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cover
 
solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Garbage Comix
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REVIEW SCORE 7
Only Printing / 1973 / 36 pages / Gary McDonald and Yuri Krus
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By 1973, the underground comics era was well established and the market was on a four-year run of booming sales. Nobody realized that the era would soon be crippled by the landmark Supreme Court ruling on obscenity and a worldwide shortage of newsprint, but many noticed the trend of a lot of shitty comic books flooding the underground marketplace. Some of these low-quality books were being printed by established publishers and some were being self-published by the authors, but shitty underground comics glutting the market (and failing to sell) was the third major factor to the demise of the golden era of undergrounds (1968-73).

Into this maelstrom of crap ventured Garbage Comix, a self-published underground from three guys in Detroit. I don't know if this book was ever distributed on a national basis, but I'm sure it didn't sell very well. It featured three nobodys who had never appeared in comics before and would never appear in comics again, and nothing about the book was awesome or groundbreaking.

Yet Garbage Comix is one of those hidden, minor gems of the era that makes collecting underground comics today such a joy. Like Comix Trip, Hawgfat Funnies, Crash Street Kidds, and Whole Wheat Comics (to name just a few), they might be a bit hard to find and a little pricey, but all of them are surprisingly fresh and funny. Yet they were all produced by comic creators who disappeared from the scene almost the moment after their comics were published.

Garbage Comix features three contributors; Yuri Krus, Gary McDonald, and K. Combee, though Krus and McDonald are the two major creators. Krus produced the cover art and has a penchant for scratchboard illustration, while McDonald has a sparse cartooning style, like Shary Flenniken without her genius or Dan O'Neill without the wandering nib. Along with K. Combee, who wrote two of the book's stories, they possess a certain talent for comic writing that features (or neatly slips in) nice chunks of social commentary. Who wouldn't appreciate a story about the land of "Fuh," which was ruled by the Fuh King and and Fuh King Princess?

There are certainly weak spots in the material, which is why the book doesn't score higher than it does, but Garbage Comix has plenty of good stuff to make up for the low points.
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keyline
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES:
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted.
Note that the indicia page states that the "subscribers of the Underground Press Syndicate or Liberation News Service may reprint up to five stories if proper credit is given." The Underground Press Syndicate is documented elsewhere on this site (search for it!), but the Liberation News Service is not. It was an underground press news service that published articles and news bulletins for hundreds of newspapers from 1967 to 1981.
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COMIC CREATORS:

Yuri Krus - 1, 4-10 (art), 15-17, 19, 25-29 (art)
Gary McDonald - 3, 11-14, 18, 20-24, 30-34
K. Combee - 4-10 (script), 25-29 (script)