Saturday, March 18, 2017

Jay Lynch 1945-2017

Some of the readers here may have seen this already in the news or online but Jay Lynch passed away on March 5th, age 72.  In addition to being a renowned underground comix artist, Jay freelanced on many Topps projects over almost fifty years and worked closely with Woody Gelman on the creation of Wacky Packages. He was also one of the main artists and gag men on Garbage Pail Kids and the longtime writer of Bazooka Joe comics among many other projects.  He was a founder of Bijou Funnies to boot and can be seen below in a picture from the first issue holding the artwork from Nard 'N Pat, his most famous strip. Quite the assemblage, no?


I was put in touch with Jay by Jeff Shepherd and he was quite helpful when I was researching my book, The Modern Guide To Topps Chewing Gum: 1938-56. From what I have seen, he was like this with everybody.  I'm slowly working on a Topps artists project and while I won't be able to hit him up for information, he will be a focal point nonetheless. I'm also sorry I didn't get a chance to get into longer discussions with him about Woody and folks like Len Brown and Ben Solomon. He was around the place for such a long time, through the IPO in 1972 and the ceding of control by the Shorin's later on, through the sale to Michael Eisner in 2007 and beyond.

His papers (which are voluminous) are being donated to Ohio State University. They include documents and artwork from his entire career; he apparently saved everything he could over his 72 years. Considering the circles he worked in, this will be a valuable resource to a number of disparate folks.

Topps has put out a commemorative set to help his family defray his medical expenses, it's available here if you are interested.

RIP Jay.

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