Jay Lynch, RIP

I just heard about the death of underground comix creator Jay Lynch last night, although it happened a week ago.  The TCJ obituary says it all better than I could.

I thought this bit from the obit about his idea for his tombstone was amazing, though:

He told me he wanted a tombstone with a coin-operated fortune-telling device on top to pay for perpetual maintenance of his resting place.

My personal remembrance is from a convention in Ithaca NY, probably 5 or so years ago. He was a guest at the show, and I conversed with him a bit. I found him difficult to hear, although the convention wasn’t particularly crowded.  I think he was just a soft speaker, but I had trouble following everything he was saying because he was so quiet.  I’m also not surprised that his death was from lung cancer, as he definitely smelled like a smoker.  I don’t really remember much of what we discussed, although I believe we talked about art spiegelman and how he was friends with art and how not only did art go to the same college I did, but Mr. Lynch himself had taught a course there at one point in recent years (if I recall correctly).

I have a beat up copy of The New Comics, a collection of Comics Journal interviews (including this interview, I think), and I asked Mr. Lynch if he wouldn’t mind signing the page with a B&W version of this Arcade 5 cover:

Jay Lynch Arcade 5 cover
I think Harvey Kurtzman may have been an influence….

And he did me one better, as he did a quick tiny self-portrait head sketch in my book.  If I find it, I’ll update this post with a picture.

As Jay Lynch’s resting place is in a small town between Ithaca and where I live, I’ll have to pay tribute sometime on my way up to Ithaca.  Maybe I can leave a fortune of my own there.

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