Underground/Newave Comix: Post Your Obscure, Undocumented or Rarely Discussed
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332 posts in this topic

317 posts

I am starting this thread with the mandate to promote lessor known underground comix material to a broader audience.  On a routine basis (once or twice a month), I will be posting information and images of underground comix that are not the radar of most in the collecting community and/or are rarely offered in the marketplace for sale.  I am not going to be concerning myself, too much, with the question "would Jay Kennedy have considered it an underground?".  I have attached the published letter that he submitted to the City Limits Gazette.  Its seems that he was trying to fine tune his own criteria/definition for undergrounds vs newave.  He was even considering using the term "alternative" in his second edition because he felt that underground and newave were "misnomers".

It’s an often asked question, but I personally consider “rare” to be: an item that seems to be scarcer then the first printing of Snatch #1 (maybe 350 surviving copies) or at best is offered for sale on eBay/Heritage on average of once per year.

To keep this thread concentrated and focused, I ask anyone who wishes to post (even a small comment or question) to:

  1. Always include a description and images of their own underground item for sharing;

  2. Ensure that their posted item meets the spirit of the Kennedy Guide as being underground related – it can be undocumented, but generally should have been published between the late 60s and very early 80s.

If you wish to make a comment or ask a question, but cannot provide your own item as part of this thread, then please contact me by PM instead.  Thanks Dan

Kennedy letter.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Light-Head

Published by: Light-Head Publications Contributor: Don Marquez Date: August 1975; Price: 75 cents; Page Count: 24

Size: small comic format (7 x 8.5) Kennedy #: not listed Print information: 400 copies, first and only printing

I found this item for sale on eBay.  Because it was not listed in the Kennedy Guide, I contacted Don Marques (Trauma Publications fame amongst other work) to get more information.  He stated that:

  1. it is his first published work
  2. he was a big fan of the UG genre and wanted to produce his own example but with less adult content. 
  3. it was produced on a friend's printing equipment (seems to be Xerox)
  4. he ended up destroying all copies (he did not have a sales/distribution plan was not pleased with the end result), except for other than the few copies that slipped out of hands and 1-2 personal copies.  There are maybe 10 copies left in existence.

Light-Head.pngLight head Front and Back.png

Edited by CDNComix

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I love finding and researching undocumented (i.e., not listed in Kennedy's guide) publications from the period you mentioned. Let's hope there are more like-minded individuals out there who will appreciate, and contribute to, this thread. Thank you for creating it.

Edited by comixbible

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Kevin Joins the Carnival

Published by: Self Published Contributor: Bob Inwood Date: 1971 Price: Giveaway Page Count: wraparound holder with unconventional collation, something like 20ish

Size: small comic format (5.75 x 8.5) Kennedy #: not listed Print information: only one printing, about 10 copies were produced as a birthday party giveaway

If I had to choose a top favourite from collection, Kevin Joins definitely would be in the running. This was another eBay find, where I had to buy first and then ask questions later.  Lucky for me this turned out to be a little known gem, many unknown that I purchase often turn out to be duds.  I managed to contact Bob Inwood (who still lives in British Columbia) to flesh out some background:

  1. in 1971 he produced all the artwork in order to produce a gift for a friend/neighbour's, special needs son for an up-coming birthday (maybe his 14th)
  2. the intended recipient of the gift, Kevin, was scripted as the central character and appears throughout the story, including the front cover (see below)
  3. Inwood took the trouble into introduce as many of Kevin's personal likes into the plot as he could - wearing capes, dinosaurs, girls and of course carnivals
  4. Inwood's neighbour and Kevin's father was an artist and produced the comic by early Xerox.  He could be responsible for the hand-coloured, yellow portion of the front cover
  5. a few copies were given away as a personalized gift to Kevin and some guests at his birthday
  6. sadly Kevin took his own life a few years later as a young adult

My copy is unbound, except for being held by a three page wraparound cover holder.  The book was unconventionally produced and collated, so if you ever take it apart some thought has to go into getting the back in order.  I love the personal background story behind the creation of Kevin, even more than the most famous one about Ma Crumb and Dan Donahue selling copies of Zap 1 in Haight/Ashbury from a baby carriage.

kevin.PNGkevin2.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Rawaraw...aka Silent Majority 1

Published by: Rip-Off Press Contributors: Greg Irons, Gilbert Shelton and Robert Crumb Date: 1969 Price: Giveaway Page Count: single sheet folded into 8 pages

Size: folded (5.5 x 8.5) Kennedy #: 1657 Print information: only one printing, unknown amount of copies produced

Here's a historically important item, as comix collecting goes, that I do not have many specifics about. I understand that this was a giveaway that was handed out at an anti-war protest.  But I cannot find any information about which protest and its date. I also cannot find a published link with its Kennedy given alternative name "Silent Majority 1" and its sister book Silent Majority 2 (1970) with the famous Schrier Nixon image. The use of "Silent Majority" is no where to be found on the sheet.  However, there is an interesting imprint below the Crumb back panel - "PRINTED BY THE OL' RIP OFF PRESS IN THE SPIRIT OF THE THING".  I wish I knew more.

Silent majority.PNGSilent majority 2.PNG

 

Edited by CDNComix

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Figment #1

Published by: self published Contributor: Richard "Rick" Stoner Date: 1975 Price: 60 cents Page Count: 24 pages

Size: small comic (5.5 x 8.5) Kennedy #: possibly missing "732" Print information: unknown

Figment #2

Published by: self published Contributor: Richard "Rick" Stoner Date: 1980 Price: 25 cents Page Count: 8 pages

Size: mini (4.25 x 5.5) Kennedy #: not listed Print information: unknown

Figment #3

Published by: self published Contributor: Richard "Rick" Stoner; Wally Wood; Date: 1981 Price: one dollar Page Count: 16 pages

Size: digest (5.5 x 8.5) Kennedy #: not listed Print information: unknown

As mentioned in my very first posting, I have included a letter that Jay Kennedy sent to City Limits Gazette.  He asks that readers to contact him regarding any mistakes they should notice in his newly published guide. It seems that Kennedy skipped his entry for #732, which was supposed to be nestled between the entries for #731 (50's Funnies) and #733 (Filipino Food).  The best candidate I have come across to fill this hole would be Figment, a decent self-published book by Richard Stoner.  Perhaps there never was a "hole" with numbering in the Guide, but a just misstep with a number being skipped.  If there is a missing Kennedy entry, I would like it to be this publication.  Any better nominations?

Stoner continued the series with the publication of Figment #2 and #3. Number 3 includes some reviews/letters from newave notables and half its content is devoted to Wally Woods - whether as an homage or due to a court order for borrowing the master's style, I am not sure.

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Edited by CDNComix

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"J" is for Joint

Published by: self published Contributors: "Cabby" (Greg Anderson ?) Date: March 1979 Price: 25 cent Page Count: 8 pages

Size: mini (4.25 x 5.5) Kennedy #: 1061 Print information: 300 signed and numbered copies

Stashbox

Published by: self published Contributors: Cabby Date: Dec 1979 Price: no cover price Page Count: 20 pages

Size: mini (4.25 x 5.5) Kennedy #: 1881 Print information: 250 copies

Before the days of organic Purple Kush, infused edibles, medical marijuana patients and government licensed suppliers, there were instead nickel bags of seeded shake, hash brownies, burnouts and drug dealers.  This double bill comes from later era and documents the exploits of a community of talking joints. I am just really surprised that there were not more comix cranked-out during the Kennedy era that feature a similar storyline.  Just these 2 by my count.

Cabby 1.PNGCabby 2.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Shiva's Headband

Published by: Armadillo Productions Contributors: Jim Franklin Date: 1970 Price: giveaway Page Count: 8 pages

Size: standard comic (6.5 x 9.0) Kennedy #: 1770 Print information: one printing # of copies unknown

Produced by the great Jim Franklin as a promotional giveaway for the group Shiva's Headband. This and some of his other comic publications (Armadillotoons, Gas Comics 1 and 2) are definitely standouts within the Kennedy listing. I would assume either as a commercial endeavor as part of Franklin's commercial work/poster business or possibly as a favour. There's not much to go on: how many were produced, how these were given away, other than it's definitely tough item to find in great condition.

Shiva.PNGshiva 2.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Graphic Fantasy Annual 1

Published by: Dale Broadhurst Features Contributors: Dale Broadhurst; Roy Krenkel; J.S. St. John; Hank Vendetta; Rod Drum; Ned Young; Mike Vosberg; Scott Geary; L. Ogan; Ellen Ballett; Jim Pinkoski; Al Williamson; Jack Kirby; Zeno Beckwith; Frank Frazetta Date: August 1972 Price: $1.50 Page Count: 48 pages, letter and poster

Size: standard comic (7.5 x 10.5) Kennedy #: 895 Print information: one printing; 200 copies (only 175 reserved for sale)

I love this item because there is so much going on with it that makes it atypical.  It basically is what I would call a fantasy/EC prozine that reprints some non-adult material from two earlier Broadhurst efforts.  It has a square tape binding and some inner color pages.  The publication also came with a letter from the publisher and a two sided folded poster (see below).

For a very small run publication it is a top notch book that features work by some giants in the industry.  However, GFA also hold some lessons for those who dream of self-publishing their own book. Broadhurst poured his heart with the production of this publication and the two issues of Lair of Madness and the four other issues of Graphic Fantasy - it really shows.  It wasn't his commitment to excellence that eventually halted his start-up, but his few entanglements involving copyright protection. Pages 7 and 8 removed from this issue because of a cease-and-desist order.

Graphic 1.PNGGF 1.PNGGraphic 3.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Art An Eight Page Question

Published by: Self Published Contributor: Peter R. Thibeault Date: July 1972 Price: no cover price Page Count: 8 pages

Size: mini (2.75 x 4.0) Kennedy #: 119 Print information: only one printing, number of copies unknown

Kisser Comix

Published by: Self Published Contributor: Peter R. Thibeault Date: October 1972 Price: no cover price Page Count: 24 pages

Size: mini (2.75 x 4.0) Kennedy #: 1115 Print information: only one printing, number of copies unknown

One of my personal thrills with collecting undergrounds is not bothering to reference the guide stated publication information. When I received both of these efforts by Peter Thibeault, I was surprised by their small size (I was expecting regular comic sized items) and all-colour layout.  I knew what both items generally looked like from the small, grainy photo images supplied the Illustrated Checklist.  The use of a all-colour litho format is almost unheard of in the underground world - only another effort by Leonard Rifas comes to mind as being another exception. I had an opportunity to ask the creator of these two gems, how did he managed to come with the funds or have access to a litho press. He replied that at the time, he worked in a commercial print shop and was permitted to insert his designs onto the spare side areas of printing plates and then simultaneously print a customer's print job with his own work.  Crafty.

Art front.PNGArt back.PNGKisser front.PNGKisser back.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Great thread, Dan! Keep them coming. Here's my first contribution.

Heroes and Rubber Cop # 4, 2nd Printing 

Published by: Sensational Comics Group Contributors: Craig Bernhardt and Dave Darrigo Date: April, 1969 Price: $0.25 CAD Page Count: 38

Size: 8.5 x 11 Kennedy #: not listed Print information: two printings, 300 copies total

Based out of Islington, Ontario, Canada, Sensational Comics Group was a fan publisher active in 1969 that published five issues of "Heroes and Rubber Cop" (also called H.A.R.C.) and one issue of a comic called "Sensational Display." The first four issues of the comic were mimeographed at the business owned by Dave Darrigo's father, with the final issue of Heroes and Rubber Cop and the only issue of Sensational Display being printed in Marshalltown, Iowa. Bernhardt and Darrigo provided their own separate comics ("The Heroes" and "The Rubber Cop" respectively) from which the series derives its name. Bernhardt acted as the president and editor of Sensational Comics Group. He also created another comic called "The Leopard," which appears in some issues of H.A.R.C.

Early issues of H.A.R.C. had print runs of between 20 and 40 copies only. This seems to change with issue # 4 with the second printing. Despite being extremely amateurish, this series is an early example of the burgeoning homegrown UG and fanzine culture that emerged in Canada circa 1968 and features some of the first original Canadian hero comics published since the end of the WECA period. Few examples seem to have survived and most of the images online come from the one I own. In fact, the John Bell collection at Library and Archives Canada doesn't have a single issue in its collection.

Darrigo would go on to become extremely important in the Canadian comic scene. By the late-1970s, he was the first manager of Dragon Lady Nostalgia in Toronto and was the editor of the monthly newsletter "Dragon Lady Dispatch" which would feature work by young artists such as Ty Templeton and Chester Brown (who would become stars of Canadian comics in their own right). During the 1980s he published "Wordsmith" with Rick Taylor through Deni Loubert's Renegade Press. By the 1990s he had returned to publishing with his own short-lived label, Special Studio. Darrigo was one of the founders of the Joe Shuster Awards and was inducted into the Canadian Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2010. As a legend in the Canadian comics industry, this amateur publication is where he got his start.

 

1150321778_HeroesandRubberCop4.thumb.jpg.bb9d74e8a8bdd5857374a6b346e1d4da.jpgHeroes and Rubber Cop 4 (Printing Note).JPG

Edited by ecgt

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Real World Comix

Published by: Self Published Contributor: Errol McCarthy Date: 1974 Price: no cover price Page Count: 36 pages

Size: magazine (8.5 x 11) Kennedy #: 1669 Print information: only one printing, 325 copies

This "must have" has everything that an underground collector could hope for: great cover covers, true underground content and professional production values. Its creator later went on to find success assisting Mattel with building its He-Man merchandizing empire. What's peculiar to me is there were only 325 copies produced, of which Kennedy states that only 200 copies were distributed by Kitchen Sink. To explain the low print run, I was expecting a "1000 copies were produced but most copies were destroyed by the printer or a fire" story, but I cannot find any evidence to support that theory.

RW10.PNGRW 2.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Stick City

Published by: Self Published Contributor: Arnie Romero Date: 1980 and 1983 (see below) Price: 15 cents Page Count: 8-10 pages (see below)

Size: mini (2.75 x 4.25) Kennedy #: not listed Print information: many (see below)

Here's an example of missing something that's in plain sight.  Being an avid Artie Romero/Everyman Studio collector, I bought this item on-line a few years ago. When I received it I did not pay attention to some interesting clues that would have lead me to the conclusion that there was a wider story with this book.  I always assumed that the publication date of 1980 (as stated by the inner front cover) was gospel.  What I failed to notice was that a publication date of 1983 was given on the very next page.  I always wondered why Kennedy failed to list Romero publication within his guide.  He was diligent with identifying everything else in the Everyman/Romero stable, why did he skip this one?

I even made the point to on-line visit the Kennedy collection to see if he had a copy of Stick City in collection.  He did.  He had collected many different versions!  There was a listed example from 1980 and several "variants" of it that were published in 1983.  I recently contacted Artie Romero to get an explanation and discovered that he:

1) had printed the colour covers of Stick City in 1980;

2) was transitioning into his animation business, sold the Everyman litho press and dropped the project;

3) when he resumed publication of Stick City in 1983, he found that did not really like the litho colour covers in 1980;

4) produced 8 pages of black and white inner guts using photocopying techniques;

5) also produced 4-5 different black and white cover versions to be used as an replacement to the 1980 colour version.

Artie also told me that 1983 was the first time that Stick City was finished and was released in many versions, as a: 10-pager with the 1980 colour covers; coverless B&W 8-pager that was left around town like a religious tract; one of a series of all B&W 10-page variants (4-5 different new 1983 covers with 1983 guts).  The reason that Kennedy did not list Stick City was because it was not produced until 1983, one year after the publication of his guide. If you own a single copy of Stick City and believe that you have all of the known printings - like me you do not.

SC 2.PNGSC 1.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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What Pornography Does to Women and to Men 

Published by: Self Published Contributor: E. Widaen Date: November 1982 Price: no cover price Page Count: 24 pages

Size: mini (3.75 x 5.25) Kennedy #: post Kennedy Print information: unknown

I have little doubt that if Jay Kennedy had been able to see this book prior to the publication of his guide, it would be listed in it.  Some of the features that makes WPDW atypical from the rest of newave herd is the:

1) heavy, white, orange peel covers;

2) absence of a title on the front cover. There is a string of Cantonese characters which reveal the exact publication date of the book - 1982, November 21th;

3) presence of a few hand touched print features: stamped Chinese character label, stamped adults only label, piece of reflective silver foil and some hand colouring.

wp.PNGwhat 2.PNGwhat 3.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Horrible Misunderstandings #1

Published by: first (Self Published); second and third (Everyman Studios); pink (Roger May) Contributors: Artie Romero, JM Leonard, Roger May, Tim Boxell, Mary Brown, Roldo, Larry Rippee, Rick Geary, Howard Cruse Date: first (July 1980); second (August 1980); third (March 1981); pink (unknown) Price: 25 cents Page Count: 8 pages

Size: mini to digest Kennedy #: 1005 Print information: first (100 copies); second (25 copies); third (600 copies); pink (unknown)

The second (out of 12) in the "San Diego Con Mini Series", Horrible Misunderstandings #1 has a little something for every type of underground collector: nine big names of the underground world contributing to one mini, rarity, multiple printings/versions, including a mysterious pink version to turns up from time to time.

It turns out that the pink version which is not listed in the Kennedy guide (the other three are) was produced at some point in time by Roger May.  It should not be referred to as the "fourth printing", since May could have released it anytime after the initial publication.  There is no publication date, but only a statement of "official reprint" on the front cover and 1980 copyright date on the inner cover. I have provided an out of order comparison image: pink version (May); orange version (third printing Everyman); white Xerox (first convention printing); white litho (second printing Everyman):

HM.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Quoz Comix #1

Published by: Self Published Contributors: Leonard Rifas Date: December 1969 Price: 10 cents Page Count: 12 pages

Size: small comic (7 x 8) Kennedy #: 1642 Print information: one printing of 1000 copies (500 red cover and 500 purple cover)

This early, unconventionally formatted, comic is credited by some as being the first mini or at least contributing to the inspiration of the first mini. The creation of Quoz was inspired by the underground comix and what he calls zines (Godnose and the Profit) that Leonard Rifas purchased from a Californian bookstore as a young man. He paid a whopping total of $60 to have Dan Donahue print a 1000 copies on the Plymell litho press.  However, due to a lack of planning with distribution and sales, Rifas had difficulty with even selling the "small amount of copies" released into the marketplace.

For more information please consult the great essay by Rifas on the subject of Quoz Comix #1 in the Treasury of Mini-Comics, Part 1.

Quoz 1.PNGQuoz 2.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Take It Off Funnies #1

Published by: Sorcerer Studios Contributors: Wayne Gibson Date: July 1980 Price: 47 cents Page Count: single folded sheet with poster insert

Size: small comic (5.5 x 8.5) Kennedy #: 1936 Print information: 100 copies

I just enjoy the look and attitude of Take It Off Funnies and the two similar works by Wayne Gibson: Peeping Tom Comix and Your Dead Comix. Great poster insert to boot!

TIO 1.PNGTIO 2.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Bazooka Comiks No. 1

Published by: Rebel Crime Press Contributors: David Gregg; Bob Montgomery; Ray Gun; John Doe; Chuck Biscuits; Mike Normal; Cram; Icky McNickel Date: 1979 Price: 25 cents Page Count: 20 pages

Size: magazine (8.5 x 11) Kennedy #: not listed Print information: unknown

Bazooka Comiks No. 2

Published by: Rebel Crime Press Contributors: David Gregg; Bob Montgomery; Ray Gun; John Doe; Dimwit; Uwe; Johnny Anger; Simon Snotface; Cram; Keif Date: 1979 Price: 25 cents Page Count: 24 pages

Size: magazine (8.5 x 11) Kennedy #: not listed Print information: unknown

Those who know me are probably wondering why I did not post these earlier, since I have a known weakness for these DIY underground publications. Both issues were printed by David Gregg (Vancouver punk band D.O.A.) as an afterhours project at the print shop which he was working. Interim members of the band (there were many) contributed to the both issues, including Bob Montgomery as overall creator and editor.

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Edited by CDNComix

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Cosmic Strawberries: A Portfolio of Drawings by Tom Foster

Published by: Toad Frogster Contributors: Tom Foster Date: 1979 Price: $3.50 Page Count: 64 pages

Size: magazine (8.5 x 11) Kennedy #: 349 Print information: one printing, 100 copies

I always get a good feeling when looking through any of Tom Foster's publications.  I never had the good fortunate to ever talk to him, but I would assume that he is (or was) a mild, contented and happy man - the opposite of me.

CS 1.PNGCS 2.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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Soulsnap Comix #1

Published by: Oblivion Enterprises; Contributor: Rick McCollum; Date: 1974; Price: 75 cents; Page Count: 40 pages

Size: small comic format (5.5 x 8.5) Kennedy #:1856 Print information: second print 450 copies, supposedly two printings

Soulsnap Two

Published by: Oblivion Enterprises; Contributor: Rick McCollum; Date: 1975; Price: 30 cents; Page Count: 12 pages

Size: small comic format (5.5 x 8.5) Kennedy #:1857 Print information: one printing, 75 copies

These two efforts from Rick McCollum are an early window into his present prolific body of work. Kennedy uses the term "fanzine-ish" to describe both. I would agree and have gone even further and simply called them "fantasy fanzines", which seems to be a dirty term with some underground collectors.

My copy of SSC #1, like the copy described by Kennedy, states: "Series 2 xx/450, signed by RM 1975". This led him to believe that there "was an earlier printing", but I do not feel 100% comfortable with supporting that conclusion. I have either seen or have been described three other copies of SSC #1, therefore all five copies known by myself bear the same inscription with very low copies numbers. Unless the "first printing" was a very small run, which it could have been, I would have thought that at least one of the five copies would have been a first printing.

Soulsnap Two was definitely scaled back when compared to the first issue: no adult content, fewer pages and fewer copies.

SS 1-1.PNGSS 1-2.PNGSS2-1.PNGSS 2-2.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

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