Lardo by Gary Figari
'Lardo's Night On The Town'. From 'The New Funny Book #2', 1977-1978. 

Gary Figari was a mysterious U.S. alternative comic artist, who flourished in the late 1970s. He created a few short-lived series, 'Lardo', 'The Dolts' and 'Uncle Eph', published in 'The Funny Book' (1975) and its follow-ups 'The New Funny Book' (1977-1978).

Life and career
Little is known about the comic artist Gary Figari. His graphic style shows influence from Basil Wolverton. Figari worked for Ful-Horne Productions, a publishing company established in 1975 by Larry Fuller and Raye Horne. In an e-mail to Lambiek, Fuller explained that Figari was a very shy person. In fact, he never even met him in person. All their correspondence was done by letter. 

The Funny Book
In September 1975 Ful-Horne Productions published 'The Funny Book’ (1975), an underground comic book, completely written and drawn by Gary Figari. It features three stories. 'Lardo’ revolves around a huge, hairy, obese oaf, presented as “the fattest guy in the world”. His colossal appetite and lack of brain capacity constantly get him into trouble. 'Uncle Eph’ stars a stereotypical old hillbilly who isn’t all that much brighter than Lardo. The final story, 'Mag the Hag’, pokes fun at an ugly old wife. Much like the characters in Basil Wolverton’s comics, Figari’s heroes are grotesque, disgusting and ugly buffoons. The comedy balances between gross-out humor and witty stereotypes.  

The New Funny Book
In March 1977, a sequel to 'The Funny Book’ was published, plainly titled 'The New Funny Book #2’ (1977), this time by Raye Horne and Larry Fuller’s new company, Larry Fuller Presents. Figari made a return, with a story titled 'The Dolts’, in which Lardo the giant also makes a comeback. The book offered more diversity in contributors. Apart from Figari, Dan Bulanadi, James Davis (sometimes referred to as 'R. Davis' or 'Dick Davis'), Larry Fuller, Raye Horne, Edna Jundis, Reggie Macabasco, Ken Macklin, Alex Niño, Dan O'Neill, Dennis Plumb and Bob Vojtko also provided comics.

Finally, in July 1978, a third issue hit the market, 'The New Funny Book issue #3’ (1978). Previous contributors James Davis, Raye Horne, Bob Vojtko, Dennis Plumb, Reggie Macabasco and Gary Figari made a return, while Nestor Redondo, Duane Bibby, Ben Alcantara, R. Harp Tesseract, Yves Regis François, Ian Akin and Ray Garst were newcomers. 

Although Gary Figari was a prominent artist in all three issues of 'The Funny Book’ series, no further publications by him are known.  

Lardo by Gary Figari

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