Punk Comics History, Part 1:
Comical Funnies and Stop! Magazine

December 12th, 2010 by

Hey, it’s a new comics feature here on MRR.com by Janelle Blarg — just in time for the Punk Comics Issue of Maximum Rocknroll magazine! Tune in for more from Janelle in the weeks to come…

Comical Funnies was a newsprint comics fanzine started in 1980 by John Holmstrom (of Punk magazine and Ramones art infamy) and Peter Bagge (whose ’90s era Hate comic was about the best comic series ever). The late ’70s/early ’80s comics scene in New York was a breeding ground for great cartoonists. Perhaps this could be partially attributed to the fact that many of them were attending the School of Visual Arts, where the late, great Harvey Kurtzman (Mad magazine founder) was teaching at the time. Or maybe the drugs were better then.

Whereas Art Spiegelman & Françoise Mouly’s RAW magazine (also started in 1980) served up a more intellectual, highbrow brand of comic art, Comical Funnies dealt more in the getting-wasted-in-the-alley-and-telling-dick-jokes-with-your-friends brand of comics. You know, comics that were actually FUNNY. But the art was also top notch. No scribble scrabble here, folks. People like Ken Weiner, JD King, Kaz, and Drew Friedman made this a classic.

After one year and a mere three issues, Bagge went on to take over as editor of Last Gasp’s Weirdo (after R Crumb left) and Holmstrom started up Stop! Magazine with JD King, Bruce Carelton, Dale Ashmun, and others. Both of these successors had a very similar vibe (and many of the same contributors) to Comical Funnies.

John Holmstrom’s website

Peter Bagge’s website

The covers and some of the art of Comical Funnies can be found on Bruce Carleton’s website

3 responses to “Punk Comics History, Part 1:
Comical Funnies and Stop! Magazine”

12 12 2010
Dk (11:59:11) :

Man! I had no clue Peter Bagge was doing this stuff (comic book/fazine wise) before Hate. 2 awesome cartoonists for sure. And I still need to find my lost Buddy Bradley zippo lighter. Sorry, Mr. Bagge.

29 12 2010
janelleblarg (09:51:54) :

Profanity Hill has copies of Comical Funnies #1 for $10:

Profanity Hill

24 07 2012
Carl Schneider (20:54:03) :

Great article – but I’m surprised artists like Jeff Gaither and R.K. Sloane weren’t mentioned.

Leave a comment

Comment moderation is in use. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly.