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left field funnies
excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 8
Left-Field Funnies
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merton of the movement
Merton of the Movement
Only Printing / Late 1972 / 44 pages / Apex Novelties
This is a very funny classic underground featuring Bobby London (three terrific stories), Willy Murphy, Gary Hallgren, Shary Flenniken (ah, I can never get enough of Trots and Bonnie!) and Ted Richards. Full review coming soon.
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted.

The comic advertisement on the inside back cover is interesting to ponder. Bobby London, Shary Flenniken, Gary Hallgren and Ted Richards collaborated on the ad, which is presented in the form of a comic strip. The strip begins with London's Dirty Duck pimping Dirty Duck #1 (published in March, 1972) and promising that the second issue "is on the way." There never was a second issue. Then Flenniken's Trots and Bonnie appear, with Bonnie saying her "Trots and Bonnie book" has been "published by Apex Novelties" and giving the address of Dohahue's place in San Francisco. There never was a comic book featuring all Trots and Bonnie stuff, yet Flenniken stated "published" in the past tense, as if it was already bound and ready for shipping.

Then Gary Hallgren's character Bernie Bush appears, promising that his comic book, "Man of the World," will soon be published. It never was. Ted Richards' Dopin' Dan shows up next, hawking the first issue of Dopin' Dan (published in May, 1972) from Last Gasp, but he doesn't mention that the second issue was forthcoming (it was published in February, 1973). Finally, London's character Merton appears, reminding readers that "Merton #1 is still goin' strong from Last Gasp." Merton of the Movement was published in October of 1972. The specific months of the publishing dates cited here are taken from Kennedy's Price Guide.

So half of the six comic books mentioned in the ad were never published. A real shame, too, cuz who wouldn't want another Dirty Duck book or a comic devoted to Trots and Bonnie? The publishing dates of the three books in the ad that were actually produced indicate that Left-Field Funnies must have been published late in 1972, since Merton of the Movement reportedly came out in October. Of course, we know these ads have to be set up well ahead of the publishing date, so it's possible Left-Field Funnies actually came out before Merton of the Movement. Instead of trying to guess at the real date, I just indicate "Late 1972" in the summary line above.

Bobby London - 1-6, 19-23, 32-42, 43 (comic ad collaboration), 44
Gary King - 7-10
Willy Murphy - 11-14
Gary Hallgren - 15-18, 43 (comic ad collaboration)
Shary Flenniken - 24-27, 43 (comic ad collaboration)
Ted Richards - 28-31, 43 (comic ad collaboration)