Long considered a classic of the 1960s underground comics era, as well as a progenitor of a wave of imaginative autobiographical comics works to come in the 1980s, Justin Green’s Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, is being reprinted in an oversize hardcover edition by McSweeney’s Books this month. A wildly confessional satirical work starring Binky Brown, Green’s sexually obsessed, religiously hamstrung Catholic teen alter-ego, the book manages to be both goofily entertaining and an incisive cartoon rendering of religious hypocrisy and sexual guilt run amuck.

The book features an introduction by acclaimed cartoonist Art Spiegelman reminiscing about his first encounters with the revolutionary work at Green’s San Francisco apartment in 1972. “It' s no small thing to invent a genre,” Spiegelman wrote about Green's influence on a generation of autobiographical cartoonists. “I readily confess that without his work there could have been no Maus.” There’s also an afterword by Green, which looks back on both the beginnings of his interest in comics as well as the creation of Binky Brown and the iconic satirical depiction of his life in comics.

Eli Horowitz, the McSweeney’s editor that oversaw the project, said the house is publishing 5000 copies of the hardcover. The work was brought to his attention by Spiegelman, Horowitz said, when the original artwork was made available. He said that he was “aware of the Binky Brown legacy, but one of the real pleasures of this project has been discovering the great depth and breadth of that legacy--both the work’s influence and its persistent power. Both Binky and Justin seem to be universally loved.” While the book has been reprinted before (most notably the Binky Brown Sampler, Last Gasp, 1996) this new edition features careful reproductions of the original artwork, shot to display the pages and the hilarious and complex drawings on them, just as they are: full size, discolored black & white pages still marked with white-out, tape and smudged erasures.

“For the production of the book, we wanted to show the physical pieces as accurately as possible, full-size, with all the white-out, zipatone, and pencil marks,” said Horowitz. “Everything is presented exactly as we found it. We’re hoping this will help readers reconnect with Justin’s act of creation and the artistic breakthrough that this work represents.”

The book features the comic confessions of Binky Brown/Justin Green, a nerdy boy struggling mightily to navigate between the strictures of Catholic religious dogma, the towering sexualized figure of the Virgin Mary, a hilariously troubled cast of schoolgirls, siblings, bullies, fellow nerds—and the relentless and sinful pull of “impure thoughts.” Generally considered a send-up of neurotic Catholic sexual guilt, the new edition of the book adds a new dimension to Binky Brown’s obsessive attempts to avoid thinking about the Virgin Mother in the wrong way. In his elegantly written afterword, Green identifies Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as his underlying problem and discusses his years of searching to find help for the problem.

Horowitz said, “I found that really interesting, and it also really broadens the book’s resonance. We discussed the idea in relation to the afterward, but the insight was fully from Justin.”