These are publications that came to Long Haul Info Shop. It’s amazing that they are still cracking away in this age of extinction. They are kinda hard to read since Covid-19 and the 2020 Elections not only take up most of the air space around town but the pages of these works.
Most of these papers could use your eyes and mind or they might disappear. We also received new issues of Fifth Estate, The Lavender Menace, Razor Cake, The Match, Earth Island Journal and the Rebel Worker. We just got them at deadline and think they are all worth hunting down.
#80 Summer 2020 $5.00
PO Box 42531, Philadelphia PA. 19101
This long running periodical prints 3 times a year. They seems to use their time between editions to write savvy articles about current events as well as having a deep understanding of the historical precedent of anarchism. This issue not only looks at how Covid intersects with radicals but also topics exploring issues effecting Chile, South Africa, the Press and the ever dreaded 2020 elections. There is a fair amount of things that would interest a progressive activist with articles showing a deep concern over issues like labor, poverty, war and police abuse. The approach here is bookish and has a sharp conviction of their brand of radicalism. The pages are dense with words and what graphics you find hardly appear larger than your thumb. This alone could scare most frivolous journeys into this offset-printed magazine. To further induce yawning the piece on Covid by Ian MacKay almost delves into academic-speak. This issue has a 3 part series dissecting how Marxist scholars misinterpret Proudhon’s view of the Paris Commune. There is very little to get the impression that the writers occupies a street and talks to strangers (but then again most of us are lacking in that area). Kropotkin seems a very real person to the point that the people today walking around ready to change the world will be held back by this old way of thinking.
I almost want to get a subscription. (egg)
$20 for 1 year subscription
PO Box 34236, L.A. CA 90034-0236
A newspaper for hardcore progressives in the Los Angeles area. Regular features include write-ups of local concerns like abusive police, a community calendar that covers the gambit of activist concerns and a regular column from Mumia. This issue warns of a group of astroturf activists attempting to change the Pacifica radio network for the worse. And in other bad news the Peace Center where this paper and many activists groups operate out of is in danger of being sold. It seems that the minute founder Aris Anagnos died his son is attempting to dissolve the board and destroy this vital organizing space. You are cordially invited to intervene. (egg)
The Gainesville Iguana
September 2020 $15 for 1 year subscription
PO Box 14712, Gainesville FL 32604
I read this during a stultifying heatwave–which is a good setting to regard this Northern Floridian activist newspaper. It’s long running and consistent voice makes the factoids reliable. It’s a bit mainstream for me. I understand the norm for that region is that its full of reactionary (right wing) people so they are taking a chance putting themselves out there. Still, for my tastes the September issue has too much election items compelling the reader to run to the embrace of the Democrat party.
Thankfully there are other issues covered; news of the local university being challenged about using prison labor, a local river about to be given to Coca Cola to sell as bottled water and a farewell note written by Congressman John Lewis. There’s a directory of activist groups in the area and even a wrap-up of news items worthy of attention but couldn’t make print due to space limitations.
There’s a piece on a local school that was named for a confederate soldier and a lyncher now being renamed to celebrate an Africa American woman physicist…who worked on the atomic bomb in WW2. They don’t expound much on the harm that invention has brought to humans and the living planet. At least her bio is fleshed out. The same is done for a couple of local activists given obituaries. But more impressive I found out Scott Camille is alive by reading about an award he just got. He was a soldier that occupied Vietnam. When he came home he helped organized the Winter Soldier forums where soldiers gave public testimony about war crimes the US military enacted. He then helped to create the VVAW (Vietnam Veterans Against the War) where they held a rally outside the gates of the White House. There they called the president a “mother fucker”, denounced the military and threw their war medals over the police barricade. This should be a weekly protest in the modern age — that simple act will make the orange man flee to the panic room.
Worth reading to fight the power (egg)
September 2020 $3.99
A solid production that means life and death for its readers. This is a glossy magazine with some fancy layouts and graphics. At times the ads almost take over having the energy and verve you’d see in the mainstream press. Quite a few news items and reporting on AIDS medicine will would require special attention for the uninformed. This issue pays tribute to the passing of Larry Kramer — who not only impacted the world and the Gay community, but made a special impression on the crew making POZ. Many facets of his life are given space. Who knows, that old person irrationally yelling at the meeting may have a long list of cool things they were involved with.
Covid is a prominent topic given that this community learned how to survive the pandemic of AIDS. This monthly publication mixing science and medicine with the spirit to take on city hall and the federal government makes for some smart activists. POZ gives a good example of collective action being utilized to solve an untenable situation. (egg)
July/August 2020 Subscription $10
1188 Franklin St. S.F. CA 94109
Get a load of that name, Dispatcher harkens back to the age of publications using zippy titles. Besides you know what (see intro) this issue looks back and deep at the 1934 General Strike in San Francisco CA. The events of Bloody Thursday swayed the general public to support the demands of dock workers. This made the present day Longshore Union (ILWU) who have unceasingly supported radical causes. Shit no one touches like shutting the ports in solidarity for jailed Black political prisoner Mumia Abul Jamal, as well as in protest of the US invasion of Iraq. Everything in here relates to ILWU and their allies. This issue features a full page tribute to John Lewis and looks at his lifelong work expanding Civil Rights. This issue also has a call to support the dock workers of the Pacific Northwest who are in conflict with grain companies who hope to break their agreements. These companies even started a lawsuit the week of X-mas demanding protesting workers pay up to $250,000. This article is pretty ripe with traditional union jargon which isn’t the case for the other pieces. Duller fare does makes up a portion of the read — small news items like someone retiring or a zoom conference reminds me of a college newspaper. Dispatcher is a newsletter in newspaper format. They have enough money to sport full color designs on each page. That and the use of open space makes the world of a labor union seem wealthy and welcoming. There’s a section that wraps up this issue called “Transitions.” Man, what is it about activist papers and their army of the dead? (egg)
Cometbus #59 Post-Mortem $5
PO Box 1318 Cooper Station, NY NY 10276
You can glume from the title that the theme of this issue alludes to the ever popular sense that we entered the end times (yet published before Covid). But don’t despair, when you see the parade of weirdos and their projects you’ll be in safe harbor. You will get a taste of the hustles that they divine to keep their head above water as they make use of their short time here to create a new world.
This issue opens with people who made independent record labels and bands, which is a given considering this zine’s pedigree coming from the 1980’s punk scene. This then takes it a step farther featuring people who created movements like Riot Grrrl, people who opened book stores like Bound Together Books or performance and community spaces like Intrepid. Comic Publishers like Fantagraphics. Squats. Radical Archives. Vegan donuts. Skateboard Mags. There’s a real sense that making a counter cultural institution is normal and necessary. Special attention is paid to the humans who make organizations and how they’re flawed and mortal. Many questions are poised including the hard fact that our people get old, sick and die while keeping the doors open.
This is in zine format with large clear type to relax your eyes after looking at a screen for 7 hours. It makes for brisk reading. The 23 chapters are fairly short so that its easy to read while waiting for public transit or to sneak a peek while at work. It’s also a joy to read. Ordinary info is given flourishes often one sees in creative writing classes but here the word play is adept. Also unusual is that in this age of internet searches the main body of info is extracted from conversations Aaron had. These interviews span a wide range of people from 1960’s radicals to Occupy Wall street radicals. The whole thing is designed for impact….and to nudge readers to look at things in a deep way. (egg)
Search for Weird / V. Vale Bio-Comic #0$10
Artist Krusty Wheatfield transcribes talks with independent publisher V. Vale. The art is mostly minimalistic (even sloppy) while the life story has a grandness. Who knew that young Vale lived in an adopted family who were Black? Who knew that he got a $100 check from Allen Ginsberg and that set the motion for him to start printing the punk newspaper Search & Destroy? Krusty goes kinda deep with the details of Vale’s life in a tone that is humorous and generally delightful. This is the first of many comics on Vale to come. Good if you want to peek behind the scenes of a counter culture and get quirky personal anecdotes. Better than the internet. (egg)
$6 or $30 for 1 Year Subscription
This monthly glossy magazine covers the vast and diverse world music related to Metal and Hardcore Punk. World wide in scope. This issue talks to people making shit in Canada, Sweden, Idaho, Portland and Oakland. This issue has a lot of content that’s very much aware and supportive of the Black Lives Matter uprising since George Floyd’s lynching. In general this publication sides with enlighten people (woke?)–though there is a tirade/editorial this issue about a co-worker that smells of sexism. Thankfully this publication distances itself with right wing ideology. Interesting since there’s a large segment of this music scene that relishes in being mean and stupid.
Decibel also gives space to makers of craft beer this time featuring Black owned businesses. A fascinating regular feature is an interview with a mother of a gigging heavy metal-er. The personalities you get go beyond the generic images of long hair growling men though they do get a lion share of the stage here. Decibel covers a wide range of expression under the banner of loud, heavy and fast music. Even if you don’t understand the sound these people are making its written about in a way that compels the imagination. If you look at it all as a facet of a cutting edge artist movement you might get what the noise is about. You might actually see people creating a different reality than the sterile strip mall that’s eating the planet. (egg)
Baited Area #1 $10(WHYYYY!)
You leave the party away from the popular crowd who are upwardly mobile and carefree. Just on the threshold are people making shit, commenting on reality. Armed with surrealism and hacked technology. This publication is composed of short (but in-depth) talks with these people. They are friends so there’s warmth and follow through with what’s said. The concepts are given room to breathe. People making comics, noise music, performance art, bad movies. People who read books and drop acid. There’s also a thoughtful essay on vasectomies that explores the reactionary response normies give to the act of disabling your reproductive abilities (see also Slingshot #414 ). But it adds another room to the idea—sex without the possibility of children enhances the pleasure of sex. Cut your nuts with this paper. (egg)
Warning: Most likely you’ll need a magnifying glass.
Fluke #18 $4
PO Box 1547, Phoenix AZ 85001
Fluke No. 18 has a little bit of everything for everyone. From skater culture to hobo graffiti to punk shows – all cracks of alternative arts and culture were reached with this edition.
One of the most prominent pieces was an interview with Susan A. Phillips, doctor in anthropology and researcher of “gangs, graffiti, and the US prison system since 1990.” Her interview tapped into various graffiti scenes throughout the U.S. Phillips speaks on early taggers like hobo artist A-No.1 and rail rider buZ blurr. She comments on the social aspect of graffiti and its position as a medium to give the silenced a voice. Overall, a very interesting interview with great takes.
A connecting link in this edition was artist buZ blurr. buZ is not only not only mentioned by Susan Phillips, but also in an interview with lead singer of The Dicks/Sister Double Happiness Gary Floyd. Gary’s interview shifted into its own thing too shedding light on his experience as a gay punk in Austin, Texas and opening for Nirvana.
buZ, himself, wrote a short piece and created some art about his friend, filmmaker Bill Daniel. Bill had his own interview with Fluke and spoke about zines, the everlasting influence of Cometbus, and how he began looking at hobo graffiti. The way the zine is laid out gives it a very fluid feel. The various interviews that mention buZ definitely gives this edition a “small world” impression and offers a rad perspective into how community is created in alternative spaces.
I think one of the coolest aspects of this edition are the various anecdotes spread throughout it. One of my favorites was “Affle House 1999” written by Fluke author/curator Matthew Thompson. The anecdotes do a great job of pulling at the strings of nostalgia. Sick photos, like some from photographer Sergej Vutuc, work with the anecdotes and transport the reader inside these intimate settings – giving them a chance to look around and stay for a while.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable edition. It is filled with more amazing art and stories than I could review here. It is a great pick-me-up for anyone who misses the sense of community and friendship during these tumultuous times – or equally for those who are looking for inspiration to start off their hobo graffiti adventure. (Alexis)