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average writing
competent art
historical bonus 3
total score 6
Sludge Comix
Back Cover
Back Cover
(click for larger image)

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comic book
Comic Book
Only Printing / December 1971 / 48 pages / Osborne Enterprises
Sludge Comix is a unique comic book from Sheldon Adams Bickford and Osborne Enterprises in Vermont. It features a cast of characters from the South, referencing both Memphis and South Carolina in the stories, all of whom are portrayed in the most stereotypical ways possible. Bickford, who uses pseudonyms freely on the cover and various comics inside, was just a young man of 21 when he created this book, which makes it all the more remarkable that: 1) he recognized this much Southern racism from his home in Vermont, and 2) that he could satirize it so wickedly at such a young age.

gets off to a really strong start as it begins weaving together multiple plots with memorable characterizations, but several times in the book Bickford delivers some bland material that doesn't go anywhere and concludes with a thud. Along the way, though, there are many examples of his sharp and blatant sense of humor. Sludge Comix may be hit-and-miss, but some of the hits are really funny (if you can get past the racist depictions, which are integral to the comedy).

Almost a year after putting out Sludge, Sheldon Adams Bickford and Osborne Enterprises published Hawgfat Funnies, which features many of the same characters from this book and is a slightly more polished production (but no less outrageous). According to Kennedy, both books are believed to have print runs of about 500 copies.

It's difficult to track down much info for either Hawgfat or Sludge on the Internet, but a couple years ago I discovered a Web page (now a 401 error) that indicated that Sheldon Adams Bickford passed away in 1978, at the tender age of 28. If true, it's a shame, because the young man had a sharp sense of humor.
Osborne Enterprises printed approximately 500 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted.

Sheldon Adams Bickford - 1-24, 25 (art), 26-35, 36-39 (art), 40-48
H. Chuck Blankmeyer - 25 (script)
James Taylor - 36-39 (lyrics)