All artists hope that they will make a lasting impression on the world; something that carries their name for hundreds of years so that, long after the artist is dead, the name lives on.
Except these guys. These guys were just farting around on the side when they accidentally created something that would impact the world for decades and decades to come. They impacted the art scene forever, and changed things in our world, infecting pop culture in astounding ways. And you have no idea who any of them are.
OK, well, yes, obviously you know who Ben Franklin is, but you probably don't think of him as an artist. Well, unless you count his whoring, drinking and mad skateboarding skills.
"Excuse me while I kiss the sky."
However, long before he invented the hoagie, Ben Franklin experimented with something that soon became as much a part of the democratic process as the super PAC or the middle finger. We speak of his 1747 editorial "Non Votis," or "The Waggoner and Hercules," which appeared in his pamphlet Plain Truth. The publication was a precursor to the zine -- which, incidentally, Ben Franklin is credited with inventing.
Best in Show: Philly Zine Fest 1747.
According to his autobiography, "The Pamphlet had a sudden & surprising Effect," not unlike an 18th century equivalent to Cracked.com. Franklin revisited this phenomenon on May 9, 1754 in his Pennsylvania Gazette with his editorial "Join, or Die." Just like "Non Votis," Franklin made his message as idiot-proof as possible: It was just a drawing.
Ben's poor understanding of reptile anatomy would cause thousands of tragic snake mutilations.