Mondo 2000: An Open Source History


33 Responses to “Mondo 2000: An Open Source History”

  1. ColeKali says:

    I miss Mondo 2000, still look at back issues and read the User’s Guide from time to time.

  2. DaveLaFontaine says:

    I useta get it from the magazine stand down the street from the office in Beverly Hills that I toiled in. Felt strange to be flipping through the pages of interviews with GWAR, articles about the joys of vasopressin and how pumpkins were the perfect beta-blocker food, surrounded by sweaty junior agents looking for comic-book characters that hadn’t yet been licensed for development.

    Mondo 2000 was an expression of optimism, in much the same way that OMNI was in the 80s. Although the ads in the mag never really seemed to be relevant to the content – does anyone have a copy of the old Mondo 2000 media kit? How do you sell ads in a magazine, when the editorial content basically says “Hate and disdain all mass-produced products”? Even three-martini lunches wouldn’t get that done … although if the ad salespeople were true to the Mondo 2000 ethos, they would probably achieve their quarterly goals by Tasering the media buyers, and then forging the checks while the buyer twitched feebly in the corner Fog City Diner booth…

  3. Anonymous says:

    In 1967 I stumbled on newspapers like “The East Villiage Other” and the “LA Free Press”, the hargingers of the Summer of Love and the Youth Rebellion. To my high school mind they represented a sudden, enthalling expansion of my horizons. When I stumbled on Mondo 2000 as a much older man, I felt the same explosion of possibilities, the social changes that the new technology and viewpoints would create. It was like being young again.

  4. doggo says:

    Meh. Cyber-hippies.

  5. finucane says:

    I’ve always loved that whenever I see pictures of Mondo2000 covers, I can always remember if I had that particular issue, or not. I’ve always thought of this as a lasting testament to their brilliant design, quality, and style.

    I now have a very strong desire to go dig out those copies, and to see if I still have the Users Guide tucked away as well.

  6. stexe says:

    After a few years of reading the magazine and the user’s guide, I moved from my hometown of Chicago to San Francisco in the mid-90′s. I figured “Mondo 2000 comes out of San Francisco, so I’d better move there.”

  7. Rob Myers says:

    I found issue 3 of Mondo 2000 at Forbidden Planet in London and never looked back.

    This project looks great and I’ve signed up to help fund it. “True Mutations” and h+ are worthy successors but don’t have that same black slab by the watering hole feel as Mondo did.

  8. Anonymous says:

    i love that magazine. i think i still have some issues tucked away somewhere. i remember buying a subscription. they cashed the check but nothing ever came in the mail ever.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sweet,Sweet, Mondo 2000. I came across a copy of one of the first issues while living in Indiana. I completed my Political Science degree and the English Dept let me devise an individual study program in cyberpunk literature to finish out school. Next stop was San Francisco. Thanks to Mondo, I am the freak I am today. =)

  10. Chocodile says:

    The only Mondo I knew in the 90s was Mondo Fruit Drink. Yuck – that stuff was gross.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hey I”ve still got my issue 3 onwards, loved it -lived it @ 144bpm! From the land of STELARC – Melbourne Australia, Best wishes with the project.

    incite INSIGHT!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I was zooming along in a successful real estate career wearing a suit and tie every day to work when I discovered Mondo 2000. It was a veritable thought bomb that culminated with me getting sucked into the Internet, the New Edge and completely rebooting as a techie.

    It’s funny that as revolutionary as Wired was when it materialized, it’s seemed positively buttoned down by contrast.

    Thanks for rejiggering wonderful memories.


  13. jhhl says:

    Tell Dirk & Sandy there’s a slice of pumpkin pie waiting for them!

    I have a big pile of old Mondo’s up in the attic – also a tape with Mr. Sirius singing I Am The Walrus and other material.

  14. Adam Stanhope says:

    I was there! Berkeley 1988 – 1994.

    What a wonderful time and place to come of age. No fun or adventure was spared.

    In 1994 I moved back to Massachusetts, and I love it here, but not a day goes by when I don’t miss the Berkeley of that moment in time.

  15. Anonymous says:

    So that explains why the issues just stopped coming!

  16. StRevAlex says:

    What an absolutely fantastic scheme. Mondo 2000 was the greatest magazine in the history of magazines. That’s not hyperbole, it’s truth!

  17. Chesterfield says:

    I was always fascinated by the smart drugs (nootropics?) articles. Ever since then, I’ve always been tempted to try to track down some Piracetam.

    I’d love to hear any anecdotes the old farts here have to offer.

    • finucane says:

      Oh yeah, I tired a few bottles of Piracetam, and certainly never was as advertised. Vasopressin, on the other hand, made working late nights at the local movie theater, a bit more tolerable. What I did live on for a few years, after reading about it in Mondo2000, was Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw’s Memory Fuel and Fast Blast. There was no ambiguity there, my brain is tickling just thinking about those days!

    • Ambiguity says:

      I used to love the magazine!

      The one thing, though:

      was always fascinated by the smart drugs (nootropics?) articles. Ever since then, I’ve always been tempted to try to track down some Piracetam.

      All that shilling for nootropics seemed a bit odd to me, and a place where advertisement and editorial got a little blurry (hey, I guess they were pretty prescient, eh?).

      Other than that minor annoyance, though, I really enjoyed the magazine.

      RU’s current podcast has had a few good episodes.

  18. Cowicide says:

    Those were crazy times and Mondo encapsulated them well for me at the time. I kind of miss all the excitement and mystery leading up to… well, now.

    I loved all the articles on neuro enhancing drugs, etc. If Mondo was here today, I bet they’d have a story on this app IQ increasing app:

    I remember always having to have the internet and/or a dictionary handy to be able to barely decipher the heady articles. I loved it.

    Look forward to picking up the book. :)

  19. 110rdr33f4 says:

    Ah, yeah, those wild and wooly days! BoingBoing and Mondo 2000 were always on top of the pile of mags.

    This should be something to see when it’s done.

  20. greengestalt says:

    How about scanning the issues into .PDF and either giving them out, or at worst getting a $1/issue donation? Some of us do still like this after all these years, despite “The Guy I almost Was” bringing us to tears, and would love to read ‘em again. Just without paying “Comic Book Guy” whatever he thinks he can scalp us for.

    I’d pitch in the effort. I personally have #14 and #15 (isolated in the boonies, visiting the “Big City” whenever I could afford, back then…) and could scan them if the original source is lost.

    Likewise, I’d love it if it could be done with some other Zines, most notably “bOING bOING” but also stuff I couldn’t get like “Ben is Dead”…

    Just an idea:-)

  21. Stefan Jones says:

    I must link to Patrick Farley’s autobiographical comic about the lure of early-90s cyber culture and his encounter with (names disguised) Mondo folks: “The Guy I Almost Was.”

    • princeminski says:

      Thank you for that link. I’m an older generation, but it was really fun to read somebody else’s coming of age story.

  22. SKR says:

    Mondo and 2600 were definitely catalysts that helped motivate me from Northeast Ohio down to L.A. We have three of the four corners covered. Anyone from SE Ohio?

  23. kaosmonkey says:

    Mondo was the whole reason I moved to California when I did. The softcover “Users Guide to the New Edge” is still packed away with all my early issues. To a kid in northwest Ohio, struggling to break free from the corn, that shit was like mental catnip. A finger pointing the way to neurospace. My psyche is forever indebted to RU Sirius.

  24. Francesco Fondi says:

    I was in the last issue of MONDO 2000 (it was my favourite zine after BB)!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    i have all my old issues as well… we’re a pirate mind nation… still have a t-shirt tucked away as well; nice to know i’m not the only freak out there

  26. ZDepthCharge says:

    I was sad when Reality Hackers became Mondo. From actual hacks to way more fashion. Sad, but kind of a statement in its own way.

    KaosMonkey/SKR: I too was in NEO (by way of Cowtown) and left Ohio for better things. I missed Cali and ended up in Potland. Now I’m in New Zealand.

    So who was into Biophysics at OSU in the early 90′s?

    BTW: No one is (admittedly) from SE Ohio.

  27. Julian Bond says:

    89 to 93 was some kind of golden age, wasn’t it? Not just Mondo 2000, but Fringeware, Cyberpunk, Techno-shamanism, the birth of rave culture, Vague, Rapid Eye, Bob Dobbs, Re:Search, etc, etc. Happy Mutants, one and all.

    • David Pescovitz says:

      Indeed. A lot of it grew out of the ‘zine culture that went into overdrive with the proliferation of (relatively) inexpensive desktop publishing tools. This very blog grew out of the bOING bOING print ‘zine that Mark and Carla created in 1989.

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