See last page for legal & information

Download 308.5 Kb.
Size308.5 Kb.
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8
Last updated 20 August 07. The latest version of this document can always be found at See last page for legal & © information.

Additions? Corrections? Contact Richard J. Arndt:

The Early Independents
witzend was the first of the independent or “indy” magazines. Premiering in 1966, it published 13 issues over almost two decades, most of them between 1966-1971 and provided a welcome link between mainstream comics and the then-new underground movement. Although, at times, particularly in the early issues, it seemed to suffer from the lack of a strong editorial hand at the helm, that was actually at Wood’s insistence. He made it quite clear in his original editorial in #1 that this magazine was intended as a showcase for writers & artists, with little or no editorial direction or interference. witzend certainly showcased many important artists of the period and pointed out a direction for every self-publishing writer/artist to this day. witzend publisher & editor Bill Pearson has supplied some comments in the notes. His contributions are in quotes.

1. cover: collage of panels from interior stories done by Archie Goodwin/back cover: Frank Frazetta (Summer


1) Statement Of NO POLICY [Wally Wood] 1p [text article, frontis]

2) Savage World [Wally Wood/Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta & Angelo Torres] 8p

3) And In The Offing [Wally Wood/Gray Morrow, Leo & Diane Dillon, Dan Adkins, Jack Kirby, Steve

Ditko, Gil Kane] 2p [text article]

4) Two Swordsmen [Reed Crandall] 1p

5) And Thereby Hangs A Tale [Ralph Reese] ?p

6) Sinner [Archie Goodwin] 4p

7) Poems [Wally Wood?/Angelo Torres] 1p

8) Bucky Ruckus—Dedications And Credits [Wally Wood] 2p [text article]

9) Animan, part 1 [Wally Wood] 7p

10) Absurd Science Fiction Stories [Jack Gaughan] 10p

11) Subscription Info And Errata [Wally Wood] 1p [text article & ad/ on inside back cover]

Notes: Thanks to Emanuel Maris, we now have credits for this issue! witzend originated from an idea on Dan Adkin’s part to publish a magazine called Outlet, then turned into Wally Wood’s Etcetera. A logo was prepared using that title but when Wood discovered another magazine with a similar title, the magazine’s title was changed witzend, after it was solicited but before actual publishing. There were two printings of witzend and, after selling out rather quickly, a bootleg copy was produced by unknown characters around 1969-1970. The counterfeit copy has slightly different paper for the cover—a slight pebble-grain. Many dealers nowadays are unaware of the existence of the counterfeit. The original appears to have the same type of paper as #2. ‘Savage World’ was drawn in 1954 and intended for Buster Crabbe Comics. The comic was cancelled before the story was used and Williamson accepted the art back instead of payment. Wood wrote a totally new script for the story for this appearance as the original was lost. Best story here was Archie Goodwin’s chilling ‘Sinner’, which was reprinted in Marvel’s B&W magazine Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction Special #1 in 1976. Best art is by Wood on ‘Animan’.

2. cover: Wally Wood/back cover: Ralph Reese (1967)

1) What Is It… [Wally Wood/Tajana Wood] 1p [text article, frontis]

2) Orion [Gray Morrow] 6p

3) Hey Look! [Harvey Kurtzman] 1p reprinted from ?

4) Hey Look! [Harvey Kurtzman] 1p reprinted from ?

5) If You Can’t Join ‘em…Beat ‘em! [Warren Sattler] 4p

6) A Reed Crandall ERB Portfolio [Reed Crandall] 5p [pin-ups]

7) Poetry [Wally Wood, Ralph Reese & Bill Pearson/Frank Frazetta] 2p

8) Cartoon [Will Elder] 1p

9) A Flash Of Insight, A Cloud Of Dust And A Hearty Hi-Yo Silver [Art Spiegelman] 3p

10) Midnight Special [Steve Ditko] 1p

11) …By The Fountain In The Park… [Don Martin] 2p

12) Animan, part 2 [Wally Wood] 9p

13) Herein, And Furthmore… [Wally Wood/Al Williamson] 1p [text article]

14) A Word From Wood…Subscribe! [Wally Wood/Roy G. Krenkel] 1p [text article, on inside

back cover]

Notes: $1.00 for 36 pages. Gray Morrow’s ‘Orion’ serial would not be concluded until its printing in Heavy Metal in 1979. Although Wood wanted all the material in witzend to be original or, at least, appear there for the first time, he broke his own rule to allow Kurtzman’s ‘Hey Look!’ pages to be reprinted. Ditko’s cute one pager is a reminder that the guy had a sense of humor, something that is sometimes lost when regarding his work. Spiegelman’s work was a wordless strip. Martin’s was probably a rejected strip for Mad. Crandall’s Edgar Rice Burroughs’ portfolio, which would stretch out over the next four issues, had some excellent artwork.

3. cover: Wally Wood/frontis: Leo & Diane Dillon/back cover: Al Williamson (1967)

1) Mr. A [Steve Ditko] 5p

2) Poetry [Ralph Reese/Leo & Diane Dillon] 1p

3) Reed Crandall’s ERB Portfolio, part 2 [Reed Crandall] 4p [pin-ups]

4) Harold Sunshine [Art Spiegelman] 3p

5) Hey Look! [Harvey Kurtzman] 1p reprinted from ?

6) The Invaders! [Richard Bassford] 3p

7) The Chase [Roger Brand] 4½p

8) Poetry [Wally Wood & Bill Pearson] ½p

9) Pipsqueak Papers [Wally Wood] 3p

10) Vanessa [Sam Kobish/Roy G. Krenkel] 1p [text story]

11) Last Chance! [Frank Frazetta] 9p

12) Hey Look! [Harvey Kurtzman] 1p reprinted from ?

13) Contents And Portents And Otherwise Words [Wally Wood/Al Williamson] 1p [text article,

on inside back cover]

Notes: Williamson’s back cover featured Flash Gordon, whose comic book he was illustrating during this period. That same back cover also promised that witzend #3 would be an Al Williamson SF spectacular, which didn’t actually happen. This was the debut of Ditko’s famous {or infamous—depends on your outlook} Mr. A. While not as strident as later strips, it still clearly depicts Mr. A’s black & white outlook on the world. Whatever you though about the actual story you couldn’t deny that it was beautiful artwork. Frazetta’s story was a comic strip tryout from 1950 refashioned into traditional comic pages by Bill Pearson. Roger Brand’s work was very good and shows a strong Krigstein influence. This is an excellent issue.
4. cover: Wally Wood/back cover: Frank Frazetta (1968)

1) Words From Wood [Wally Wood/? Conroy] 1p [text article, frontis]

2) Pipsqueak Papers [Wally Wood] 4p

3) Mr. A [Steve Ditko] 10p

4) The Rejects [Wally Wood & Bhob Stewart/Wally Wood] 3p

5) Reed Crandall’s ERB Portfolio, part 3 [Reed Crandall] 4p [pin-ups]

6) A Proper Perspective And Several Strange Viewpoints [Wally Wood & Bill Pearson/Leo &

Diane Dillon] 2p [poetry]

7) The Sneeze [Bill Pearson/Grass Green] 3p

8) Virtue Ever Triumphant [Roger Brand] 6p

9) The World Of The Wizard King [Wally Wood] 5p [text story]

Notes: Frazetta’s back cover was very good, showing an American Indian being carried off by a pterodacytal. It’s possible it was done for one of the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books. Wood’s ‘Pipsqueak Papers’ was a cute and oddly innocent erotic fable. Both Ditko & Brand delivered strong stories & art and Pearson’s ‘The Sneeze’ was quite amusing. Wood’s illustrated prose story, ‘The World Of The Wizard King’ would be reworked into traditional comic form and published as a graphic novel in the late 1970s. Another good issue.

5. cover: photo of an rhinoceros’s backside/back cover: Ed Paschke (Oct. 1968)

1) Editorial [Bill Pearson/Art Spiegelman] 1p [text article, frontis]

2) The World Of The Wizard King, part 2 [Wally Wood] 5p [text story]

3) The Junkwaffel Invasion Of Krupenny Island [Vaughn Bode] 4p

4) JAF [James Frankfort] 8p [art & story credited to Jaf]

5) A Reed Crandall ERB Portfolio, part 4 [Reed Crandall] 3p [pin-ups]

6) Pipsqueak Papers [Wally Wood] 5p

7) Prevue: The Adventures Of Talon [Jim Steranko] 3p

8) Homesick [Roger Brand] 8p

9) Editorial Matters [Bill Pearson] 1p [text article, on inside back cover]

Notes: Publisher & Editor: Bill Pearson. Wood sold witzend to Pearson for the sum of $1.00 along with the promises to publish through at least #8 {the issue that Wood had sold subscriptions up to} and to run any story already accepted by Wood as is. Steranko’s Talon preview was for a Conanesque barbarian swordsman. The artwork looked great so it was too bad the promised story never appeared. Steranko later used the spelling of the word Prevue as the new title of his renamed Mediascene magazine {which was itself renamed from the original Comicscene title}. Thanks to the mystery artist JAF’s daughter Michelle, we’re happy to announce the identity of JAF. His real name is James Frankfort who was a successful cartoonist/commercial artist for a number of years in Greenwich Village and taught at New Paltz University. He died in 2005, an independent artist his entire life.

6. cover: Mike Hinge (Spring 1969) [wraparound cover]

1) Alien [Bill Pearson/Jeff Jones] 6p

2) An Interview With Will Eisner [John Benson & Will Eisner/Will Eisner] 5p [text article w/photo]

3) Subscription Ad [Bill Pearson/Wally Wood] 2p

4) Qwamb! [Bill Pearson] 7p [credited to Sorrel Garika]

5) The Spawn Of Venus [Al Feldstein/Wally Wood] 8p

6) The Avenging World [Steve Ditko] 10p

7) Pin-Up [Gray Morrow] 1p [on inside back cover]

Notes: According to Bill Pearson, the intricate, detailed cover took a huge amount of time & labor to achieve in 1969’s pre-computer production days. ‘The Spawn Of Venus’ was a previously unpublished EC story, originally intended for an EC 3-D Classic issue. Check out Bill Pearson’s comments for #7 for further information on Ditko’s ‘The Avenging World’. Benson’s interview with Eisner is not only well done but provides the interesting information that, as of Sept. 10, 1968, Eisner had no knowledge whatsoever of the existence of his future publisher, Warren Publishing. BP: “Mike Hinge was another overlooked genius. He was a designer, not a cartoonist, but when he came to me with the idea for this cover, I was immediately intrigued. Eddie Glasser, my business partner in Wonderful Publishing Company and the head of the photography dept. at Admaster Prints where I worked as production manager of the art dept., produced dozens of intricate cels with overlapping machinery patterns and Mike and I both put in dozens of hours creating the final wraparound design and logo. The printer had a challenging job too! Except for the printer, not a one of us made a dime for all the work. In fact, we lost money that could have been made for freelance work during those hours but it was worth it. So many people have told me over the years that something they saw in witzend inspired them, and there’s no greater reward than that!”

7. cover: Vaughn Bode/back cover: Kenneth Smith (1970)

1) Editorial [Bill Pearson/Ralph Reese] 1p [text article, frontis]

2) Cobalt 60 [Vaughn Bode] 10p

3) Letters’ Page [Dan Adkins] 2p

4) Mr. A: The Avenging World, part 2 [Steve Ditko] 8p

5) The Strange Adventure Of Ike And His Spoon [Roger Brand] 6p

6) Pin-Up [Ed Paschke] 1p

7) Limpstrel [Berni Wrightson] 1p

8) untitled [Bill Pearson] 1p

9) Mr. E [Bill Pearson/Tim Brent] 2p

10) Limpstrel [Berni Wrightson] 1p

11) The Journey [Betty Morrow/Gray Morrow] 8p [Final page is printed on the inside back


Notes: $1.50 for 48 pages. Bode’s cover was extremely gruesome. His interior story, ‘Cobalt 60’ was just as gruesome but it was also his best straight SF tale. Beautifully drawn and powerfully written, this featured the best story & art in this issue and is a genuine classic of the comics genre. Ditko’s ‘The Avenging World’ was not actually a story but a political/philosophical essay told in comic form. The artwork was some of his most innovative. Paschke’s pin-up depicted Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Little Dot, Dennis the Menace, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Little Lulu and Little Orphan Annie as dope fiends in an opium den! Bill Pearson’s ‘Mr. E’ strip was a rather savage satire on Steve Ditko’s Mr. A character. It was also printed sideways and was actually four pages in length. The third & last ‘Limpstrel’ story appeared in another fanzine in 1972. BP: “Ditko had been one of the most supportive contributors to witzend. Even after I became publisher, he came to my apartment a couple of times and spent hours with me stuffing envelopes and helping with the other drudge duties involved in maintaining the subscription files. This was AFTER his Marvel years with Spider-Man and Dr. Strange. But I HATED publishing that ‘Avenging World’ diatribe of his, and would have preferred to reject it and hope he couldn’t find another publisher either. I felt about him just as I did about Wood. Throughout our long association I tried, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, to keep him from publishing personal revelations that betrayed flaws in his character or deficits in his intellect. BOTH of these men were master cartoonists, genius talents, but they DID need editors. I really debated with myself about running ‘Mr. E’, but just had to offset Ditko’s strong positions.” As mentioned in the notes for #5, Pearson’s agreement with Wood prevented him from rejecting any Ditko stories that Wood had accepted and that agreement apparently covered ‘Avenging World’. The Morrows’ strip was blessed with a good story and downright stunning erotic art. One of witzend’s best issues.

8. cover: Ralph Reese/Bill Pearson (1971)

1) Why, It’s…witzend [Bill Pearson] 1p [text article, frontis]

2) The World Of The Wizard King, part 3 [Wally Wood] 5p [text story]

3) untitled [Bhob Stewart] 1p

4) Barf The Insurance Salesman [Bill Pearson/Ralph Reese] 7p

5) Foxtale [Nicola Cuti/Bill Stillwell] 2p

6) Holding The Bag [Dr. Seuss] 1p reprinted from Judge Magazine (? 1932)

7) The City In The Sea [Edgar Allan Poe/Frank Frazetta] 10p [poem]

8) The Break-Out! [Steve Ditko] 1p

9) The Hunting Of The Snark [John Richardson] 8p from the poem by Lewis Carroll

Notes: The title logo appeared in the mouth of the devil depicted on the back cover. Reese’s cover was a panel blowup from the interior story. Frazetta’s artwork for ‘The City In The Sea’ was originally done in 1960 {or earlier} for an unpublished one page adventure Sunday comic strip. It was reformatted {similar to what was done for Last Chance!} by Bill Pearson and combined with the Poe poem. According to Bill Pearson, the actual artwork was very large, the same size that Hal Foster used to illustrate the Prince Valiant Sunday pages. One panel from the original page was not used. It easily has the best art & poetry for this issue. Perhaps someday the original tryout page will be printed. Cuti’s ‘Foxtale’ was somewhat of a preview or prototype for his 1980-1982 series for Warren, entitled ‘The Fox’. ‘Barf The Insurance Salesman’ was an amusing tale in the National Lampoon vein of humor. After this issue, witzend began to fizz out, with years occurring between issues. There were still good issues and stories to come, but I don’t think any of them had the impact of these first 8 issues.

9. cover: Jeff Jones/titlepage & back cover: Bill Pearson (1973)

1) The Films Of Charles Bogle [Bill Pearson] 7p [text article w/photos]

2) The Bank Dick: His Very Own Photo-Story [Bill Pearson] 4p [fumetti-style strip]

3) The Films Of Otis Criblecoblis [Bill Pearson] 2p [text article w/photos]

4) Complete Filmography Of W. C. Fields [Bill Pearson] 1p [text article]

5) Adversity: The W. C. Fields Game [Bill Pearson] 12p [game]

6) Between The Scenes/A Fussy Old Man In The Movies [photo display] 13p

7) Alan Wood, On Stage With W. C. Fields [Allen Wood] 1p [text article w/photo]

8) W. C. Fields Pin-Up [Bill Pearson] 1p [on inside back cover]
Notes: This was a W. C. Fields special. Publisher: Phil Seuling. Editor: Bill Pearson. $1.50 for 38 pages. No comics in this issue whatsoever. BP: ‘The printer screwed up the cover by Jeff Jones, so I hastily had some full color prints of the painting made, and included them with the magazine. This issue got almost no distribution {I hadn’t solicited subscriptions beyond #8} and Phil Seuling and I dissolved our business partnership soon after publication. He financed #8 & #9. I had HUNDREDS of copies, but it became known as the ‘missing’ issue of witzend. They were all destroyed in my house fire, so now it really IS a rare publication.”

10. cover: Wally Wood (1976) [wraparound cover]

1) Kym: Lost In A Dream! [Bill Pearson/Dick Giordano] 8p

2) 39/74 [Guyla & Alex Toth/Alex Toth] 10p

3) On March 17, 1969… [Howard Chaykin] 3p

4) Pin-Up [Terry Austin] 1p

5) Sally Forth [Wally Wood] 6p

6) Pin-Up [P. Craig Russell] 1p

7) The Avenging Dodo [Bill Pearson/Mike Zeck] 8p

8) Pin-Up [Walt Simonson] 1p

9) My Furry World And Welcome To It! [Nicola Cuti/Joe Staton] 10p

Notes: Publishers & editors: Bob Layton & Bill Pearson. $3.00 for 48 pages. Printed in conjunction with CPL/Gang Publications. ‘Kym’ was a three part dream sequence that would take 6 years to conclude. Based on the November completion date noted in Chaykin’s artwork, this book had to come out in Dec. 1976. ‘39/74’ is copyrighted by Marvel Publications so it must, at one time, been intended for a Marvel magazine. It’s well drawn, but the story itself is not particularly interesting. Wood’s ‘Sally Forth’ story had the appearance of being a reformatted comic strip. Russell’s pin-up appeared to be a slightly redrawn Dr. Strange cover or splash page. Best story & art goes to Chaykin’s rather chilling solo effort but both ‘The Avenging Dodo’ and ‘My Furry World And Welcome To It!’ were amusing and well drawn. BP: “By this time, I wasn’t making much money, but coerced Bob Layton into financing what I think is a pretty nice issue.”

11. cover, frontis & back cover: Bill Pearson (1978)

1) Introduction [Bill Pearson] 1p [pin-up and brief intro]

2) Kym Pin-Up [Bill Pearson] 1p

3) Spurt Starling [Bill Pearson] 1p

4) A Portfolio: The Wicked World Of The Wizard King [Wally Wood] 12p

5) Early Poop [Bill Pearson] 1p [credited to Q. P. Hamstrung]

6) The Care And Feeding Of Geks [Nicola Cuti/Mike Zeck] 8p

7) Spurt Starling II [Bill Pearson] 1p

8) The Enormous Slug Suckers From The Planet Mars!! [Bill Pearson] 8p

9) The Slugsucker Diagram [Bill Pearson] 1p [diagram]

10) Kym: Encounter [Bill Pearson/Ruben Yandoc] 8p

11) Early Poop II [Bill Pearson] 1p [credited to Q. P. Hamstrung]

12) Spurt Starling III [Bill Pearson] 1p

13) Kym Pin-Up [Dan Adkins] 1p

14) Pin-Ups [Bill Pearson] 3p [last pin-up on inside back cover]

Notes: $4.00 for 48 pages. The Wally Wood material consisted of unused panels or sketches intended for his Wizard King graphic novel, which itself was a reworking of the earlier text story that had appeared in witzend. The portfolio pages included here were considered too erotic for the graphic novel itself. ‘Early Poop’ was an X-rated spoof of ‘Alley Oop’. ‘Spurt Starling’ was a spoof of ‘Flash Gordon’. Best story here was the delightful ‘The Care And Feeding Of Geks’ by Cuti & Zeck although Pearson’s ‘Early Poop’ and ‘Spurt Starling’ are funny. BP: ‘I thought I was producing a spoof of underground comix, but lost all editorial judgement and used too much of my own art…and the reaction was silent embarrassment. I conned Bill Black into co-financing this issue {sight unseen} and I suspect he junked his half of the print run.” This, along with #9, are the hardest issues to find.

12. cover: George Bush/frontis & inside back cover: Jerry Bingham/back cover: photo of woman posing

as Kym (1982)

1) Editorial [Bill Pearson] 1p [text article]

2) My Ship Of Dreams [Henry C. Pitz] 1p [poem]

3) Stargazer [J. R. Blevins & Dennis Janke/Dennis Janke] 12p [Janke’s story & art credited to Z.


4) Bugs In The System [Al Sirois & David Stone/Al Sirois] 4p

5) The Phantom Pin-Up [Gray Morrow] 1p

6) The Real World [Bhob Stewart/John Norton] 4p

7) untitled [Don Martin] 2p

8) Booby Trap [Steve Ditko] 1p

9) Kym: The Awakening [Bill Pearson/Mike Zeck & Ruben Yandoc] 9p

10) Lunar Tunes [Wally Wood] 12p

11) Wallace Wood 1927-1981 [Richard Bassford] 1p

Notes: $3.50 for 48 pages. Bush’s cover was a rendering of Humphrey Bogart based on a photo still of his character from The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre. This was the 3rd and last installment of the dreams of ‘Kym’ ‘Lunar Tunes’ must have been one of Wally Wood’s final stories. Jerry Bingham’s pin-ups were quite well drawn but the barbarian theme seemed a little out of place in this bunch of stories. Some interesting alternative work here. BP: “This is a nice issue, I thought. I conned a gangster {well, he was a major league drug dealer} into financing this issue, and he too kept half {2500 copies} of the print run. You better believe I paid him back as soon as I sold my 2500 copies! He surely eventually junked his 2500 copies.”
13. cover: Dennis Janke/frontis & inside back cover: Victor Perard/titlepage: Bill Pearson & Wally

Wood/back cover: Bob McLeod (1985)

1) Good Girl Pin-Ups [Rich Chidlaw; Bill Pearson ; Frank Frazetta; Roy G. Krenkel; Willy

Pogany; Zolne Rowich; Norman Price; ? Bauer; Stan Drake; Kenneth Smith; Hannes

Bok; ?; Vince Alascia-Charles Nicholas; Jack Gaughan; Bruce Miller; John Beatty;

Richard Bassford; David Karbonik; Brad Foster; Wally Wood; Ed Paschke; Frank

Godwin; Trina Robbins; V. T. Hamlin; Mike Zeck; Heinrich Kley] 36p

Notes: Final issue. $3.00 for 36 pages. An all ‘good girl’ pin-up issue. No comic stories at all. Some beautiful pin-ups and sketches here with great artwork from everybody involved. I particularly liked the Wally Wood witzend cover mockup; Bill Pearson’s efforts, Bob McLeod’s back cover , the Krenkel sketchbook art and Heinrich Kley’s {a Jewish artist who disappeared during Hitler’s regime} artwork but all of the artwork is of high quality. If you like pin-up art {especially of mostly naked babes} this is a pretty good book. Rowich’s art was a drawing of Sheena of the Jungle from the cover of Jumbo Comics #46. BP: “I think I somehow financed this issue myself, and it was the most popular number of the entire series. Bud Plant kept reordering for years. Not counting the hundreds of man-hours I put into it, this issue actually broke even! Also destroyed in [my] house fire were approximately 140 pages of what I hoped would be the ultimate issue of witzend, many years in the making, an eclectic mix of some really fabulous material. But it wasn’t to be.”

Share with your friends:
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8

The database is protected by copyright © 2019
send message

    Main page