is an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
A cartoonist is a person who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is usually humorous, mainly created for entertainment, political commentary or advertising...
who played a key role in the underground comix
Underground comix are small press or self-published comic books which are often socially relevant or satirical in nature. They differ from mainstream comics in depicting content forbidden to mainstream publications by the Comics Code Authority, including explicit drug use, sexuality and violence...
movement with his Bijou Funnies
and other titles. His work is sometimes signed Jayzey Lynch
. He has contributed to Mad
Mad is an American humor magazine founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines in 1952. Launched as a comic book before it became a magazine, it was widely imitated and influential, impacting not only satirical media but the entire cultural landscape of the 20th century.The last...
, and in 2008, he expanded into the children's book field.
Early life and career
Born in Orange, New Jersey
The City of Orange is a city and township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 30,134...
, Lynch lived for decades in Chicago. Ben Schwartz, writing in the alternative weekly The Chicago Reader
The Chicago Reader is an American alternative weekly newspaper in Chicago, Illinois, noted for its literary style of journalism and coverage of the arts, particularly film and theater. It was founded in 1971 by a group of friends from Carleton College...
, traced Lynch's early years:
Comix and trading cards
Lynch's best known comic book stories involve the human-cat duo, Nard n' Pat, the featured characters in Bijou Funnies
. For 17 years, the comic strip Phoebe and the Pigeon People
by Lynch and Gary Whitney
Gary Reginald Whitney was a cricket player, who played for the Tasmanian Tigers. He was a right-handed batsman and right arm Fast Medium bowler who represented Tasmania from 1973 until 1979.-External links:*...
, ran in The Chicago Reader
, through the 1970s and 1980s, and Lynch has scans of more than 500 of those strips ready for any publisher who sees the potential of a Phoebe and the Pigeon People
Beginning in 1968, Lynch became a major contributor to Topps
The Topps Company, Inc., manufactures chewing gum, candy and collectibles. Based in New York, New York, Topps is best known as a leading producer of baseball cards, football cards, basketball cards, hockey cards and other sports and non-sports themed trading cards.-Company history:Topps itself was...
' Wacky Packages
Wacky Packages are a series of trading cards and stickers featuring parodies of North American consumer products. The cards were produced by the Topps Company beginning in 1967, usually in a sticker format. The original series sold for two years, and the concept proved popular enough that it has...
and Garbage Pail Kids
Garbage Pail Kids , "La Pandilla Basura" or "Basuritas" in Latin America, "Gang do Lixo" in Brazil, "Sgorbions" in Italy, "Les Crados" in France and "Die total kaputten Kids" in Germany) is a series of trading cards produced by the Topps Company, originally released in 1985 and designed to parody...
, plus other Topps humor products. In 2002, he recalled his creative working methods and procedures with Len Brown and others at the Topps' Product Development Department:
Mad and books
During the 1990s, he began writing for Mad
, and he also devised products for Mad
was collected in the 1980s in the book, The Best of Bijou Funnies
His children's book, Otto's Orange Day
(Toon Books, 2008), a collaboration with Syracuse political cartoonist Frank Cammuso, is described by the publisher: "When Otto the cat meets a magical genie, he knows just what to wish for: he makes the whole world orange! At first, this new, bright world seems like a lot of fun, but when his mom serves orange spinach for lunch, Otto realizes that his favorite color isn’t the best color for everything. Fixing this mixed-up world won’t be easy though because Otto already used up his only wish."
Greg McElhatton (Read About Comics
Another collaboration, Mo and Jo Fighting Together Forever
by Lynch with Dean Haspiel
Dean Edmund Haspiel is an American comic book artist. He is known for his collaborations with writer Harvey Pekar on his American Splendor series as well as the graphic novel The Quitter. He has been nominated for numerous Eisner Awards, and won a 2010 Emmy Award for TV design work.-Early...
, was published by Toon Books
Toon Books is a collection of hardcover graphic early readers launched in 2008 by New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly. With titles by Mouly's advisor/husband Art Spiegelman , Geoffrey Hayes, Jay Lynch, Dean Haspiel and Eleanor Davis...
in fall 2008. Toon describes this superhero satire: "Mona and Joey can't stop fighting! When the Mighty Mojo decides to give his powerful costume to them, these argumentative twins fight so much they rip it in half. Now each one is only half as strong! Can Mo and Jo find a way to combine their powers, fight the evil Saw-Jaw and save their town?"
Lynch was the cover story of The Comics Journal
The Comics Journal, often abbreviated TCJ, is an American magazine of news and criticism pertaining to comic books, comic strips and graphic novels...
#114 (February 1987) which featured an extensive interview, "Jay Lynch and the Free Exploration of Ideas: An Interview," covering his life and career in detail. Lynch created a caricatured self-portrait for the cover illustration.
In June, 2009, Jay Lynch was nominated for a Harvey Award
The Harvey Awards, named for writer-artist Harvey Kurtzman and founded by Gary Groth, President of the publisher Fantagraphics, are given for achievement in comic books. The Harveys were created as part of a successor to the Kirby Awards which were discontinued after 1987.The Harvey Awards are...
in the category of "Best Cover Artist" for his Mineshaft
Mineshaft is an independent international art magazine launched in 1999 by Everett Rand and Gioia Palmieri in Guilford, Vermont. Initially focusing on poetry and literature, the magazine began to publish comics after Robert Crumb became a contributor in 2000...
- Bijou Funnies
- Turned On Cuties
- Roxy Funnies (1972)
- Pro Junior
- Purple Cat
- Nard n' Pat
- Fucked Up Funnies
- Gothic Blimp Works
Gothic Blimp Works, an all-comics tabloid published in 1969 by Peter Leggieri and the East Village Other, was billed as "the first Sunday underground comic paper". During its eight-issue run, the publication displayed comics in both color and black-and-white...
- Radical America
- Phoebe and the Pigeon People with Gary Whitney (17-year run in Chicago Reader)