Featured Columns

July 6, 2017

Ink Stains 96: Graphex 3

Another great “little zine,” Graphex 3 has some cool work by McCollum, Herzog, Mowry…and me!

First off, I apologize for the tardiness of this installment. I was on convention (actually, Magic the Gathering Grand Prix tournament) overload…three of them in three weeks! Next appearance is San Diego Comicon and maybe I will see some of you there…artist alley, GG-18!

Graphex 3: 1976
Editor/publisher: William Mutschler

This time out, we focus on one of the many half size zines that populated the “mailstrom” of the 70s, specifically Graphex 3, from William Mutschler. This zine means something to me, since it has some of my very first published work…and I hadn’t seen it for a long time, so thanks to Steven Kristiansen for making me aware he was selling a copy. You can find him and a great little group of zine fans (sellers and buyers) on Facebook (see it here).

William Mutschler worked on many zines back in the 1970s, including Entropy Cosmix, which was covered in this installment. A few other contributors to Graphex appear there as well. This zine is fairly typical of the time, as it has various spot illustrations/stories by a stable of artists (Tim Herzog, Dave Mowry, Alan Limacher, and Mutschler, and Gene Day, among others), a few columns, and an interview.

The interview is a bit of an oddity, as it features two Marvel staples, Doug Moench (who also later worked for DC), and Don McGregor, being interviewed by Mutschler, and also interviewing each other. There is a fair amount of good background information on things like McGregor’s Black Panther work, as well as Doug’s black and white Marvel line work (Planet of the Apes, etc). Part two of the interview was slated to appear in issue 4, but I am not sure if that made it to print. This interview makes up the bulk of the fanzine text, but there are a couple of strips talked about below.

The first bit of continuity work is Phoenix, a science fiction fable written and drawn by Dave Mowry and inked by Gene Day. Day adds his usual skilled inkwork over Mowry’s clear layouts, probably making it a fair amount better than if he had not. You can see a page below from this story.

The next story (Kevin’s World), unfortunately, suffers from comparison to Phoenix. The art, by Mutschler, is of a fairly low quality. The layouts are especially bad. I think Mutschler was trying to be a bit experimental, but, in his defense, I would guess he was probably in his late teens or early 20s at this point.

Following that story is a double page spread by Arlen Schumer. I recognized the name from Arlen’s many Facebook posts about his lectures, books and such. For a very early illustration, this is pretty darned good. He couldn’t even remember doing it until I showed it to him. See below.

Following the spread is a story by Rick McCollum. As with many of his other projects, this is a fantasy/sf themed story, however this one is told in pages of text facing pages of illustration. Below are a few samples.

There are several spot/full page illustrations by Tim Herzog, Alan Limacher, as well as a sketch by Gene Colan of Daredevil. You can see a few below…as well as my Shang Chi!

Oh how I loved zipatone back then! You would have thought I would have used a ruler on that star, huh? At that time, I had just graduated high school, and you can see my infatuation with Paul Gulacy in this one, for obvious reasons.

I was just as infatuated with Craig Russell’s work on Killraven, so that Limacher spot hits…well, the spot! Tune in next installment for more art, more writing, and more bad puns! I still have several great zines on loan from Herb Warren, so I am sure it will be a good one! Oh, and don’t forget to download the pdf from my site here, so you can see the fanzine in it’s entirety!

Ken Meyer Jr.



  1. Iron_Matt

    I wonder why these haven’t been put together is huge collections so people can see them and enjoy all over again!

    • ken meyer jr

      I hear you….some of them are very hard to find for sure. There are a few big collections at a few universities…I think Iowa might be one, but look around!

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