Beef Knuckles

*?#%&#! Comics Magazine (1989)

Posted in Uncategorized by brynzo on December 15, 2009

*?#%&#! Comics Magazine cover by Andrew Haig

Recently I came across a copy of *?#%&#! Comics magazine.  *?#%&#! Comics magazine is a compendium that was published in Melbourne in 1989, edited by brothers Andrew and Ian Haig.  It’s interesting because it takes its cues from Raw Magazine.

Raw Magazine was edited by comic artist Art Spiegelman (Maus) and Françoise Mouly, and was a key part of the 80s underground comic movement.  It brought together artists from the United States and Europe who were making intellectual, alternative comics.

*?#%&#! shares Raw’s large format  and arty approach to making comics. Its contributors were almost all from Melbourne.  They included Philip Brophy, who was part of the experimental group → ↑ →  and now works as musician and artist; his then partner artist Maria Kozic who is now living in New York; Melissa Webb, who works as an illustrator in Melbourne; Carlo Golin, who is a practising artist and the two editors, Andrew and Ian Haig.  Andrew Haig is now a designer and Ian Haig, whose work features heavily in the magazine, is now a practising artist who ‘works at the intersection of visual arts and media arts.’  He does cool drawings and animations.

The Day Something Happened by Ian Haig & Tracey's Dick by Fester Better

At its core, *?#%&#! is a response to comics culture;  Maria Kozic’s ‘Heads on Platters’ serves up decapitated comic icons.  Fester Better’s ‘Tracey’s Dick’ turns Dick Tracey on its head, sending up Dick Tracey as a cross dressing transvestite who’d kill to keep his secret safe.   Ian Haig’s ‘Then suddenly’ boils down the comic formula to a single panel illustration and text, which just might be the perfect comic.  Its certainly the most economical.   The comics inside *?#%&#! are funny, ironic, violent and poke fun at comics while paying homage to the art form.

Heads on Platters by Maria Kozic

Tracey's Dick by Fester Better

Then Suddenly by Ian Haig

Heads Explode by Kon Heristanidis

Strips by Ian Haig

Succubus by Maria Kozic

Mad Pets by Melissa Web

Death Styles of the Rich and Famous by Philip Brophy

As far as I can gather, there was only one edition of *?#%&#! ever made, which is a pity.  *?#%&#! serves as a time capsule for Australian underground comics in 1989.

Ian Haig –

Andrew Haig –

Melissa Web –

Maria Kozic –

Philip Brophy –

Carlo Golin –

Oh yeah, Beef Knuckles 3 coming early 2010!


4 Responses

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  1. heesco said, on December 15, 2009 at 9:36 am

    that was very informative bryn! thanks!

  2. […] DJ Costanza and Kell. Oh, and did I mention that we have an interview with Ian Haig, of !@#$% […]

  3. *?#%&#! — said, on February 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    […] from *?#%&#! Comics magazine, 1989 […]

  4. bmacready said, on January 14, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Reblogged this on bmacready's Blog and commented:
    Very Cool! Must read!

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