Victor Moscoso
Victor Moscoso, psychedelic poster and comix artist.jpg
Moscoso in front of some of his work
Born (1936-07-28) July 28, 1936 (age 85)
Vilaboa, Galicia, Spain

Victor Moscoso (born July 28, 1936)[1] is a Spanish–American artist best known for producing psychedelic rock posters, advertisements, and underground comix in San Francisco during the 1960s and 1970s. He was the first of the rock poster artists of the 1960s era with formal academic training and experience. He was the first of the rock poster artists to use photographic collage in many of his posters.[2][3]

Early life and education

Moscoso was born in the Vilaboa parish of Culleredo, Galicia. He moved with his mother to Oleiros. His father, whose parents had already emigrated to New Jersey, exiled to the U.S. after being persecuted by the falange. At the age of four, Moscoso and his mother, joined his father, and travelled to Brooklyn, where he stayed until he was an adult. His father worked as a painter and taught him about color combination. His mother was a seamstress[4][5]

After studying art at Cooper Union in New York City and at Yale University, Moscoso moved to San Francisco in 1959. There, he attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where he eventually became an instructor.[6]


Moscoso's use of vibrating colors was influenced by painter Josef Albers, one of his teachers at Yale.

Professional success came in the form of the psychedelic rock and roll poster art created for San Francisco and Denver’s dance halls and clubs. Moscoso's posters for the Family Dog dance-concerts at the Avalon Ballroom and his Neon Rose posters for the Matrix resulted in international attention during the 1967 Summer of Love.[7][8][9] From September to December 1967 his psychedelic posters done for Chet Helms’ Family Dog Denver further extended his accomplishments and recognition. Moscoso's poster work includes album covers for musicians such as Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Herbie Hancock, Jed Davis, and David Grisman.

By 1968, Moscoso was doing work for underground comix, for such titles as Yellow Dog, Jiz Comics, Snatch Comics, El Perfecto Comics, and Zap Comix. As one of the Zap artists, his psychedelic work once again received international attention. His comics appeared in every issue of Zap from 1968 until the title's final issue in 2014; he also illustrated the covers for Zap #s 4, 10, and 13. Moscoso's comix work is notable for its repetitive framing and reliance on an eight-panel grid. The subjects of his comics in Zap are often classic characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Krazy Kat, Mr. Peanut, Bugs Bunny and Winsor McCay's Little Nemo.

In 1977, Moscoso designed radio station KMEL's mascot: a camel wearing headphones.[10] (The station used the KMEL call letters to name itself "Kamel 106".)

Moscoso has also created art for use on T-shirts, billboards and animated commercials for radio stations, for which he received two Clio awards.[11] In addition, he was given an Inkpot Award in 1979.[12] Moscoso was a 2018 AIGA Medalist.[13]

In 1979, the French publisher Futuropolis published Moscoso Comix #1, a 52-page collection (which was republished in English 1989). Sex, Rock 'N' Roll, & Optical Illusions, a comprehensive collection of Moscoso's poster and comics work, was published by Fantagraphics in 2006, featuring introductions by Steven Heller and Milton Glaser.[14]

Personal life

Moscoso returned to Galicia for the first time in 1965, at age 29. In 2016, he described the visit as "Travelling a 100 years back in time. I was able to visit my grandparents who were, at the time, very old." Even though he returned sporadically after that, he showed interest in visiting again, as the last time he did so was in 2001.[15] As of 2021, Moscoso still lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.[16]



Album covers


Solo titles


See also


  1. ^ "An Interview with Victor Moscoso". The Comics Journal. February 9, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  2. ^ "Victor Moscoso". The Rock Poster Society.
  3. ^ "Victor Moscoso | Smithsonian American Art Museum".
  4. ^ "El dibujante gallego que hizo vibrar los carteles de la psicodelia americana". La Voz de Galicia. November 28, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  5. ^ "De Galicia al San Francisco hippie: Victor Moscoso, "el Picasso del póster psicodélico"". El Diario. May 9, 2021. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  6. ^ "Only the Dreamer: An Interview with Victor Moscoso". The Paris Review. 30 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Art". Los Angeles Times. February 26, 1987. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  8. ^ Dolan, Casey (June 16, 2008). "Concert posters are rocky history's visuals". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 24, 2016 – via LA Times.
  9. ^ Selling rock 'n' roll history, one ticket stub at a time - Star Tribune, April 17, 2006 - By Jon Bream Archived July 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ McDonough, Jack (November 1, 1980). "San Francisco FM Power: KMEL Seeks 'Total Demographic'". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 92 (44): 22. ISSN 0006-2510.
  11. ^ "The 25 Best Psychedelic Posters from Artist Victor Moscoso". Paste. 25 May 2017.
  12. ^ Comic Con Souvenir Book No. 40. San Diego Comic-Com International. 2009. p. 60.
  13. ^ "2018 AIGA Medalist: Victor Moscoso". American Institute of Graphic Arts.
  14. ^ "Study of Victor Moscoso | Basic Studies By Matthew Cox".
  15. ^ "El dibujante gallego que hizo vibrar los carteles de la psicodelia americana". La Voz de Galicia. April 14, 2021. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  16. ^ "El artista Víctor Moscoso vuelve a su tierra con una muestra "única"". El Ideal Gallego. November 28, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  17. ^ Allen, James. "The Cutting Room Floor - Jed Davis". All-Music Guide. Retrieved 22 April 2012.