The Realist was a satirical newsletter founded by Paul Krassner from in 1958. It mixed true stories with parodies, and sometimes it was hard to tell the difference. It was a freak's version of Mad magazine (and I just discovered on Wikipedia that the first issue was produced in Mad's offices).
When Krassner relaunched The Realist in the 1980s I devoured each issue as it arrived in my mailbox. It was a major inspiration for bOING bOING, the zine. If fact if you look at the subject matter covered in The Realist, you'll see that much of it is remarkably similar to the stuff you'll find on Boing Boing today. For example, the June 1963 issue (shown above) had the following articles: The Arrest of Lenny Bruce, "Negative Thinking" by Robert Anton Wilson, Epizootics by Gershon Legman, the FDA vs Scientology, and weird items clipped from the mainstream press. I can hardly believe this is from a magazine published 44 years ago! Mind blowing.
I have only seen a couple of the early issues of The Realist, so I was elated to learn that outre-culture archivist Ethan Persoff has started on online archive for this eccentric and delightful newsletter.
Announcing The REALIST Archive Project. A complete republishing of all 146 issues of Paul Krassner's
classic THE REALIST Magazine. Every page from the
Realist that was ever printed will be included within
this archive. A wealth of incredible things coming up
for you. Posted with permission. Our thanks to Paul
Issue No. 44 – Lenny Bruce arrested (1963)
Issue No. 66 – An Abortionist for the FBI (1966)
Issue No. 74 – The full Disneyland Memorial Orgy issue
Issue No. 81 – The Digger Papers (1968).
Also: writing from Robert Anton Wilson and from
Gershon Legman. Tips on child pornography found in
Reader's Digest, and much much more.
Four new issues posted every month until the archive