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edwards heave
average writing
competent art
historical bonus 2
total score 5
Edward's Heave Comics
Only Printing / April, 1973 / 36 pages / Cozmic Comics
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After publishing five comic books in 1972 under the Cozmic Comics insignia, H. Bunch Associates (publishers of the seminal Oz tabloid and magazine) produced seven more comics in 1973, including Edward's Heave Comics. Edward's Heave exclusively featured British cartoonist Edward Barker, one of the more accomplished underground comic creators. While this comic is by no means up to the standards of the best American underground work, there was plenty of worse stuff coming out of the States than the hit-or-miss comics found within this book.

Edward's Heave
is also notable for featuring a single British cartoonist instead of relying on imported American comics, as so many of the early British undergrounds did. This may have been only the second comic book that showcased a British cartoonist in his own book (the first being The Firm).

The problem with Edward's Heave is the same problem a handful of other British undergrounds, and a fuckton of American undergrounds, have with storytelling style. They tackle crude subjects for simple laughs and shoot for the lowest common denominator with their audience. Flash a tit, swing a cock, nudge-nudge, wink-wink...well wait a minute, I don't want to drag Monty Python into this discussion, as their tackling of crude subjects for humorous purposes was sublime, but you get the picture.

Multiple examples of this lowest of lowbrow comedy can be found in Edward's Heave, such as "Whip It Out Yet Again" and "The World Breast Boxing Championships." Do I even need to explain what these stories are about? In Leon Hunt's excellent 1998 book British Low Culture: From Safari Suits to Sexploitation, he coins the term "permissive populism" to describe how the growing permissiveness in 1960 and '70s British society trickled down into mass consumption, like the slapstick Benny Hill Show, the tremendously successful Carry On film franchise, and vulgar comic books.

I'm the last one to complain about vulgarity, but there's well-done vulgarity and not-so-well-done vulgarity. Edward's Heave is decidedly average vulgarity that will probably satisfy many but fall short for the discerning "low-brow comedy" audience.
It is currently unknown how many copies were printed of this comic book. It has not been reprinted.

Edward Barker - 1-36