About the Lines on Paper Archive

The Underground Comix Art Movement began with a diverse group of aspiring artist/publishers situated as far away from each other as Chicago, New York, Texas, and California. They created ditto-printed “magazines” called fanzines that included their own art as well as reviews of their favorite reading matter.

Spy vs Spy 1Mad #82

Spy vs Spy 1
Mad #82

One of the most admired publications was called “Mad”. Originally created as a comic book, it was later transformed into a magazine (for censorship reasons). Mad Magazine single-handedly changed how a generation looked at America through humor and satire at the hands of some very talented artists. Mad laid the groundwork for humorists in many forms of media, including the TV show Saturday Night Live, and a new generation of comic books geared to young adults called Unground Comix — so entitled because of their subject matter and the method by which one was able to acquire these tomes.

Initially, about a dozen talents converged on New York and, later, on San Francisco during the later 1960s. Their work appeared in city newspapers like the East Village Other and The Berkeley Barb. Several of these masters were initially doing poster work for the rock venues that popped up on both coasts. It was a combination of socio-political timing and sheer luck that the first wave of graphic artists began to formally produce these Underground Comix. It is even greater fortune that many of these original pen and ink drawings exist today! Times as they were, and that fact that the “art” was the printed comix, it truly is amazing that the condition of the art is so fine.

As with much fine art, it took a few decades for the public to gain appreciation for this art form. Presently, admirers from age twenty to eighty are relating personally to the stories and the art. The drawings in this collection represent many of the finest examples from the richest period of this art movement. I hope you enjoy viewing these drawings, in their original, pre-published form, as much as I enjoyed collecting them.

Eric Sack