Tony Bennett

Tony has been publishing, importing and distributing books and comics since the late 1960s, first with Unicorn Bookshop, then as Hassle Free Press and under the name Knockabout since 1980.

Unicorn in Brighton was raided by the police in 1968 under Obscenity Laws and Bill Butler, the owner, was found guilty.

Following the incident Unicorn commissioned a Coat of Arms stating ‘Pornographers by Appointment to H.M. Queen’.

Hassle Free Press had problems with imported books and comics being seized by HM Customs, most of which cases were lost.

Tony came to an arrangement with Customs head office about showing them comics which he wished to import and talked them into letting quite a lot through.

They never had any problems with books about drugs. However, in the mid-80s the Obscene Publications Branch decided to make Knockabout a test case at the Old Bailey to see if books about drugs or comics with drug references could be seen to deprave and corrupt.

Knockabout won that case - which was a relief.

Although it didn't stop Customs seizing Robert Crumb's ‘My Troubles with Women’ in the mid-90s (because of 2 panels with sex in them in an 80 page book!!).

This was a book Knockabout had published in the UK 5 years previously and sold US rights to Last Gasp.

When Knockabout ran out of stock they imported some copies, winning that case (the first one ever against HM Customs) and subsequently were given a printed list of which sex acts were considered to be permissible - a great document!

Knockabout Comics Online

Twitter: @KnockaboutComix