John Wilcock has been the subject of an ongoing comic book biography here on Boing Boing. Scott Marshall and I have been working on the comic since 2012, or so, and it's been a nice goal to complete the book in John's lifetime. John lived many lives almost simultaneously, and it's been a massive research project effort to connect his experiences into one cohesive timeline. It's with some regret that while the book will likely complete in 2019, John passed away last night at the age of 91. But what a terrific life.
As chronicled in the comic, much of today's subculture (and news culture, and drug culture, and positive-minded sex culture, and the syndication nature of the Internet) was largely influenced by John's interest in connecting like minds in the 1950s and 1960s. He cofounded The Village Voice, established the Underground Press Syndicate, and later worked with Andy Warhol to develop Interview.
John was also a travel writer for both The New York Times and Frommer's, and published his own underground paper, Other Scenes, which is an unheralded masterpiece of weird optics, amazing design, and challenging subjects. (Part of the goal of the comic book biography is to highlight Other Scenes, which you'll see here on Boing Boing in 2019.)
As we celebrate John's accomplished life, here's a few comics from the biography:
Editing Norman Mailer
Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce! (and Part Two)
Timothy Leary's First Night on Hallucinogens
Thelonious Monk's Heroin Arrest
The History of ECHO, The Magazine You Play on Your Phonograph
Four Significant Counterculture Events
With love to John and his life, Ethan Persoff (with Scott Marshall) Read the rest
Mort Gerberg shares this memory of his encounter with John and Shel Silverstein outside the gates of Disneyland in 1966. From John Wilcock, New York Years
After quitting The East Village Other, John takes Art Kunkin up on an offer to manage editorial at the LA Free Press. Featuring Frank Zappa, Eve Babitz, Marcel Duchamp, and a phone cameo with Charles Bukowski. From John Wilcock, New York Years
John Wilcock describes the circumstances behind his quitting The East Village Other over their review of Andy Warhol's 1966 film Chelsea Girls
In 1966, John Wilcock contributed to ASPEN MAGAZINE, an arts project dubbed "The Magazine in a Box" for its unconventional format. This same issue featured design throughout by Andy Warhol and the first single to ever be released for the Velvet Underground, entitled "Loop".
A history of The East Village Other, and its impact on New Journalism, Activism, and the Underground Press. From John Wilcock, New York Years
John's break from the Village Voice in 1965, leading to his work with Walter Bowart and the East Village Other.
A variety of events from 1966, including Ken Kesey's Acid Test at The Filmore, Charles Whitman's attack at The University of Texas at Austin, and John Lennon's statement about the Beatles popularity over Jesus.
Bob Dylan's changing relationship with Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol, and Edie's actual romance with Dylan colleague Bob Neuwirth. From John Wilcock, New York Years
A visit to Chicago in 1966 to interview activist and comedian Dick Gregory.
A book of John Wilcock comics is now available
A variety of Warhol Moments of 1965, including the filming of Poor Little Rich Girl and Beauty #2 with Edie Sedgwick, Nam June Paik's video delay prank, and the first meeting of The Velvet Underground with Andy Warhol, which John witnessed in person, during the band's stay at Rick Allmen's Cafe Bizarre. From John Wilcock, New York Years. Read the rest
Returning from a trip abroad, John returns to Andy Warhol's Factory to meet a young, fragile, and beautiful Edie Sedgwick.
An evening of police brutality in 1965 ushers in one of the most pivotal moments in Civil Rights history. From John Wilcock, New York Years
, a history of the 1960s underground press and related events. (Also, Happy MLK Day
, Jan 16)
Traditionally, the end of year (New Year's, especially) is a time when many on the planet indulge in LSD. To commemorate this good-minded season, here's a compact history of East Coast academic acid, including John's experience dosing at Millbrook with Tim Leary, Charles Mingus, others. Happy Holidays.
A reminiscence of the Bitter End cafe, followed by a trip to Jim Haynes in Paris. From John Wilcock, New York Years
A book of John Wilcock comics is now available Read the rest