Underground comix

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Underground Comics or Comix are comic books created by small or self-publishers . One can make out forerunners of the American comix movement in the early 1960s. Her magazines and publishers emerged in the late 1960s. They were created in the hippie metropolis of San Francisco , in Chicago  - where Skip Williamson and Jay Lynch produced the Bijoux Funnies - and in New York City .


The first Zap Comix edition appeared in San Francisco in early 1968 . Robert Crumb , S. Clay Wilson, the artists Robert Williams, Rick Griffin, and Victor Moscoso published in Zap . Gilbert Shelton had already published satirical comics in Texas. His famous characters - Freak Brothers and Wunderwarzenschwein  - emerged after moving to San Francisco in the summer of 1968. Bill Griffith , who had worked in New York for the East Village Other and Screw , moved to San Francisco in 1970. He later edited “Arcade” with Art Spiegelman , in which Justin Green also published works. Kim Deitch , Manuel "Spain" Rodriguez and Vaughn Bodé worked for "EVO" in New York. Trina Robbins also worked for "EVO" before moving to San Francisco. Many underground comic artists not only engaged in their own series, they also contributed to comic anthologies . For example, the "Funny Aminals" anthology published by Terry Zwigoff contained work by Crumb, Griffith, Lynch, Spiegelman and Shary Flenniken.

Underground comics dealt with topics that were important to the counterculture of the 1960s. They were directed against the establishment in general , advocating subjects such as self-actualization, the use of mind-altering drugs, and breaking sexual taboos and any imaginable taboo. The comix spelling was established to stand out from the normal newspaper strips and comic books, which at the time were only intended for children. In contrast to mainstream comics, comixes that explicitly depict sex and violence were clearly aimed at adults.

The term "Underground Comics" was first used by writer and editor Bhob Stewart at the New York Comics Convention in 1966. During a discussion with Ted White and Archie Goodwin , Stewart predicted the birth of a new kind of comic: “I want to say that just as mainstream movies prompted underground films, I think the same thing is going to happen with comics. You will have underground comics just as you have had underground films. "

In Germany, Comix was first distributed by Bernd Brummbär at März and Melzer. This type of comics also spread through the “U-Comix” published by Raymond Martins Volksverlag. Later this development was also supported by the publishing house "Zweiausendeins". G. Shelton was represented graphically in the first U-Comix booklet (1969). Robert Crumb brought the first book on the market in Germany and was featured in all Brumm Comix volumes. Theo van den Boogaard's “Anne and Hans get their chance”, which comes from Dutch, is a porn graphic novel (1970). All other major artists appeared in anthologies and in the U-Comix. In the 1970s, their special volumes and “extra issues” presented the entire spectrum of American comics.

In the United States , comix was mostly distributed by the head shops , which sold underground newspapers, psychedelic posters, and drug use accessories. After the end of the Vietnam War and a strong countercultural movement , the sale of drug accessories was banned in much of the United States and many head shops were closed. As a result, the Comix's sales channels seeped away. 1976 is generally seen as the end of the underground comics boom, although many artists continued to create work after that. In the early 1980s, independent comic book publishers that did not subscribe to the Comics Code began publishing comics aimed at adults that succeeded underground comics as alternative comics . The carefully produced large-format RAW by Art Spiegelman and his wife Françoise Mouly became the Arcade successor in 1980 .

The label “underground” is given today to “alternative” comics that are most similar to the original comix.

List of underground comics (selection)


US comix translations and German comix before 1980

  • Since 1969, UPN-Volksverlag has published 17 U-Comix issues (until 1979/80) and from 1974 larger paperbacks, 36 volumes that were dedicated to an artist or topic; U-Comix special volume , 1974–1982. 11 U-Comix Extra Hefte from 1977 to 1981. Some of the artists in the special volumes and extra books (E + number) were: Vaughn Bodé (8, E6); Ron Cobb (5, 21, E1); Richard Corben (3, in7, E3); Robert Crumb (1). Rick Geary, 28; Bill Griffith (23); Rand Holmes (22, E2); Jack Jackson ( Jaxon ) (10); Jay Kinney (32); Paul Kirchner (31); George Metzger (2, E9); Trina Robbins (13); Manuel "Spain" Rodriguez (19); Dave Sheridan (6); Larry Todd, 29; Larry Welz, 35; S. Clay Wilson (20). German artists were Mali [Beinhorn] and Werner [Busch] (12, in 24, E4): Thomas Maria Bunk (27); Bernd Pfarr u. Volker Reiche , Winfried Secker, Ingo Stein (in24); Dutch: Theo van den Boogard (25, E5); Harry Buckinx (34) and Evert Geradts (14, E7).
The U-Comix special volumes were 1: Robert Crumb, 1974; 2: George Metzger, 1974; 3: Richard Corben, 1974 [indexed]; 4: Fred Schrier, 1974; 5: Ron Cobb [political cartoons, from the Los Angeles Free Press et al. v. a. Underground newspapers, 1974. Ev. according to RC: Mah Fellow Americans , Real Free Press, Amsterdam, 1971?]; 6: Dave Sheridan, 1974 [ind.]; 7: future [ind.]; 8: Vaughn Bodé; 9: Greg Irons; 10: Jaxon (Jack Jackson), 1976 [Ind.]; 11: Sex , 1977 [Ind.]; 12: Mali and Werner [ind.]; 13: Trina Robbins [Ind.]; Vol. 14: Evert Geradts; 15: Ted Richards; 16: Guy Colwell [Ind.]; 17: Bizarre Sex Anthology; 18: Jim Pinkoski; 19: Manuel Spain Rodriguez; 20: Clay Wilson, S.; 21: Richard Cobb; 22: Rand Holmes [Harold Hedd, Georgia Straight ]; 23: Bill Griffith; 24: German draftsman ; 25: Theo van den Boogaard; 26: Australian draftsmen ; 27: Thomas Maria Bunk [ RAW , has worked for MAD for a long time ]; 28: Rick Geary [ Heavy Metal , National Lampoon , RAW ]; Vol. 29: Larry Todd; 30: Carlos Giménez; 31: Paul Kirchner; 32: Jay Kinney [made famous by Bijou Funnies , Young Lust ]; 33: Hunt Emerson [England]; 34: Harry Buckinx [Ind.]; 35: Larry Welz (known from Captain Guts ); 36: Bobby London. U-Comix Extra No. 1: Ron Cobb, 1977; 2: Rand Holmes, 1978; 3: Richard Corben: Rowlf [1971], 1978; 4: Mali and Werner, 1978; 5: Theo van den Boogaart: The Ideographer [ De Ideograaf ], 1979; 6: Vaughn Bode: Der Kämpf , 1979; 7: Evert Geradts, 1980; 8: Fernando Clemente from Lisbon, 1980; 9: George Metzger, 1980; 10: Carlos Gimenez [Spanish Comics], 1980; 11: Atom Comics Anthology, 1981.
  • Robert Crumb: Head Comics , March Verlag, Frankfurt, 1970 [indexed 1973-2002]. Changed new editions at two thousand and one (1970s).
  • 'Radical America' comix with comics by R. Crumb and G. Shelton, Victor Moscoso, S. Clay Wilson, Skip Williamson, Greg Irons, Dave Sheridan and John Thompson (1970) [ev. = Radical America; Komiks , the special comix issue of SDS magazine Radical America (Vol. 3, No. 1, 1969)]; Theo van den Boogaard: Anne and Hans get their chance (1970); Dirt Comics , No. 1, 1970 [ev. = Snatch Comics , No. 1, 1968 (?)]; The militant panther aunts , m. Comics v. R. Crumb, Jay Kinney, Dennis Kitchen, Spain, G. Shelton et al. Michele Brand (1971); Comic strip tease; Sex and porn in the comic strip , m. Comics v. R. Crumb et al. S. Clay Wilson (1971); Robert Crumb: Fritz the Cat (1972); Robert Crumb: Mr. Natural (1973) [= RC: Mr. Natural , No. 1, 1970, No. 2, 1971]; all publications by Brumm Comics from Melzer Verlag. Also: Sex in Comics , Vol. 1, Melzer, 1973; Vol. 2, undated, 1973.
  • Gilbert Shelton: Freak Brothers (1975/79) and Fat Freddy's Kater (1978), two thousand and one .
  • Gerhard Seyfried : Where should it all end , Rotbuch, Berlin, 1978. Rotbuch has published two political and didactic comic books, drawn by Mali & Werner : Giorgio Pellizzi, Mali & Werner: Bernie the billionaire flipper ; A tragic comic from high finance , Rotbuch (No. 128), Berlin, 1974. Winfried Thomsen :, Mali & Werner: The innocence of Bonn; A smear comic with 3 Marx Brothers and an idealistic citizen , Rotbuch (No. 160), Berlin, 1976. On Mali & Werner cf. U-Comix special volumes, No. 12 and 24 u. U-Comix Extra, No. 4. The style of the red books is reminiscent of Alfred von Meysenbug . Mali Beinhorn was born in Northeim in 1951, Werner Busch in Leipzig in 1949.
  • Art Spiegelman , with fractions by Klaus Theweleit and Martin Langbein: Breakdowns , Stroemfeld Verlag / Roter Stern, Frankfurt / M., 1980.



  1. Also political cartoons. There were two books and a special edition by Ron Cobb. He had worked early for the Los Angeles Free Press and other underground newspapers and was at home against the Vietnam War and sometimes for ghetto riots. The propaganda art of the Black Panther Party cadre Emory Douglas for the party newspaper The Black Panther was not regarded as a comic, but in terms of form and content it was comic-like . His disturbing messages also adorned all kinds of publications in Germany. The Huey P. Newton paperback published by Roter Stern in Frankfurt contains illustrations by him.
  2. Theo van den Boogaard, a distinguished artist [1] was later published in Germany by Volksverlag. Ans en Hans krijgen de Krans was published as a book by PJ Muller in Amsterdam in 1970. The comic had appeared in Aloha (formerly Hitweek ) and in the contact magazine Chick . The porn magazines Chick and Candy had comics in every magazine, often by interesting artists like Hans Borrebach.