Satire, if done right, can cut like a sharpened razor, but if done wrong all it will do is tickle you annoyingly. “Young Lust” does it right! Right in your pants! Cream!
“Young Lust” was started by co editors Jay Kinney, and Bill Griffith. Jay was a prolific underground cartoonist and promoter of the satirical religion “The Church of the Sub Genius”, he wrote an article on their convention that took place in Dallas for Robert Crumb’s “Weirdo” (you can find my review of the whole run here:
http://www.noisepuncher.net/2021/05/19/your-such-a-weirdo-underground-comix-magazine-1981-1993/) underground comix anthology of the 1980’s-early 1990’s and he was also editor of “Gnosis” magazine. Bill Griffith, was also a prolific underground cartoonist and created the “Zippy the Pinhead” strip that was syndicated in mainstream newspapers. The comic was started in 1970 and published sporadically until the last issue in 1993. They came up with the idea of mocking the “Romance Comics” of the 1950’s-1960’s. In the foreword to “The Young Lust Reader” which contains the first three issues, Jay says that the plots of the “Romance Comics” were formulaic in most issues: “See, the basic romance plot involves a helpless, passive girl in love with some idiot, but then a suave man of the world comes along and wins her heart. But finally he proves to be the devil incarnate and in the end she goes back to the idiot, who’s safe and will make a good husband. In between there’s a lot of tears and some kissing but thats about the gist of it.” So Jay and Bill turned that on its head, 1960’s counter culture style and in Jay’s words “Turn that vapid chauvinistic drivel inside-out and upside down”. The first issue featured only Bill and Jay with a one pager by Art Spiegelman. At first the comic was rejected by future publishers of subsequent issues Last Gasp Comix, Print Mint and Rip Off Press, however, Bill and Jay got a deal with John Bagley’s “Company and Sons” after selling 10,000 copies other bigger, underground publishers took notice.
The second issue was picked up by Print Mint, Bill became the primary editor while Jay helped out and drew strips, they were joined by Justin Green of “Binky Brown” fame, Roger Brand, Landon Chesney and Jim Osborne, all underground cartoonists.
Issue three was put out by Last Gasp and it was in four color, however, the third issue in my reader is in black and white along with the previously mentioned cartoonists, Spain came aboard, and Ned Sontagg. The first three issues stick pretty much to the formula of mocking the old, corny Romance comics. That is the gist of it and while the first three are good I am not gonna go into detail too much on the first three, because the subsequent issues are more interesting.
There was no follow up collections or omnibuses of “Young Lust” which is a damn shame so I started buying the issues separate. “Young Lust” issue four is in four colors, this time Print Mint stepped in as publisher, however, with this issue it goes deep into a different territory while there is still satire this is when, in my opinion, “Young Lust” comes into its own, it dives ball deep into absurdity, insanity and hilarity and this is the first time I have seen a Spain comic in color with his “What It Was Really Like in the 1950’s: Raw Meat”, its weird because almost every Spain comic I have come across is in black and white because most underground comics are done that way, in “Raw Meat” Spain and his leather clad JD gang get to gang bang a chick and then have to run when the fuzz show up, You get a tale of “Young Lust” from 1960 featuring a young Jay in “5th Grade Confidential”, Justin Green leads you on the surrealist and insane escapades of Dog Boy with his phallic nose and his cheating Geisha girlfriend in “A Dog Boy and his Geisha”, Kim Deitch has an ex war vet choking simian neck after catching a spider monkey fucking his German wife in “Simian Sin”, Art Spiegelman contributes a comic that wouldn’t be out of place in his future high art comic compilation “RAW” in “Little Signs of Passion”, Bill Griffith and his wife Diane Nommin have both of their continuing characters Didi and Funston come together and than “apart” literally in “Claude n’ Didi”, Jay and Ned Sonntag go into the future with a character that looks oddly like “Ziggy Stardust” era David Bowie, where all men and women are homosexuals and rock stars, Bill Griffith goes in for sloppy seconds with a peeping Tom astronomer who uses his telescope to watch people have sex in “Scenic News From the Griffith Observatory” and Robert Crumb gets into the action with yet another tale of sexual self loathing in “Red Hot Romances of Shlub Mugubb”.
With issue five, Last Gasp publishing took up the publishing task, the cover is a erotic satire of Maoist propaganda, that is the first comic by Jay Kinney who does a sexual take down of the Maoist revolution in “Red Guard”, Bill Griffith has his recurring character, Funston fuck while thinking of Twinkies in “Too Much Fun”, Paul Mavrides studies mutant sex habits in “Mutant Smut”, Spain dives back into the 1950’s with “fag bashing” in “Dessert”, Griffith “strips” with Dr. Marvin Lipschitz in “Dr. Marvin”, Jay Kinney and Sonntag double team into a future where there is commies running the country on the west coast and the Devil himself running the east coast in “Menthol Sirens”, Jay “cums” back and with a chihuahua in a tea cup in “Tea Cup” and Guy Colwell has dope heads of all races and genders sucking and fucking each other in “They Can’t See Us Here”.
Issue six is magazine sized and is titled “The Taboo Issue” and in this one you get the regulars and more “new cummers” which make the issue varied and interesting. Bill Griffith goes wild with his recurring character Funston fucking everything in sight including the sheep he is counting to fall asleep in “Plug Un-plug”, Spain goes “Robert Crumb” and annihilates himself for the rat he is towards women in “My True Story”, Micheal McMillian goes into outer space with a geek-giant alien sex romp in “Harold Wiseguy in Abduction Deduction”, Phoebe Gloeckner has Mary the Minor run off to do drugs and turn tricks while her single mother searches her out in “Mary the Minor”, Gary Panter adapts a novel by Tom DeHaven about a nightmare post apocalyptic world where people get off on watching A Bomb blasted mutant survivors have sex with weird masks, “Cafe Flesh” style, in “Freaks Amour”, Diane Noomin has her recurring character the mature Didi screw the delivery boy in “Stupid Cupid with Didi Glitz”, Melinda Gebbie has a three way with the three sisters who don’t need boys in the “Three Swans”, Kim Deitch has his female protagonist go to her psychiatrist about her underwater sex fantasies about the politicians Ted Kennedy and John Anderson in “Mind Games”, Paul Mavrides and Jay Kinney, two Sub Genius cult members, put their pipe smoking messiah J.R. “Bob” Dobbs smack in the middle of international and intergalactic intrigue in “Underneath the Covers”, and Robert Shwartz gets artsy fartsy with his meditation on opera and sex on the back page. Most of these artists are the cream of the crop of the underground, most from the San Francisco scene, most of them worked for different publications and magazines, most of the people that worked in “Young Lust” also worked on Robert Crumb’s “Weirdo”.
Issue seven goes back to a regular sized comic book and while the first six were released between 1970 to 1980, issue seven appears ten years later in 1990, it kind of reminds me of the last issue of “Weirdo” that just appeared in the early 1990’s when the Crumb family had moved to France. I figure Ron Turner, publisher and owner of “Last Gasp” wanted to bank on the surge of independent comics and zines that were really starting to proliferate in the 1990’s, Jay Kinney and Paul Mavrides collaborate yet again to document a love story with North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung (deceased father of the current Kim) and 1950’s fetish pin up model Betty Page who whips Kim into shape and takes over as dominatrix queen of North Korea in “Guilt Edged Bonds”, Daniel Clowes illustrates the down and dirty folk song “Frankie and Johnnie”, Bill Griffith brings his recurring character Funston back trying to rekindle an old flame who is now married to a skinflint televangelist in “Hot Tears for Tamara”, a Clare Biggs reprint from 1926 (and I am really surprised this comic strip got published back then, a husband trying to hide his dirty book from his wife. Things never change HA! HA! HA!) in “That Guiltiest Feeling”, Micheal McMillian has two couples get kinky in the high desert with “High Desert Ecotage”, Diane Noomin has Didi put out an ad for “love” in “I Had to Advertise for Love”, Spain and Jay Kinney have a pervert who thinks he is in ancient times visiting a temple prostitute but instead finds himself getting kicked out of a strip club in “Slave of Ishtar” Susie Bright gets nasty in her love column, “Ask Susie Hexpert”, Phoebe Gloeckner illustrates the sexual generation gap in former communist Eastern Europe with “An Evening in Prague”, Harry S. Robins gets shit on by hot women and philosophizes about it in “Grace”, Justin Green returns with his phallic nosed Dog-Boy who fetishizes food in “Eat and Tell”, Lee Binswanger gets awkward when the younger sister has to entertain the date of her bigger sister while the bigger sister gets ready in “Entertainment Tonight”, Spain tears in to misogyny in “The Sexist: He Lived By Lust Alone” and Jennifer Camper has lesbian revenge on a male lover in “A Teen Guide to Dating”.
The final issue, issue eight, is magazine sized and came out three years later in 1993, by that time “Young Lust” shot its final load and collapsed exhausted with a well deserved post coital cigarette. Jay Kinney and Ned Sonntag get dick deep into piercing fetish and Hindu mythology in “Pierce the Veil”, Bill Griffith has his famous, syndicated character “Zippy the Pinhead”, himself and his recurring character Funston getting X Rated in a weird orgy in “Fleshed Out”, Charles Burns does one on the multiple personalities of the boyfriend of a girl who doesn’t recognize him from day to day in “Love Diary”, Justin Green has Dog-Boy run out on his imperfect wife to Reno to screw a prostitute in “Reno Romp”, T. Laban has a professor researching S and M, tattoo, and extreme piercing in “Modern Primitive”, Diane Noomin has Didi screwing a lounge lizard on a miniature golf course on “Lava My Life”, Spain has Big Bitch fuck up some terrorists naked in “Big Bitch”, Harry S. Robins waxes philosophical again about being constantly rejected in “Road of Knives”, Robert Triptow has 1940’s tale of noir, sex and murder in “Dick Hymen in Hard Boiled Romance”, Angela Bocage has a modern day Siren fucking both men and women in “Siren”, Jay Kinney talks about a Muse he has had throughout his life in “My Muse Left Me and All I Got Was This Stupid Comic Strip!”, Carol Lay turns an old fraternity tradition into a drunken sex orgy in “Panty Raid”, John Bailiff jerks off with out consequences in “My Big Day”, and Sub Genius Devivalist Reverend Nenslo says sex is dumb in his ad “Sex is Dumb” and Lloyd Dangle dumps heavy satire on the old 1-900 sex number ads in “Tele-Scorn”.
Through out the series there is fake ads, satire on the ads that were in these magazines normally romance and hygiene related things. Of course “Young Lust” fucks this in the ass really hard and cums in it’s face.
If the first three issues were to be republished today with this new generation of kids they wouldn’t get what “Young Lust” was making fun of. However, “Young Lust” became its own, twisted sexual mutant on issue four, sure it was still satire but very surrealist in its satires of sexual mores and the culture of relationships. “Young Lust” is an example of why I like underground comics, they aren’t afraid to go into unknown, twisted and strange territory. The first issue came out as the hippie flower boomer thing was starting to wither on the vine and the bloom fell off dead on issue 6 in 1980, however, the seeds of that planet bloomed into a stranger and more mutant plant than its dead parent with issues seven and eight in the early 1990’s, while a lot of zines and underground comics of that 1990’s period tipped their ironic hats to their forebears, they also mercilessly roasted them and sometimes the smelly, ex hippie boomers deserved every flame they got. “Young Lust” could probably survive, surrealist humor about sex and relationships is taken as a given everywhere you look now in every form of media. “Young Lust” will make you cum your pants before you have a chance to stick it in.
So if you want to jerk off instead of getting a real woman go here, all the tissues, uh, I mean issues are up here: https://www.zipcomic.com/young-lust-issue-1
If you want a real woman there is issues, as well as the first three issues in “The Young Lust Reader” for cheap on amazon. Just do a search and you’ll be popping your load in no time!