Today is his Birthday!

By sabeth

By sabeth

Hey Kids….Wilson turns 79 today! For some reason I can’t upload a new photo of him, but here’s this fabulous drawing by his former squeeze, Sabeth. I love this rendition of Wilson & his little “brace of redheads”! I’ll try to figure out what’s gone haywire, and post some pix of the Birthday Boy later.

I need to update you on how he’s doing, but haven’t had the heart this past month. He nearly died on MY birthday, June22….but managed to stick around for that, and for his own, today. For that I am very grateful. He is having trouble now. We feed him puréed food & thickened water, to make swallowing easier. And safer. Anyone who’s ever eaten a meal with Wilson knows what a travesty this is – I’ve never known ANYONE who chews their food as THOROUGHLY as Wilson! Mealtime is almost the ONLY time he’s quiet! You can imagine how feeding him the past nearly two years has been an exercise in Zen Patience. I’d have the next bite ready for what seems like an ETERNITY, while His Majesty was busy chewing. And chewing. And chewing. Oop! Almost. Nope. Still chewing……

Please send him a message, and I’ll read it to him. I’m heartbroken to say this on his birthday….but the Hospice Dr didn’t really need to tell me he hasn’t much time now. I can see it myself. But we are being CHEERY today. It is not a day to talk about dying….although the virus has us thinking about almost nothing ELSE in these past very short six months…..he’s NOT going on his birthday, although with his love of holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and coincidences, the irony of that would have given him a wicked chuckle.

I’m not having it! I treasure every one of these last days with him. He still reaches towards my face, touches my hair, and pulls my hand to his lips. He also still grouses if I’ve got some comedy special on Netflix for him that he doesn’t find amusing…or a movie he’s already seen just one too many times. I always hunt for something better…though one time I growled “Seriously? You forgot how to tie your shoes, but you’re still a MOVIE CRITIC?” Of course, he stared at me wide-eyed, as if to say “How could it be otherwise?”

How, indeed! Even in his twilight hours, without being able to speak, S.Clay Wilson ALWAYS has something to say.

11 Responses to “Today is his Birthday!”

  1. Jason Says:

    Have a Happy Birthday, Wilson! You are loved, and always will be!

  2. Max Webster Says:

    Happy birthday, S. Clay! I was just chatting with my father yesterday and he mentioned you. I have very fond memories of when you visited New Orleans for Mardi Gras and I ended up riding on your shoulders for the parade. What a great time that was :) You’ve always had 3 big fans in the Webster household. I hope that your day is filled with joy!


  3. Jason Florida Man Says:

    Happy Birthday from Florida Mr Wilson. Thanks for all the great cartoons and stories, they have been some of my favorite things to read and admire for many years. There will never be another S. Clay Wilson.

  4. Chabela Says:

    Happy belated birthday Clay!! Or S. Or Wilson. Whatever works best. You’ve probably heard this a million times but you’re a great artist who I admire deeply and you’ve touched the lives of so many people, including myself, and I admire you not only for being a great artist but for having the strength and spirit to make it this far. I know I couldn’t, but you have, and I don’t know you personally but I have the feeling that you’ll be fighting till the end :) You inspire me to continue making and improving on my own art! God bless you Lorraine for sticking with him all this time, because I know that takes a lot of strength too. You too Rena. Have a blessed day everyone and happy birthday again :D

  5. Kade McClements Says:


    I went to the School of Visual Arts for cartooning and being from upstate New York and of a certain background held an equal regard for the transgression of the aesthetic movement i.e. Beardsley as much as I did the general attitude of bikers which surrounded me in my upbringing. What I had no awareness of was the influence you had in carrying both torches and, nonetheless, quite possibly incubating “biker” art as a whole. That being said, all of my early assignments in cartooning school had my professors in a predicament of assigning me to read and study your work. A professor or two may have even known you at some point and told me stories, a professor may have even edited a magazine including you which they shared with me xeroxes of your work- to which I was floored and found you to be, what even those who suggested your work did not suggest, a role model.

    It was obvious that you possessed no filter, sought every taboo, which held as an obstacle to complete freedom of expression to be hurdled and, had no hope in this world but to display your purebred thought. I found your work at the society of illustrators exhibition of ZAP! and studied closely, read the thick volumes which have been dispersed on you over the previous few years and aspired to somehow come within close grasp of step which you kept atop the fine line dividing cartoons and the unconscious. I found not the obvious semiotics which adhere most frequently with the “sublime” but the honest incorporation of time spent indulging in Gorey, Wyeth, decadence, E.C. comics and also the lens of life which could filter it unto “S. Clay Wilson”. At first it made me want to become you but in enough time it inspired me to attempt to seek out what I could be capable of.

    I am sorry that we will never meet, but I hope solemnly, to tell you that you’ve at one time remained deeply engrained in my thoughts as an artist and it will forever be important to me.



  6. Philip DeWalt Says:

    Please pass my well wishes on to S. Clay. I’ve been an admirer of his work since the 60’s when my mind was truly “Bent” by his outrageous work which, thankfully, never lost it’s power. Like all great artists his work will be admired for generations.

    I own one piece of original art by him. Ironically, it’s a small realistic self portrait done in pencil – very a-typical. Wish I could share a pic of it with you.

    And for those of you wondering, I emailed “Bubbles” about the Checkered Demon t-shirt and he still has some. I Just scored an XL. Now if I just understood why “Checkered” was misspelled!

  7. James Says:

    Just wanted to wish a belated birthday to Wilson. It sounds like things are tough, you both sound tough. Best wishes.

  8. James Pezet Says:

    Please tell Wilson Happy Birthday from me. Just yesterday I was marveling at his pen and ink drawings he did for The Bluethings and his friend Val Stecklein. I shall listen to “You Can Live In Our Tree” today in his honor. Wishing you all the best.


  9. Matt Says:

    Thank you for showing me that I could be honest in my artwork…..I draw some pretty fucked up stuff, hahaha ha!

    Matt, 48, Grafton, Australia

  10. Eric Says:

    S. Clay Wilson,

    I was the Son In Law to Ed Watson down in San Jose, California from 1982 and I Grew Up as a Teen around Ed and he showed me art and I’ve been hooked every since … you inspired a lot of lives!

    Thank You & Godspeed My Friend

  11. Lisa Wilson Says:

    Clay Wilson and my dad Doug Wilson were friends in Lincoln a long time ago and lived together in new york for a short period. I grew up with one of you piece’s on our wall. My father had Parkinson’s and passes a few years ago. I’m sorry for all you are going through. I also appreciated your art even though it was not really my cup of tea. Best regards. Lisa Wilson Phillips

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