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pretty bad writing
kinda weak art
historical bonus 1
total score 2
Stoned Out Funnies Back Cover
Back Cover
(click for larger image)

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Stoned Out Funnies
Only Printing / 1972 / 36 pages / Adam's Apple Distributing
If you've read many of my other reviews or studied underground comix through other resources, you know that one of the major factors that doomed the movement was the glut of inferior books that came out in the early 1970s. The distribution system for undergrounds was primarily head shops, which sold a ton of drug paraphernalia, hippie clothing and accessories, posters, various aromatherapy items, and a handful of books, magazines and comics.

The head shops didn't take comic books on consignment; they bought them wholesale. Which means they had to sell all of their copies to turn a decent profit. With Zap and Big Ass and Mother's Oats in the early days, that wasn't a problem. Shops quickly sold out their inventory and ordered more, which would sell out again. But when shitty undergrounds started flooding the market, the shops bought a bunch but a lot of them didn't sell at all. They just sat on the shelves gathering dust. So when publishers came out with new undergrounds, the shops wouldn't buy them because they couldn't sell the shit they already had. Once again, the law of supply and demand rules capitalism.

Stoned Out Funnies is a prime example of a shitty underground. It has shitty art. It has shitty writing. The front cover provides an accurate preview of the content: poorly drawn shit.

There are two saving graces for Stoned Out Funnies. For one, it's all about getting stoned and being stoned, which is instantly appealing to the stoners who frequent head shops. The second is that Skip Williamson chipped in a few of his cartoons for use in the book. Not enough, mind you, and not his best, but they're still easily the best things in the book.

Stoned Out Funnies publisher, Adam's Apple Distributing Company, was located in Chicago, where Williamson lived at the time while contributing to Bijou Funnies and other undergrounds. Adam's Apple sold both wholesale and retail head shop products, like bongs, incense, rolling papers and comic books. They published a few books (Purple Cat, Like Nobody's Bizness, Judy Tunafish) and probably agreed to publish Stoned Out Funnies because it had some Skip Williamson stuff.

But Stoned Out Funnies is primarily the work of Michael Krueger, with some help from Scott Becker. Krueger's signature character is Goofus Marufus, supposedly a lovable stoner who's always looking to score, whether that means scoring his next high or his next fuck. Not surprisingly, the character is shallow and one dimensional. Krueger has no idea how anatomy works and struggles mightily to convey a reasonable facsimile of a human figure. The scripting is quite poor and barely supports the simple-minded plots and corny jokes.

There are worse undergrounds, but not many. I'm only nominally allowing Skip Williamson's work to affect the review of this book because even his skilled cartooning is a bit hit and miss, so it really doesn't elevate the quality of the book anyway.
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted.

Mike Krueger - 1, 3-5, 8, 10-11, 23-26 (art), 29-31, 33, 36
Skip Williamson - 2, 9, 13-15, 17, 22, 35
Scott Becker - 6-7, 16, 28, 32, 34
Tom James - 12?, 18-19, 20-21, 27?
Nancy Krueger - 23-26 (script)