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Willy Murphy, Nicki Michaels, Ted Richards, Mark Burstein

Flamed Out: The Underground Adventures and Comix Genius of Willy Murphy

On sale date: November 7, 2023

An intimate (and sometimes goofy) portrait of cartoonist Willy Murphy’s life, loves, and struggles — and a revealing glimpse into the underground comix scene in San Francisco in the early and mid-1970s.

One day, Willy Murphy, a rising young star at a prestigious Madison Avenue advertising agency, whipped off his tie, cast away his suit, and said goodbye to a high-pressure, high-profile, high-paying career. All just to draw — not comics — but comix.

What followed was the flowering of a sharp comedic sensibility paired with a terrific ear for dialogue that delighted his friends, tickled the funny bones of his readers, and earned him the respect and admiration of virtually every other underground cartoonist.

Flamed Out traces Willy’s quirky comix career written and edited by those who knew him best. This book is bursting with personal reminiscences, Willy’s playful sketches and drawings, never-before-seen photographs, and a cornucopia of the comix — most newly scanned from his original art. With such recurring characters as Arnold Peck (the Human Wreck), Henry Henpeck, and the unsavory Beasley Boys, Willy’s clever cartoons regularly punctured pomposity, poked fun at politicians, and promoted peace and love through his peerless, fearless pen.


"He could somehow be caustic and gentle at the same time, and he always kept his eye on the prize: making his audience laugh out loud." — Art Spiegelman

"What an incredible book! Willy was a comix genius in ways I never fully appreciated. I laughed my ass off." — Bill Griffith


Black-and-white with color
9.9" × 12.9"