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Justin Green, Who Put Himself Into His Underground Cartoons, Dies at 76

“Green is unflinchingly analytical in exploring every formative event and thought, from his playmates’ revelations about the facts of life, and consequent questions of his parents; to his prurient dreams of girls at school and his accidental discovery of his physiological response,” Graham Johnstone wrote in a review of “Justin Green’s Binky Brown Sampler” (1995) — a collection of the original comic book and several shorter, later Binky Brown strips — on Slings & Arrows, an online graphic novel guide.

Mr. Spiegelman said that his graphic novel, “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale” (1986) — a Holocaust memoir about his family, in which the Jewish characters are mice and the Nazis are cats — would not have been possible without Mr. Green’s autobiographical example. “Maus” and its sequel, “Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale” (1991), received a special Pulitzer Prize citation in 1992.

“His influence allowed me to go back to childhood memories,” Mr. Spiegelman said. He added that a number of other artists have followed Mr. Green’s path, including Aline Kominsky-Crumb, whose husband, Robert, is a titan of underground comics, and Chris Ware.

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Mr. Green’s “mind-expanding example of self-dissection helped me gather the confidence to write ‘Jimmy Corrigan,’” Mr. Ware said in an email, “which is fiction, but has its autobiographical grounding as a story about an adult meeting an estranged parent, which I was at the time trying to find the courage to do in my personal life.”

Justin Considine Green was born on July 25, 1945, in Boston and raised in Chicago. His father, John, worked in real estate, and his mother, Julia (Gleason) Green, known as Claire, was a homemaker. Like Binky’s parents, Justin’s father was Jewish and his mother was Roman Catholic.

In one cartoon, “Great Moments in Alcoholism,” Mr. Green depicted his father in an incident from real life: After a few shots of Jim Beam, he approached a table in a Las Vegas nightclub in 1967 where Frank Sinatra and his party were making noise while his friend Clancy Hayes, a Dixieland banjo player and singer, was performing. “So Pop marched over and personally told Sinatra & Co. to ‘SHUT UP’!”

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