Monthly Archives: December 2009

Little Magazines of the Beat Generation

As I wrote before, little magazines were precursors for the modern zine and mini comic.  And what are little magazines?  They are non-commercial, small-press publications.  Topics of interest include literature, art and social theory. Little magazines are usually avant-garde works created by little-know authors.  You might think of them us the high-brow, older cousin of the sci-fi fanzines that emerged in the 1930s.

Like the Dada artists, poets of the Beat Generation used little magazines as an expressive form.  Here are a two examples, that have a lot in common.

Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts was founded in 1962 by Ed Sanders, emerging from the so-called New York School of beat poets. Sanders’ credo was “I’ll print anything”.  His magazine broke taboos about sex and drugs before the counter-culture movement was in full-swing.

Sanders was also the proprietor of the Peace Eye Bookshop, which was raided by police who charged him with obscenity.  Sanders successfully fought the charges with the aid of the ACLU, and gained much notoriety in the process (including a cover of Life Magazine!)

For more information on Fuck You visit Reality Studio, the best blog about little magazines of the Beat Generation.

On a side note: when I cover this publication in class, I always incite giggles from students who assume I never curse (little do they know!)

A similar story can be told about Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s publication of Howl in his Pocket Poets Series.  Ferlinghetti first heard Allen Ginsberg’s Howl at the infamous Six Gallery poetry reading of 1955 (considered by many to be the official start of the start of the San Francisco Renaissance).

Like Sanders, Ferlinghetti also ran a bookstore (City Lights Bookstore) which was targeted by police.  Ferlinghetti was charged with obscenity for selling Howl, a charge he successfully fought (again, with the help of the ACLU).  And like Sanders, the trial brought greater attention to Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, and poets of The San Francisco Renaissance.

– Robyn Chapman

New Kids Meets Teen Humor

Straight out of 1991!  I’m always on the look out for romance and teen humor comics, so my My buddy Mark Bilokur lent me this.  Perhaps it’s not a particularly note-worthy piece of comics literature, but it’s a fun example teen humor and licencing.

Not much has changed since 1959!

– Robyn Chapman

Bears and Blitsers

On Friday CCS held the closing reception for Bears and Blisters: An Exhibition of Colleen Frakes and Ken Dahl.

For more photos, visit our flickr site.

This exhibit showcased original art from Frakes’ Woman King and Dahl’s Monsters.  Be sure to give these award-winning books a read!  They are available at the Schulz Library, in the CCS Student Work section.

– Robyn Chapman

First Friday at CCS: Bears and Bears and Bears, Oh My!

Get ready for a bear attack!

Colleen Frakes

Jon Chad

Nick Patten

Join us at The Center For Cartoon Studies for a First Friday reception of Bears and Blisters: An Exhibition of Colleen Frakes and Ken Dahl.

An author talk and comics reading will begin at 7pm. Cartoonists Colleen Frakes, Jon Chad and Nick Patten will share stories starring that beloved and misunderstood mammal, the bear.

Ken Dahl will be in New York, preparing for the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival.  If you’re in Williamsburg, be sure to stop by and get your signed copy of Monsters!

This Friday and Saturday will be your last chance to see Bears and Blisters.  Don’t miss it!
For more information, visit

– Robyn Chapman

Badaboom Twist

As I was moving about CCS today I noticed a mini-comic on several desks. It was an autobio/diary comic called Badaboom Twist by David Libens. I was instantly taken with it. Art wise it was somewhere between Mark Marek Jeffrey Brown and R.O. Blechman (but with the soul of John P!).

Turns out that David was in town visiting his friend and current CCS fellow Max de Radigues (fellow Belgian). Had the pleasure of meeting David later in the day and got my own copy.

It was as good of a mini comic as I have read in awhile. His site is here.

— James Sturm

Jen Vaughn Made the Bitch List!

Jen Vaughn, powerhouse cartoonist and staff librarian here at the Schulz Library, has just made the prestigious “Bitch List”.  That is, she came in at number 11 in Bitch issue 45.

(The Feminist Response to Pop Culture) regularly publishes a list of all things bitchin’, and Jen’s menstruation-themed comics (Menstruation Station and Don’t Hate, Menstruate!) caught their eye.

You can read Jen’s comics at the Schulz Library, or buy copies here.

Congrats, Jen!

– Robyn Chapman