘faux pas’ is actually a double entendre. The first meaning translates as “false step” (mistake) but the subtle alternate translation is “not fake.” Hear him perform or read one of his zines and you are likely to crack a smile, either for the irreverent humor or for his daring to try something different. Sam Gas Can art can be found drawn, knit, painted, glued together, what have you…but is always playful, fun and genuine. One finds undercurrents in his work, often masked beneath a craftily naive appearance.


Much of his music and visual art can be checked out online, and in particular we recommend picking up a copy of ROBBLE ROBBLE (his most recent zine following the adventures of everybody’s favorite burger-hocking clown) from Sam’s Etsy.com online storefront. Other pieces can be found on tape and album covers (eg. NO GAMES, Acidosis’ latest) skateboard decks (eg. on Tasty Skateboards). “I decided long ago that I wasn’t going to make something unless it’s fun. If you are bored you end up with lazy art.” This view explains why you find Sam’s stuff in so many mediums. “I definitely think the medium should not dictate your ideas. It needs to be the other way.” We’ll likely have more of his art in upcoming issues of THE COMPASS, but if you’d like to score some for yourself, try following him on Tumblr.com.

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