"Snappy Sammy Smoot: Death Merchant" by Skip Williamson

Skip Williamson, “Snappy Sammy Smoot: Death Merchant” page 2, 1989 

Skip Williamson (born 1944) is one of the original generation of underground comics artists. Underground comics (often spelled comix) were comics produced outside the standard mainstream publication and distribution systems for newspapers and comic books in the 1960s. They were a part of the counterculture, and as such were often taboo-shattering in their depictions of sex and drug use. Skip Williamson and collaborator Jay Lynch started a humor magazine for hippies in Chicago in 1967. It was not successful (a fact Williamson attributes to the relative humorlessness of hippies), so he and Lynch converted it to a comic book, Bijou Funnies. Williamson's comics in particular dealt to a large extent with radical politics and satirizing straight culture. (Williamson illustrated Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book and produced the anthology comic Conspiracy Capers to raise money for the Chicago 8 defense.)

After the undergrounds faded in the 1970s (due in part to unfavorable Supreme Court decisions about pornography that made widespread distribution of underground comics riskier), Williamson worked as an art director, illustrator, painter and occasional cartoonist, as in the story "Snappy Sammy Smoot: Death Merchant," which was included in the anthology comic Blab!

Williamson has published several books, mostly out-of-print unfortunately but not too hard to find. He has also published two autobiographical prose books available in Kindle editions, Spontaneous Combustion and Flesh. These two books, which collect blog posts he did for Salon, are vastly entertaining glimpses of life in the 60s and beyond.

Skip Williamson, “Snappy Sammy Smoot: Death Merchant” page 5, 1989