The Best of Punk Magazine

Overview

Launched in 1976, Punk magazine announced an exploding youth movement, a new direction in American counterculture. Punk was to magazines what the stage at CBGB was to music: the gritty, live-wired, throbbing center of the punk universe. Despite its low-rent origins, the mag was an overnight success in the underground music scene, selling out every print run across the US and UK. Every musician who appeared on the cover of Punk became an icon of the era. But Punk not only championed music, it became a launching ...

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Overview

Launched in 1976, Punk magazine announced an exploding youth movement, a new direction in American counterculture. Punk was to magazines what the stage at CBGB was to music: the gritty, live-wired, throbbing center of the punk universe. Despite its low-rent origins, the mag was an overnight success in the underground music scene, selling out every print run across the US and UK. Every musician who appeared on the cover of Punk became an icon of the era. But Punk not only championed music, it became a launching pad for writers, artists, cartoonists, and graphic designers. And the wacky, sardonic, slapstick vibe of the magazine resonated with an international army of music fanatics who were ready to burn their bell bottoms and stage-dive into the punk universe.

The Best of Punk Magazine collects the best of these pages into the ultimate, must-have anthology:

  • Interviews with the Ramones, Sex Pistols, John Cale and Brian Eno
  • Photos by Roberta Bayley David Godlis, and Bob Gruen
  • Cartoons by R. Crumb, Bobby London, and John Holmstrom
  • The articles that formed the groundwork for Please Kill Me, the legendary oral history of punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
  • Two "graphic novels"—The Legend of Nick Detroit and Mutant Monster Beach Party—told through photographs featuring Debbie Harry, Joey Ramone, Richard Hell, Andy Warhol, Peter Wolf, and David Johansen

The Best of Punk Magazine is a must-have for people who love punk rock music, comics, fanzines, Blondie, the Ramones, Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground, the Sex Pistols, and the legendary CBGB scene.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Steven Heller
The Best of Punk Magazine…is the missing link in the flurry of books published over the past few years chronicling punk music and art…the magazine, along with a few other publications, was the glue that held the scene together and gave the movement the grounding to be more than a gaggle of disparate bands…The magazine was not beautiful in the conventional design sense, but it was seminal, as this collection illustrates.
Publishers Weekly
Though it only existed from 1976-1980, Punk Magazine captured the zeitgeist of New York's punk music scene as it emerged from a few ramshackle clubs (most notably CBGB's and Max's Kansas City) to the national and international stage. With its quirky, sardonic style, the publication paired a DIY aesthetic with brash cynicism: Among its stated goals was to proclaim "Death to Disco Shit," while providing essential early coverage of the Ramones, Patti Smith, and Blondie, among others. Holmstrom- one of the co-founders alongside notable rock journalist Legs McNeil-employed an underground comic strip, semi-collaged approach to many of the magazine's features and interviews, which culminated in the creation of two underground star- studded graphic novel issues: "The Legend of Nick Detroit," starring Richard Hell, and "Mutant Monster Beach Party" which cast Debbie Harry and Joey Ramone as teenage lovers. More than just a fanzine, Punk also featured the work of underground comic luminaries such as Robert Crumb and Robert Romagnoli, as well as photographer Bob Gruen. Through it all, Holmstrom provides a candid account of the magazine's short-lived but explosive run: "We may not have invented the word punk," he writes, "but we put it on the map." Photos & illus. throughout.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Rolling Stone
“This coffee-table book cherry-picks from the archive: a Patti Smith Q&A, a carton strip (with real photos) starring Lester Bangs, and a two-page centerfold of Debbie Harry, who’s billed as ‘Punk Playmate of the Month.’”
Vanity Fair
The anthology is packed tighter than CBGB in the 70s on a Saturday night, with incredible interviews...art, comics, rants, killer photos, and behind-the-scenes commentary and backstory on each issue from Holmstrom. It’s not just the history of the magazine...it conjures up the spirit of an era.
USA Today's Pop Candy
“If you’re a punk fan, I’d say this hardcover is pretty essential to your collection.”
Houston Press
“While the thought of a hardcover, slick-papered, coffee-table book anthologizing the decidedly low-rent, ragtag Punk magazine might seem the antithesis of punk, even a curmudgeon like Johnny Rotten would have to spit a gob in appreciation of the nicely done result.”
Examiner.com
“The Best of Punk is a funny, visually-stimulating time capsule commemorating the first music periodical of its kind: A subversive, savvy, often-imitated street-intellectual art showcase for punk rock purveyors at the dawn of the Eighties.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061958359
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/18/2012
  • Pages: 372
  • Sales rank: 472,187
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

John Holmstrom is a cartoonist and writer and co-founder (with Legs McNeil) of Punk magazine. He illustrated the covers of the Ramones albums Rocket to Russia and Road to Ruin, and created the characters Bosko and Joe, which were published in Scholastic's Bananas magazine from 1975-1984, as well as in Stop! Magazine, Comical Funnies, Twist, and High Times. Holmstrom's work and unmistakable artistic style has become the key visual representation of the Punk era.

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