Underground Comix

Of the Old Guard and the New Kids

Author Brian Doherty’s forthcoming narrative history of underground comix, “Dirty Pictures”, is a big one – so big, an entire chapter had to be deleted for space. Today, we present to you that lost chapter as a standalone reflection on the generation gap (or lack thereof) between the underground cartoonists and their older, straighter inspirations.

Al Jaffee At 99

Recently retired at the age of 99, Gary Groth catches up with Al Jaffee on his career, his comics, and the things he left behind.

Bill Schelly Tributes

Bill Schelly’s collaborators, compatriots and friends describe what it was like working with him, reading with him, and sharing his friendship.

Gary Gerani

Seeking Salivation! Food in Early Comics

University of Washington professor José Alaniz invited me to prepare and deliver a guest lecture on early comics for his class on food-themed comics. You could say I hoped the project would turn out to be something I could sink my teeth into. I was not disappointed.

The Woes of Working for Hef

Cartooning legends from Jack Cole to Harvey Kurtzman drew for the deep-pocketed, wannabe cartoonist Hugh Hefner, but there were some significant downsides.

Big “If”

A review, in comics form, of Bill Schelly’s new biography Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America.

Harvey Kurtzman: The Man who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America Excerpt

In this excerpt from Bill Schelly’s forthcoming biography Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America, the author chronicles the lifespan of the magazine Humbug. Rebounding from the abrupt cancellation of Trump (the magazine he had left Mad to produce) after only two issues, Kurtzman rallied an all-star cast of cartoonists for their next endeavor.

The Literaries

Since the Invasion of these literaries, I have been observing a tendency to ask the question: if this weren’t a comic would it stand up? Would the story be any good if it were prose and in competition with the rest of the world’s prose? If we take away all these damn pictures, would the stuff that is left be worth a hoot?