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half assed funnies
 
solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Half Assed Funnies
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REVIEW SCORE 5
Only Printing / 1973 / 36 pages / H. Bunch Associates
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Half Assed Funnies arrived amidst a flurry of underground comics published in Britain by H. Bunch and Cozmic Comics in 1973 and 1974. Half Assed includes a few pages by American creators, but mostly stories by Britains Bill Sanderson, Edward Barker, Rod Beddall, Chris Tyler and Angus McKie, along with Canadian Brent Boates, a charming front cover by Jim Leon and a back cover by American Jim Franklin.

The lead story is "In a Cellar" by Sanderson; a stylishly illustrated tale of a savage King who is banished and chained in a cellar of his castle for his cruel and deadly deeds...which somehow sows the seeds of democracy? The second story by Boates, "The Sensuous Censor," is a two-page melodrama about a government-employed censor who is driven mad by his exposure to underground-style comic books. This type of story has often been retold, but it has more meaning in the UK, where uptight wankers have made their mark over the centuries.

Later in the book, McKie (an influential English science fiction illustrator who did some notable work for Heavy Metal) gives us an uncredited story, "Gardeners of the Universe," in which apparently alien space ships hover around the United Nations building in New York City, an ominous threat that panics the public (well, perhaps panic is an overstatement. The public actually appears to be more curious than alarmed). It turns out that this is not the first time the ships have been to Earth, since their inhabitants were responsible for the planet's origin...but the fruits of their labor turn out rather differently than they anticipated.

Like many American undergrounds, Half Assed Funnies is hit and miss, but even its weaker stories are better than the dreck found in lesser British undergrounds. And the stronger tales would have fit right in with any number of solid American comics.
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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. See Half-Assed Funnies indicia page for additional information.
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COMIC CREATORS:

Jim Leon - 1
unknown contributor - 2
Bill Sanderson - 3-9
Brent Boates - 10-11
Edward Barker - 12-14
Rod Beddall - 15-18
Chris Tyler - 19-21
Angus McKie - 22-27
Shroud Publishers - 28-31, 34
Yossarian - 32-33
Jim Franklin - 36