SKIP WILLIAMSON

Artist Skip Williamson is one of the founding fathers of the underground comix movement and has been illustrating his brand of cantakerous satire for more than thirty years. A Chicago native, he began cartooning in the alternative newspapers The Chicago Mirror and The Chicago Seed. In 1968 he produced Bijou Funnies, one of the earliest and longest-running underground comix titles, with Robert Crumb and Jay Lynch. His style owes much to the pioneering work of Mad creator Harvey Kurtzman. In a 1986 interview The Comix Journal said, “Williamson’s underground style, steeped in Art Deco flatness and crammed with calculatedly unhip scatology, carried the same joyful resonance that sparks Crumb’s early work. But where Crumb’s primary comics aim was introspective… Williamson took a broader look, skewering both left-wing trendiness and right-wing over-reaction…Crumb’s approach may have been more personal, more artistically “legitimate," but to those of us struggling to make sense of the sociopolitical chaos, Williamson was frequently the funnier.”

During the 1970s and 80s Williamson was an art director for what he calls “the carnal fleshpool of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine.” In addition to numerous comics including Gag Reflex, Naked Hostility, Pighead, Class War Comix and Smoot, he has published two anthologies of his work; Halsted Street (1990, Kitchen Sink Press) and The Scum Also Rises (1998, Fantagraphics Books). Skip is now editing and assembling a 300-hundred page anthology entitled My Bitter Agenda. Williamson recently moved to the Atlanta area, where he is concentrating on painting large-scale canvases. His work has appeared in numerous galleries and is featured in Rosebud 24. His comics adaptation of The Man with a Nose for Graphic Classics: H.G. Wells features a cameo by his most famous character, the compulsive and gullible Snappy Sammy Smoot. You can see more of Skip's bitter agenda at www.skipwilliamson.com.

Skip's work is also appeared in the first editions of Graphic Classics: Ambrose Bierce and Graphic Classics: Mark Twain.


Graphic Classics: H.G. Wells
(second edition)

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Rosebud Issue #24
136 pages, b&w, $7

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©2002 Skip Williamson
from Rosebud 24 ©1974 Skip Williamson