Deadly Duck #1 by J.R. Williams
J.R. Williams, Deadly Duck #1 cover, 1985
J.R. Williams is a cartoonist from the Pacific Northwest who was a part of the minicomics movement in the 1980s. The availability of cheap photocopies, the rise of zine culture, and the lack of opportunities for young idiosyncratic cartoonists following the collapse of underground comics in the 70s provided the ground for a new DIY comics movement. The godfather of this movement was Clay Geerdes, a Bay Area photographer who published, distributed and generally encouraged the minicomics scene through his Comix World/Comix Wave newsletters. Many of the 80s era minicomics (including Deadly Duck) were reprinted in the book Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s, and a large collection of minicomics is housed at the Washington State University at Pullman library.
Williams worked as an animator for Will Vinton Productions, had several comics published by Fantagraphics (Bad Comics, Crap, Damnation), and plays a mean guitar. His comics are notable for channeling the adolescent energy of MAD Magazine and punk rock. Williams is currently a painter whose imagery derives from "low brow" culture.
Minicomics continue to be produced today (although many if not most DIY comics are now online). Minicomics are a key aspect of the world of art comics, which since the days of the underground comics of the 1960s, have generally been published by small press publishers or self-published. This reverses the dependence on large publishing corporations and grants artists total freedom.
In addition to writing an drawing his own comics, J.R. Williams wrote an adaptation of The Little Shop of Horrors and drew a series of stories about the legendary 60s musical eccentric, Wild Man Fischer.
J.R. Williams, Deadly Duck #1 page 1, 1985
J.R. Williams, Deadly Duck #1 page 7, 1985