The Old Underground Hall of Legends took some bad hits in 2017, with the losses, within less than a couple of weeks, of Jay Lynch (January 7, 1945 – March 5, 2017) and Mervyn “Skip” Williamson (August 19, 1944 – March 16, 2017). Skip, in fact, would have turned seventy-four today.
Again, we’re dealing with an artist with a long and nomadic career, so it’s best to think small. There’s plenty of excellent, in-depth biographical material on the subject already out there, so I’ll scare up a few scarce items that reflect Skip’s lifelong love of (and involvement with) music.
I was too young and in the wrong small town for Underground Comix to reach me back in the 1970s, but when Skip put together the « Playboy Funnies » section (featuring the likes of Bobby London, Jay Lynch, Chris Browne, Art Spiegelman…) for Mr. Hefner’s magazine, I in due course discovered his work since I read Playboy for the cartoons. I immediately took to Williamson’s stylish, bouncy, clean and friendly visuals, paired with his unflagging subversiveness. Not that I got much of said subversiveness at the time… but that’s how it works.
Happy birthday, Skip!
*Class War (Bijou Funnies no. 3, 1969 The Print Mint)