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kukawy comics
average writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Kukawy Comics
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Only Printing / December, 1969 / 28 pages / The Print Mint
John Thompson's Kukawy Comics is as inscrutable as anything else he has done, mixing unintelligible symbols with almost-random words, always accompanied by his exquisite ink illustrations. Kukawy was published by the Print Mint in the same month as The Book of Raziel in 1969. Both convey mystical imagery in sequential form that nearly makes sense with a great deal of study. Or you can just sit back and enjoy the artwork that seems to flow through Thompson's fingertips and ink nibs and bounce off the page into your subconscious.

Indeed, Thompson knew that his enigmatic comics were perceived in as many ways as there are types of readers, as he told Mark James Estren in A History of Underground Comics: "The viewer as relative evaluator puts the value into these things. Thus they are mirrors of consciousness. Some folks think they stink. Some folks think they hold great cosmic truth. Some think them obscene. Some are bored. Some are scared. Your reaction to them is relative to your frame of mind. This is obvious."

Like many of Thompson's comics, Kukawy includes a few transcendent full-page illustrations that seem all set for posterization. In fact, the one on page 22 here was indeed produced as a poster. Thompson did have a terrific sense of humor that he intentionally restrained in his mystical comic books, but a trace of it can be found on the front cover of Kukawy with the teaser; "In This Issue:" followed by nonsensical symbols.

Regardless of how anyone perceives Kukawy Comics, Mr. Thompson's work is always thought-provoking. Even an inscrutable Thompson comic is much more interesting than most of the old drek you might find in the endless long boxes of your local shop.
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted

John Thompson - 1-28