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bijou 1 1st
solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 5
total score 10
Bijou Funnies #1
1st Printing / 1968 / 36 Pages / Bijou Publishing Empire
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One of the all-time classic underground comic book series, Bijou Funnies launched in Chicago in 1968, just six months after Zap Comix #1. Editor Jay Lynch was joined by Skip Williamson, Jay Kinney, Gilbert Shelton and Robert Crumb for the first issue, producing a comic that by today's standards (or even the standards of 1968) is relatively mild and hardly revolutionary. Yet it was.
There are two printings of Bijou Funnies #1, both with 50-cent cover prices. The 1st printing (unknown copies) is by Bijou Publishing Empire and is identifiable by the significant overlap of the covers to the interior pages (over half an inch, as seen in the scan above). The 1st printing also has higher-grade interior paper (white pages) than the 2nd printing (6,500 copies), which was published by Don Donahue and Kerry Clark and has newsprint interior pages. There are notable color and printing differences on the front cover art between the first two printings. Nard's nose on the 1st printing has a much redder tip (solid red, in fact) and his vest, hat, jacket and tie are all different colors than on the 2nd printing. The circular pattern in the background of the 1st printing also has a moire pattern that is eliminated in the 2nd printing.
With the exaggerated cover overlap and eye-straining moire pattern, the 1st printing of Bijou Funnies #1 was a pretty amateurish effort, production-wise. And Lynch was no printing novice, given his history with the Chicago Mirror. But then, comic books were a new thing to him...just like they were a new thing for everybody in the underground in 1968. The second printing, which corrected the two major issues from the first, was done by Don Donahue, who had months of experience after printing Zap Comix and Snatch Comics.
Jay Lynch - (editor) 1, 2, 6, 8-13, 18-19, 23-25, 29, 31
Al Lieberman - 2 (photo)
Skip Williamson - 3-5, 7, 14, 36
Robert Crumb - 15-17, 22, 30, 35 (ad)
Gilbert Shelton - 20-21, 28
Dave Herring - 26-27
Jay Kinney - 32-34
bijou 1 2nd
2nd Printing
50-cent cover, newsprint guts, no cover overlap