Underground Cartoonist Skip Williamson Passes Away

Snappy Sammy Smoot

Influential underground comics artist Skip Williamson passed away March 16 at a hospital in Albany, New York. He was 72.

According to The New York Times, his daughter Molly Hiland Parmer attributed Williamson's cause of death to renal failure.

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His passing follows that of fellow cartoonist Jay Lynch earlier this month. Together in 1968 they launched “Bijou Funnies," an influential title that published just eight issues over a span of next years, but provided an important venue for not only their work but also for that of fellow underground artists Gilbert Shelton, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Justin Green and Kim Deitch.

Snappy Sammy Smoot

Williamson's work often offered satiric commentary on the tumultuous politics of late 1960s and early '70s. His most iconic creation, Snappy Sammy Smoot, was a well-dressed but naive dandy, drawn in a psychedelic style with big bulging eyes, huge red lips, slick black hair and a tiny mustache.

In later years, Williamson became an art editor for Playboy, creating its comics section, "Playboy Funnies." He also turned his hand to painting, creating large works on acrylic canvasses, which he exhibited in galleries across the country. His life was also the subject of a recent documentary film, titled "Pigheaded," by filmmaker John Kinhart.

Williamson is survived by his wife Adrienne Morales, three daughters and two grandchildren.

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