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excellent writing
competent art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
dan o'neills vol 1 no 1 red ink _ dan o'neill's vol 1 no 2 type a _ dan o'neill's v1n1 type a
Dan O'Neill's vol. 1 #1
Dan O'Neill's vol. 1 #2
Dan O'Neill's vol. 1 #3
dan o'neill's vol 2 no 1 _ dan o'neill's vol 2 no 2
Dan O'Neill's vol. 2 #1
Dan O'Neill's vol. 2 #2
Dan O'Neill's Comics and Stories

1971-1975 / Company & Sons / Comics and Comix
Having been a nationally syndicated cartoonist, Dan O'Neill is not often cited as one of the leading forefathers of the underground comic book movement, but his innovations in cartooning and his rebellious stance against all corners of corporate America in the 1960s and '70s proved to be significant to the era.

O'Neill dropped out of college at the age of 21 and launched his Odd Bodkins comic strip at the San Francisco Chronicle in 1964. Odd Bodkins, which centered on the adventures of a twerpy little guy named Hugh and a big-beaked bird named Fred, became an instant hit and soon had over 50 million readers in over 350 papers acround the country. From the mid to late '60s, O'Neill used his syndicated strip to satirize religion and politics, skewering everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Jesus Christ. His strips were very entertaining to some but highly offensive to many others (especially newspaper editors) and O'Neill lost almost all of Odd Bodkins' syndication distribution before finally being fired by the Chronicle.

But O'Neill wasn't done offending fancy suits and attacking the established norms. In 1970, at the height of the underground comix movement, O'Neill formed the Air Pirates collective with four cartoonists: Ted Richards, Gary Hallgren, Bobby London and Shary Flenniken. Together, they produced two notorious comic books called Air Pirates Funnies, which included wicked (and sometimes racy) satires of Walt Disney cartoon characters and archetypes. Air Pirates Funnies led to Disney suing the Air Pirates collective for copyright infringement. The highly-publicized court case dragged out for nine years, eventually resulting in an injunction against the Air Pirates and a financial judgement that was never collected.

Meanwhile, Dan O'Neill's Comics and Stories, which lampooned Disney-type comic characters only on the cover artwork of its first three issues, escaped the legal attention of Disney's lawyers and published five issues in two volumes from 1971 to 1975. The first three-issue volume published in 1971 features long-form Odd Bodkins adventures, musings and rants. The second volume, which comprised two issues published in 1975, abandoned the Odd Bodkins theme and delivered several short stories based on O'Neill's life observations and quirky attacks on the people and traditions of conventional society.

O'Neill's political outspokenness was insistent. In the mid '70s, he helped pioneer modern comic strip journalism with The Penny-Ante Republican, a contemporary four-page comic which sold for one cent. The four-issue digest conveyed stories about O'Neill's experiences with the Irish Republican Army and his involvement with the American Indian Movement. Based on his work with The Penny-Ante Republican, the 11th international Congress of Cartoonists and Animators presented O'Neill with the prestigious Yellow Kid Award in 1976.

In the 1980s, O'Neill returned to newspaper comics with a strip that The San Franciso Bay Guardian and a few other papers carried, but it wasn't long before that strip was canceled. O'Neill continued working through the 1990s and was published in various newspapers in Northern California, but after 2000 or so he basically disappeared from the cartooning scene. O'Neill was an innovative creator who didn't really draw very well (even his best work still appears rushed), but he had a lot to offer in thought-provoking stories, comics as journalism, and modern-day fables. Unfortunately, by many accounts, he was often difficult to deal with, which didn't win him many friends after the Air Pirates trial dragged on. But his legacy of commandeering Disney characters to produce outrageous parodies and drive his personal agenda against Walt Disney also helped drive the rebellious glory days of the underground comic book era.