Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Twilight of the Underground

Illustration for article titled Twilight of the Underground

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.

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

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Illustration for article titled Twilight of the Underground

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.

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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.

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

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

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