Maximum Rocknroll, the seminal punk print 'zine launched in 1982, is ceasing publication of its paper edition. This truly marks the end of an era in punk culture and underground media. According to today's announcement, MRR will continue its weekly radio show, post record reviews online, continue its archiving effort, and launch other new projects that will keep the unbreakable Maximum Rocknroll spirit alive. From MRR:
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Maximum Rocknroll began as a radio show in 1977. For the founders of Maximum Rocknroll, the driving impulse behind the radio show was simple: an unabashed, uncompromising love of punk rock. In 1982, buoyed by burgeoning DIY punk and hardcore scenes all over the world, the founders of the show — Tim Yohannan & the gang — launched Maximum Rocknroll as a print fanzine. That first issue drew a line in the sand between the so-called punks who mimicked society’s worst attributes — the “apolitical, anti-historical, and anti-intellectual,” the ignorant, racist, and violent — and MRR’s principled dedication to promoting a true alternative to the doldrums of the mainstream. That dedication included anti-corporate ideals, avowedly leftist politics, and relentless enthusiasm for DIY punk and hardcore bands and scenes from every inhabited continent of the globe. Over the next several decades, what started as a do-it-yourself labor of love among a handful of friends and fellow travelers has extended to include literally thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of readers. Today, forty-two years after that first radio show, there have been well over 1600 episodes of MRR radio and 400 issues of Maximum Rocknroll fanzine — not to mention some show spaces, record stores, and distros started along the way — all capturing the mood and sound of international DIY punk rock: wild, ebullient, irreverent, and oppositional.
Boing Boing pal Dustin "UPSO" Hostetler has published the fifteenth issue of his long-running print 'zine Faesthetic, the exquisitely-produced visual wunderkammer of art/illustration/design. Faesthetic #15 is themed "Convergent Visions" and I was delighted to contribute an essay about the Voyager Golden Record as an iconic artifact of futures thinking. The issue features work by all of these incredible creators: Christan Mendoza, Jon Contino, Adam Griffiths, Adrian Cox, Alex Barrett, Caitlin Russell, Chris Nickels, Dang Olsen, Elaine Miller, Gabrielle Rosenstein, Janne Iivonen, Prate™, Jeremyville, Jim O’Boyle, John Szot, Josh Row, Julian Glander, Justin Harris, Karen Ingram & Nicola Patron, Kyle Knapp, Leanna Perry, Loc Huynh, Maggie Chiang, Marta Piaseczynska, Max Löffler, Okell Lee, Pedro Nekoi, Tara McPherson, Thayer Bray, Bryan C. Lee Jr, and Alison Conway.
Buy Faesthetic for just $10. Here's the story behind this edition:
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The idea for “Convergent Visions” took root in the halls of South By South West in 2017. After a mind-boggling keynote delivered by biochemist Jennifer Doudna, Faesthetic publisher Dustin Hostetler and creative director Karen Ingram bumped into Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer of SXSW. This chance meeting sparked a conversation between Karen and Dustin that became a collaborative effort with the 2018 SXSW Art Program.
“Convergent Visions” probes various areas in science and technology through an artistic lens. Overarching themes include Design, Health and Wellness, Social Impact and the Intelligent Future become realized through the creativity vibrating and flowing from the minds and fingers of 30 international artists and designers.
With a nod to Donna Haraway’s characterization of the emerging and many-tentacled epoch of the Chthulucene, “Convergent Visions” showcases the visions of these talented creatives.
In Nieman Labs's "predictions for journalism in 2018" roundup, there's Kawandeep Virdee’s "Zines Had It Right All Along": which celebrates the low-fi, experimental, handcrafted diversity of the golden age of zines (which was the environment that birthed Boing Boing, as it happens). Read the rest
Dean Putney, software engineer, editor of his grandfather Walter Koessler's wartime photojournal and former Generalissimo of Development at Boing Boing, published a lovely zine of photos he's taken over the years from airplane window seats.
Individually, each is just a well-framed shot of the ground from the sky. Collectively, a striking view of the world that puts other things in perspective.
It came in a curious linotyped envelope featuring one of the landscapes. Perhaps Dean'll pop into the comments to explain how he made the stamp!
Matt Furie is the creator of Pepe the Frog, a "peaceful and chilled out" character that appeared in his 2006 zine, Boy's Club. Matt wants to reverse the "negative" branding Pepe's received of late and has launched a Kickstarter for a new zine "reclaiming Pepe's status as a universal symbol for peace, love, and acceptance."
Marta Chudolinska is Learning Zone Librarian at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, which hosts a huge zine collection founded in 2007 Alicia Nauta, then a student. Read the rest
Sumana writes, "The Recompiler is a feminist technology magazine launched in 2015. Their goal is to help people learn about technology in a fun, playful way, and highlight a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. They're running a fundraiser right now, asking for $3,000 in subscriptions, book orders, contributions and ads, to publish the seventh issue on time and sail into its third year, and they've made $2236 so far. And for every $500 raised, podcast host Christie Koehler will record a dramatic reading of a tongue-twister." Read the rest
Zine publisher Jonno Revanche says he likes zines because they are not connected to a network infected with crap: clickbait, tracking, trolls, etc.
From his piece in The Guardian:
There’s a liberty to creating, or witnessing subversive material knowing that it won’t be monitored, that the information is contained only within the pages of the zine. The trustworthiness of a physical object in our current age is strangely compelling. Links shared via Facebook or messenger apps can be intercepted, logged, or dispersed otherwise into the ether. Especially for teenagers, zines counter the anxiety and subsequent frantic deletion of browser history so that your family can’t see it. Hide it under your bed instead, or in a zipped inner sanctum within your school bag.
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John Park writes, "Check out what Tony D just posted at Adafruit after he visited the Living Computers Museum + Lab." Read the rest
"'Disobedient Electronics' is a zine-oriented publishing project that seeks submissions from industrial designers, electronic artists, hackers and makers that disobey conventions, especially work that is used to highlight injustices, discrimination or abuses of power." Read the rest
Chloe Eudaly, whose zine emporium Reading Frenzy (previously) and publishing makerspace the Independent Publishing Resource Center are PDX institutions, is running for Portland City Council, campaigning on affordable housing for all in a city whose longterm residents are being left behind by runaway rents and spiraling housing prices. Read the rest
Free Press: Underground and Alternative Publications 1965-1975
by Jean-François Bizot (editor)
2006, 264 pages, 9 x 1.1 x 13.5 inches (softcover)
$(removed) Buy one on Amazon
The mid-1960s were an exciting time for art, music, youth culture, society, and politics, all of which were transforming at dizzying speed. The left wing underground press of the time reflected these mind-boggling changes in their design, content, and distribution methods. Underground newspapers from around the world joined the Underground Press Syndicate, sharing articles and illustrations free of copyright restrictions.
These papers gleefully taunted the establishment by promoting recreational drugs, recreational sex, black power, gay rights, women’s liberation, anti-authoritarianism, and anti-war activism. The covers of the papers were bold, experimental, and subversive. When I was designing bOING bOING (the late 1980s/early 1990s zine) I was inspired by the precious few samples of The East Village Other, The Realist, and The Gothic Blimp Works that I could find in used bookstores. I wish I’d had a copy of Free Press back then! Almost every page of this book has a full-color photo of a cover or interior page from dozens of well-known and obscure newspapers from the era. Though much of the design is amateurish and ugly, there are examples of brilliance, too, making this a worthy reference for designers.
Phrack has been publishing erratically since 1985, but the four year gap between the previous issue, published in April 2012, and the current issue, published yesterday, was so long that many (me included) feared it might have died. Read the rest
The Torist is a newly launched literary journal, edited by University of Utah Communications associate professor Robert W Gehl and a person called GMH, collecting fiction, poetry and non-fiction. It is only available as a file on a Tor hidden service -- a "darkweb" site, protected by the same technology as was used by the likes of Silk Road. Read the rest