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Justin Green – RIP

Underground comix cartoonist Justin Green has passed away.


Justin Considine Green
July 25, 1945 – April 23, 2022

Justin’s wife Carol (above with Justin) and daughter Julia are passing on the sad news.

We, his loved ones, prepared but not prepared for the putty-dry voice on the phone in the wee hours, stating flatly: “I’m sorry, he’s gone.”
And that was it.
So we, his loved ones, hurry-assembled, in body and in spirit, at his place of care one last time, to abide with him finally released.

 

Justin’s career as an underground cartoonist began in 1969, soon after “comix” took off. Within three years Justin’s most famous work was published: Binky Brown meets The Holy Virgin Mary.

As M. Steven Fox at ComixJoint relates Justin started a genre with Binky Brown:

[Robert] Crumb himself admits that Green was “the FIRST, absolutely the FIRST EVER cartoonist to draw highly personal autobiographical comics.” Because Binky Brown was so obviously founded on the complex life of a real person, it opened the comic floodgates to realistic protagonists who were deeply flawed or morally conflicted, yet still likable to the reader. Binky Brown single-handedly launched an unprecedented comic-book movement that took root immediately, spread quickly, and evolved into a major category of modern comic art.

I naturally picked up the comic, but being raised Calvinist it didn’t strike me as it apparently did Catholics. But as that GCD list shows Justin did far more than that book.
His very entertaining stories in Young Lust, San Francisco Comic Book, Arcade, Bijou Funnies, Snarf, and many others made this Protestant a fan.

 

As if establishing one style of comic wasn’t enough, Justin is credited with creating another.

From The Comics Journal about the above:

1972: One of the first minicomix, by Justin Green, who is regarded by many as the inventor of the genre. Note the connection to underground comix on the cover.

As the underground comix boom started easing Justin would find other venues for his creative energies. He even started doing regular comic strips for a couple magazines (not too far removed from his one and two-pagers for the comix).

As Justin told us:

My “Sign Game” strip ran monthly in Signs of the Times Magazine from ’86-’06.

Then there was the strip where I was reaquainted with Justin.

Back in the day there was Tower Records and it had a monthly in-store magazine/catalog.
The best thing about it was the page by Justin Green – his Musical Legends comic strip.
I really looked forward to Pulse for that one reason.

How did Justin Green, one of the Founding Fathers of the Underground Comix movement, wind up holding down a regular feature for a decade (1992-2002) in Tower Records‘ in-house magazine, Pulse!? The whole chain of events began with a strip about his dad’s drinking. Of course.

We pass the story to Who’s Out There?

Justin Green’s Cartoon Art site has much more about Justin and his creations.

Our condolences to Justin’s family, friends, and fans.

Community Comments

#1 Mike Lynch
April/27/2022
@ 7:14 am

Thanks for so many of these links. What an great life.

#2 Kip Williams
April/27/2022
@ 10:31 am

I started seeing his work around 1972, and took a strong dislike to it which eventually changed to respect, and of course his stuff hits hard at first. A phrase from one of his comics made it into my repertoire, “NOW you cook with gas.”

And I see now that I must have been aware of about 25% of his work overall. The man was a go-getter!

#3 lee kennedy
May/3/2022
@ 3:38 am

I’ve appropriated some Justin Green phrases into my own repertoire, over the years, including ‘Baw!Yubba!’ and ‘Watch me now’.
He was a genius, and will be much missed.

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