Justin Green, who got into his underground cartoons, dies at 76

“Green is unyieldingly analytical in exploring every formative event and thought, his playmates’ revelations of the facts of life, and his parents’ consequent questions; to his lustful dreams of girls at school and his accidental discovery of his physiological response,” Graham Johnstone wrote in a review of “Justin Green’s Binky Brown Sampler” (1995) – a collection of the original comic and several shorter, later Binky Brown strips – at Slings & Arrows, an online graphic novel guide.

Mr Spiegelman said his graphic novel, ‘Maus: A Survivor’s Tale’ (1986) – a Holocaust memoir about his family, in which the Jewish characters are mice and the Nazis are cats – would not have been possible without Mr. Green’s autobiography. Example. “Maus” and its sequel, “Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale” (1991), received a special Pulitzer Prize citation in 1992.

“His influence took me back to childhood memories,” Mr. Spiegelman said. He added that a number of other artists have followed Mr. Green’s path, including Aline Kominsky-Crumb, whose husband Robert is an underground comics titan, and Chris Ware.

“Mr. Green’s example of self-dissection helped me muster the confidence to write ‘Jimmy Corrigan,'” Mr. Ware said in an email, “which is fiction, but which has its autobiographical underpinnings as a story of an adult reuniting an estranged parent, which I was trying to find the courage to do in my personal life at the time.

Justin Considine Green was born on July 27, 1945 in Boston and grew up in Chicago. Her father, John, worked in real estate and her mother, Julia (Gleason) Green, known as Claire, was a homemaker. Like Binky’s parents, Justin’s father was Jewish and his mother Roman Catholic.

In a cartoon, “Great Moments in Alcoholism,” Mr. Green portrayed his father in a real-life incident: After some shots of Jim Beam, he approached a table at a Las Vegas nightclub in 1967 where Frank Sinatra and his party were making noise while his friend Clancy Hayes, a banjo player and singer from Dixieland, performed. “So Pop walked over and personally told Sinatra & Co. to ‘SHUT UP’!”

Comments are closed.