Friday, April 5, 2013

Jay Lynch and Al Jaffee

2013.03.30 Asbury Park Comic Con, Asbury Park, NJ

A native of New Jersey, Lynch played a key role in the underground comix scene with books like Bijou Funnies (1968-1973), which featured Nard n' Pat, Turned On Cities, Roxy Funnies (1972) and many others. Bijou Funnies first appeared in Chicago in the summer of 1968 and featured work by Lynch, whon also served as editor, Skip Williamson, Jay Kinney, Gilbert Shelton and Robert Crumb.

Underground Comix gained popularity in the mid sixties, a group of self-published cartoonist-writers that followed the hippie culture focusing on sex, drugs, rock n' roll and violence. Subjects out of the mainstream. These comics could be found in head shops, which were not frequented by young kids, the books were geared for an older audience. At the time of their heyday (1967-73) I was aware of these books, but could never bring one into the house. Underground comix gained recognition when Ralph Bakshi adapted Robert Crumb's Fritz the Cat into an animated feature (1972). I had to show proof of age to get in to see this, of course my "birth certificate copy" had been altered to make me old enough to get in.

Lynch has also provided work for MAD Magazine, children's books (Otto's Orange Day and Mo and Jo Fighting Together Forever with Dean Haspiel) and his most publicly famous work on Topp's stickers - Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids

Al Jaffee signature

While walking around the con, I came across Al Jaffee's table. There was a line which is deserved. I hesitated at first then decided to take my place in line. Even though he was not providing sketches, it was still Al Jaffee, one of the great cartoonists. How could you not get in line. His contributions to MAD Magazine have continued for 57 years, his most notable work the back page fold-in.

Jaffee started in comics in 1941 working for several publications including Timely Comics and Atlas Comics, creating the characters Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal for Stan Lee. Fro 1957-1963 Jaffee drew an elongated comic panel Tall Tales for the New York Herald Tribune. Copies of the book reprinting Tall Tales (with an introduction by Stephen Colbert) were available at Jaffee's table. With the purchase of the book Jaffee provided a pre-signed book-plate (below). At 92, if it helps to pre-sign items, why not. 

1971, 1975 - National Cartoonist Society Special Features Award
1973 - National Cartoonist Society Advertising  and Illustrating Award
1979 - National Cartoonist Society Humor Comic Book Award
2008 - Reuben Award as Cartoonist of the Year

Button provided to guests that allowed re-entry (gotta love this!)

Overall I felt the convention was excellent. More space than previous, a great line-up of creators including Erica Schultz (M-3), Jerome Walford (Nowhere Man - a well produced book with great story and art), Frank Barbiere (Image Comics - Five Ghosts), Mina Sanwald, Ken Fredrick (Forgotten Dead, Quandry), Tom Hall (Robot-13), Paul Castiglia (Archie Comics), Jeff Schultz (Archie Comics), Allen Bellman (Capt America), Herb Trimpe (Hulk), Dave Ryan (War of the Independents), Bill Ellis (All New Issues), Bob C Hardin (Epics), Steve Mannion (Fearless Dawn), Chris Campana (Kantara)  Dan O'Connor (Ace Kilroy), Dave Bullock (Batman), Jamal Igle (Molly Danger), Jason Quinones (Beer & Cookies), Javier Cruz Winnick, Rudy Nebres (Tarzan), Stephanie Buscema and many many others...

Obtained sketches from Ian Dorian, Shawn Alleyne, Bob Camp, John Holmstrom, John Trumbull, Gary Fields, Joe Martino, Mark Morales and Chris Faccone...sketches will be posted....

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