Parent categories: underground - comics
The term "underground comics" is used to describe the industry of self-published or small press comic books that sprang up in the 1960s and has continued to the current day. Underground comics are noted for their lack of corporate control, which gives them the freedom to publish stories about literally anything, including subjects that many readers would consider shocking and offensive. These comics are often the produced by a single person, as opposed to mainstream comics, which are usually produced by a team including a writer, a penciler, an inker, a letterer, and an editor.
The initial wave of underground comics was written by and for the 1960s counter-culture and psychedelic movement, and a number of independent comics of this era were humorous (and unquestionably adult-oriented) stories about hippies and rebels who enjoyed the freedom of drugs, while putting up with persecution by evil police officers. As the genre grew and expanded, underground comics have ranged from small-press comics that grew to become mainstream (Elfquest and Cerebus the Aardvark), to comics created purely for artistic expression (Raw), to adult-oriented pornography and humor (Cherry Poptart and Xxxenophile). They have filled a creative niche left by the glut of superhero comic books published by mainstream companies such as DC and Marvel Comics.
The creators of underground comics have found various ways to publish their work without the backing of a major comic-book publisher. 'Mini-comics' are typically reproduced on a photocopier, hand-stapled and distributed by mail-order. More established creators can have their work published by one of the many small comics publishers (companies such as Fantagraphics Books, Rip-off Press, Slave Labor Graphics, Last Gasp and many others). The publishers also put together anthologies that collect short works from several different creators. More recently, there has been a surge of new creators posting their comics on the web, often for free or for a modest fee.
Some fans and artists use the term 'underground' comics to refer only to the first wave of independently produced comics, in the 1960s and 1970s. Later waves are sometimes referred to as 'independent', 'alternative', 'small press', or 'mini-' comics. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_comics 
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