If you are a fan of comic books as a art form, then chances are you’ve come across Comic Book Confidential. This documentary illustrated the history of comics with a special focus on the more recent developments at the time. The documentary, released in 1989, excellently highlights many of the milestones in American comics history and continues to be a relevent reference.
Comic Book Confidential was co-written and directed by Canadian documentarian Ron Mann of Sphinx Productions. In 1988, Sphinx Productions released a promotional comic as a companion to the film under Sphinx Comix. The majority of the 16 page comic is devoted to biographies of the creators referenced in the film, but there are quite a few small aspects of this comic that make it a gem. To begin, the comic is immediately recognizable by Chester Brown’s cover art. He also does a single page comic just inside the front cover. This is one of his many pieces that seem to pop up all over the place during this time.
Another aspect about the book that I love is that it included some work by bpNICHOL in the last year of his life. He worked as a consultant on the book along with Mark Askwith and is credited with writing the narrative captions. And last but not least, the lettering was done by forever true and consistent Ron Kasman. I didn’t have many problems finding my copy, and although it was originally free, you’ll have to pay a bit for it now.
Alright, so here’s a hot comic from Canada’s underground which, as I write this, is selling for $156 on ebay. Completely produced by David Stewart Geary, or Dave Geary, the comic focuses primarily on beer and features much of the same bawdy tones as many other comix of its time. Geary was another master of the Underground comix age in Canada, producing other titles such as Gopher Freedom and Fleshapoids.
Definitely some mature content, and I have to tell an anecdote. Inside the front cover in the indicia, there is what I assume to be a purposeful “typo”. This typo asserts that the comic was published by Public Pubications, and not Public Publications. I laughed, which I’m sure was the intent of the writer. The funnier still was the entry made in the old finding aid. The person who went through this collection before me did not put down a publisher! There’s no way they could have missed this, and it’s blasphemy that they put nothing. What I assume happened was that they couldn’t cross check it, and rather than embarrassingly putting down what was there, they put nothing at all.
Published in Saskatoon in September of 1971, the heart of the Underground comix era, Geary did put out two more issues after this one. Here are the titles from Beer Comix #1:
Chimo Queen of the Ritz in Love’s Labours
Eco Tunes and Murky Maladies
I Love My Frog
Goony Bunny answers that Age Old Question, “Is it Sex or is it Lust?”
Things to Do: “How to Get on Everybody’s Nerves”
Dream of the Rave Beer Fiend
Love on the Slopes: A Shelly James Ture Romance Adventure
A Beer Comix Vignette
Chimo Queen of the Ritz
Lurid Pap Comix
Goony Bunny the Philosopher Rabbit
Stark, Scary and Lustful
A New Era Dawns in Agadir-Morocco
In the first Chimo comic, Chimo’s name is given this introduction:
*Chimo (Pron. CHEE-MO) Ancient Canadian Colloquialism. Mod. trans. “Eat poop white eyes”
See also: Bridge City Beer Comix and Bridge City Revue.