Joyce Farmer and Lyn Chevli were Laguna Beach working mothers with a creative bent in the early 1970s when they decided to join forces in an unlikely alliance as underground comic book creators. Farmer was the artist. Chevli, now 78, was a writer and the owner of a celebrated alternative bookstore, Fahrenheit 451, opened by her ex-husband in 1968.
Chevli recalls that in 1972 she had decided to sell the popular but floundering bookstore, located next to the Hotel Laguna, after splitting up with her husband. For four years she had been selling underground comics by legends such as R. Crumb and other Zap comix artists and thought there was a need for a women's version of the ribald, raw and sexually provocative books that were top sellers at the store.
"So I put a sign in the window saying, 'Artist Wanted,'" Chevli said. Farmer, who worked at a bail bonds office next door, responded. The rest is comic book history, as the pair became pioneer women comic book publishers.