Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Comics Went Underground
Product Review (submitted on November 27, 2013):
Decades ago, Marvel was a very different company than it is today. Sort of. In the early 1970s, Marvel, helmed by Stan Lee, sought to bolster its "cool" profile (which would rapidly evaporate and result in a company now representing the very opposite of that today) by tapping into the growing underground comix scene. According to Lee's introduction, the idea was to create a faux underground comic series, setting limits on what the artists could draw and the language they could use. According to Denis Kitchen's introduction, this also coincided at a time when he happened to be desperate for cash. So Comix Book began a short-lived print run (5 issues in a year, 3 actually published by Marvel). Once you get past the authenticity issue, Comix Book is a rather fascinating experiment that, with hindsight, was doomed to fail despite featuring work by Art Spiegelman, Justin Green, Alex Toth, S. Clay Wilson, Kim Deitch, Harvey Pekar, Michael Ploog, Trina Robbins, William Stout, Skip Williamson, and Basil Wolverton.