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The Boomers Issue

Strange Trip: A ‘70s memoir in comic book form

Noted underground artist Paul Kirchner on his illustrated life.

You might not know the name Paul Kirchner, but, if you’re a child of the early ’70s you’ve likely seen his influential underground comics. One of them, The Bus , ran in Heavy Metal and focused on a hapless bus passenger stuck on sometimes nightmarish commutes (that may sound familiar to Bostonians). And then there was his most famous creation, Dope Rider , about a sardonic, joint-smoking cowboy roaming a trippy old West in the pages of High Times. He’s a character that tends to stick with you.

After starting a family and taking on a mortgage, Kirchner put the comic work aside for a series of jobs that could actually pay the bills, including as an advertising art director and commercial illustrator. But he’s recently returned to his drawing table in Connecticut, reviving both The Bus and Dope Rider. And that’s where the Globe Magazine caught up with him to commission a story for our annual Boomers Issue.


Kirchner delivered a four-page tale of his boomer odyssey. Check out his strange trip--you might just recognize something of your own.

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