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juice city 1
solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Juice City #1
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Only Printing / December, 1977 / 52 pages / Tucker Petertil
Tucker Petertil edited and published Juice City #1 in Santa Cruz, a small city about 60 miles south of San Francisco, reknown for its liberal residents and leftist college students. Petertil previously produced Tales of Bozi-Sattva, published by Serious Comics in 1975 (or 1973 if Fogel is right, but I don't own a copy of the book), and contributed a major (and somewhat controversial story) to Authentic Visionary Comix. Petertil later produced Juice City #2, a mini-comic which I do own but will have to track it down to review it and add it to this site.

Juice City #1 includes contributions from established underground comics creators George Metzger, Doug Hansen, Hunt Emerson, and Hector Tellez. Jim Phillips, long-time Santa Cruz resident and veteran illustrator who specialized in surfer and skateboard art, also has a terrific two-pager here. Joe Benintende, whose cartooning career never soared but can still be found on the web at artistmarket.com, contributes a fine Sam Spade parody. And of course, Tucker Petertil himself, who adds two of his own stories, including a 13-page adventure featuring the star of his previous Tales of Bozi-Sattva comic.

Metzger's "The Fall and Rise of Music" is the first story in Juice City #1, and I like it more than most of his other very sci-fi comics. Petertil follows with the six-page "Moorzen Goes Down to the Boardwalk!" which is a bit uneven but has an amusing last page. Emerson's "Large Cow Comix" is next, a silly two-page sing-song piece about bathing. Several one- and two-pagers follow, including a funny Douglas Bryson "Captain Retro" strip and Phillips' aforementioned two-pager, "The Prodigal Son," which is truly a beautifully illustrated comic but seems like the first two pages of a much longer story. It doesn't say "The End" or anything on the second page, so I'm hopeful that someday I will learn there is more to it.

The book's longest story is Petertil's "Bozi-Sattva in Wilderness Bozi," a far-reaching, fast-paced adventure starring the pinhead Buddhist monk, Bozi-Sattva (Sattva means "purity" in sanskrit and Hindu philosophy). Rest assured there are no Buddhist temples or chanted mantras here; Petertil doesn't even spend much time lampooning the religion, but does send Bozi on a wild, cross-country excursion that is filled with seemingly random twists and non-sequiturs. It's not so random as Bill Griffith's Zippy comics, but the story is peppered with absurdly funny moments. Petertil isn't an exceptional illustrator, but he draws well enough to convey every aspect of the story with clarity, and his script is plotted well enough to have a cohesive beginning, middle and end (preposterous as it is).

The last good story in the book is Benintende's "Santa Cruz Confidential," a fairly well crafted parody of the Sam Spade character from the classic Dashiell Hammett novel, "The Maltese Falcon." Benintende's Slam Spade is a dead ringer for Humphrey Bogart (who starred in the 1941 movie adaptation), but the story doesn't follow the novel or the movie at all. Doesn't matter though, as "Santa Cruz Confidential" frolics through the customary hard-boiled detective genre with some funny scenes.

I must say Tucker Petertil did a fine job as editor of Juice City #1, which only hits a couple sour notes in the whole 48-page book. It's another one of those solid one-off comic books that's too easily forgotten in the midst of all the (well-deserved) fawning over the legendary undergrounds.
Tucker Petertil produced approximately 3,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted. The front cover is interesting in that Tucker Petertil drew three of the four figures, but Joe Benintende drew the tattooed blonde on the right of the woman holding the orange. Benintende also provided the semi-amateurish airbrushing for the entire illustration.
Tucker Petertil - (editor), 1 (collaboration), 3, 11-16, 23, 28-40
Joe Benintende - 1 (collaboration and airbrushing), 2, 4, 41-47, 51
George Metzger - 5-10
Hunt Emerson - 17-18, 19 (collaboration)
Sue Varty - 19 (collaboration)
Doug Hansen - 20-21
A. West - 22
Douglas Bryson - 23
Kerry Petertil - 24
Bill Gawne, Jr. - 24 (concept)
Hector Tellez - 25
Jim Philips - 26-27, 51-52
Tanya Jean Majack - 33 (one panel in Petertil story)
Tom Gasparotti - 48-50