Two mainstays of American underground comix died this month, both creators of Bijou Funnies which struck a counter-culture vibe in the Sixties and Seventies. Jay Lynch died on March 5th and his oft-times partner Skip Williamson on March 16th. Both were 72 years old.

Williamson sold his first cartoon to Harvey Kurtzman’s Help! magazine.

I think I first encountered their work when a copy of Marvel’s Comix Book found its way to a Welling newsagent in the Seventies. It offered a coarse, titillating and eclectic satire which made me laugh. One of the stand out strips was Williamson’s Snappy Sammy Smoot which seemed to fall somewhere between Yellow Submarine and the Yongi-Bongi-Bo. Except it’s nothing like them at all.

In later years I would pick up reprints of Bijou Funnies and other underground comix which sported a vibrant and caustic anarchy. Fun, even if they were a little old fashioned.

Advertisement

It could be harshly political but maybe their time has come again?

I don’t know that much about either creator but their work has entertained me and would like to think that spark endures.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/arts/design/skip-williamson-dead-underground-cartoonist.html?_r=0

Advertisement

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/12/arts/design/jay-lynch-underground-comics-creator-dies-at-72.html?_r=0