Monday, December 26, 2011

The first four issues of OBSOLETE! have come and gone, and I owe you a big THANK YOU for your support! As we move ahead to the new and expanded issue #5, I hope you will consider continuing your support with and ad purchase or ad swap.

Our new ad prices are as follows:
1/4 page- $45 ( 4.75 X 7.75 inches)
1/2 - $75 (10 X 7.75 inches)
full page - $125 (10 X 16 inches)
10% off for buying ads in the next 2 issues....
We would also be happy to negotiate an ad swap for ad space in your publication, banner advertising on your website, plugs on your podcast, etc)

Last year, we shipped issues to subscribers all over the world, we shipped free copies to over 50 independent booksellers from coast to coast, and distributed free copies through locally-owned businesses across eastern and central Iowa. Over 1500 copies of each issue hit the streets. This year, we hope to gain distribution through a major independent distribution outlet and increase our reach.

Also this year, we will be revising our approach- because of ever-increasing mailing costs, we will be putting out only 2 issues in 2012, but doubling the size of those issues. That way, readers will get as much great content as last year, but we will reduce the postage costs substantially.

A little preview of what to expect in Issue #5:

An excerpt from Bob Pfeifer's new novel "University of Strangers"
"Quasar Gets a Car" by Walter Chien
"Orion Express" - Gauntt and Dana, illustrated by Cynthia Martin

Retro Drag Racing by Diana "the Doc" Thomas
Kings of Scrap: How Gingery Publishing pioneered the open-source hardware movement
An excerpt from "Benchclearing:Baseballs Greatest Fights and Riots by Spike Vrusho
Occupy by Tim Beckett

Chuck Miller

Robert Schefman
Michael X. Rose
Karim Hetherington
Don Rock

Ad space is limited, so please email me and reserve yours asap- artwork deadline is January 10th.

Thanks again for your support, and let me know if you have any questions-

Happy New Year!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Chuck Miller in OBMag #5

Look for three new poems by Chuck Miller in the upcoming issue of OBSOLETE!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Deadline Extended!

Because of the number of folks who have contacted me with last minute story and artwork ideas,  I'm extending the Deadline for OBSOLETE! #5 to Saturday, December 3rd.  Get  those pieces sent in ASAP!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Looking for "Occupy" scene reports for ObMag #5

Hey folks-  can you send me a paragraph or two about your local "Occupy" scene for the next issue?  It doesn't need to be slick or polished, just something that captures the local flavor. Photos, flyers or other stuff we can reprint are also welcome.
Please submit work digitally to:

By Post:
Rich Dana
POB 72
Victor, IA

The End Is Near! Submission deadline for ObMag #5 is Tuesday.

We have had more submissions than ever before for the upcoming issue, and some great stuff! It looks like we will be putting out a blockbuster issue- and it's not too late for you to be a part of it!

November 15th is the deadline for submissions for the next issue of OBSOLETE! 

Would you like to see your short fiction, poetry, essays, illustrations cartoons or photos in real, honest-to-god PRINT? Get off your lazy artist ass and send your work to . Short stories and articles should be less than 3000 words. Full page comics and illustrations should be formatted to an 11 X 17 page (smaller works welcome).

Did I mention that we PAY? OBSOLETE  pays $1 per line for poems or $5 per 350 words of prose (minimum payment for either genre is $20, maximum $100). Artwork. photos and comics will be paid on an individual basis, ranging from $10-$100. We ask for first North American serial rights only. Copyright reverts to the author upon publication. This applies to original, unpublished work- if you would like to submit previously published work, we are happy to trade for ad space.

Want to Submit by mail?
Rich Dana
POB 72
Victor, IA

Please send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with your work if you would like it returned. Do not send your only copy! Please do not send original artwork. 

The Hall Mall: History of a Counterculture Institution

 I just ran across this article while searching through my archives-  I wrote it five years ago while we still had our shop, "Feral" in the Hall Mall in Iowa City. Since then,  the Hall Mall occupancy has once again dwindled. Still, it remains "The Upstairs Underground", and hopefully will serve as testing grounds for alternative entrepreneurs for years to come.

Like many people who grew up in the area, I first encountered much of what is referred to as "Counterculture” in Iowa City. Since the 1960's, Iowa City has had the dubious distinction of being the center of Counterculture in Iowa and it has been home to countless bars, galleries, bookshops, record stores, boutiques and music venues catering to tastes outside of the mainstream. Those of us who have spent some time in this town occasionally grow nostalgic for favorite spots long gone.

I was imprinted early - I spent a lot of time as a child playing between the aisles of Epstein's Bookstore while my parents attended poetry readings. Even at the age of nine, I felt very much at home among the beats and the hippies. In my teens and early 20's, hardcore punk was my thing, and the Unitarian Church basement was the center of our DIY scene.  Still, as times changed and scenes have come and gone, certain institutions have survived.

Gabe'n'Walkers/Gabe's Oasis/Gabe's/The Picador is one such institution - despite its recent change in ownership and the removal of the G-word, The bar at 330 Washington remains the most consistent venue for local and up-and-coming bands.

The New Pioneer Coop is another – although many of their original hippy base have turned in their VW beetles for Volvo station wagons and now shop for aged balsamic vinegar rather than mung bean sprouts, it is still the town’s only retail food coop, and has employed countless artists, musicians and slackers since its inception in the early seventies.

Along with these institutions and a handful of others, another, less illustrious cornerstone of Iowa City’s alternative scene has survived since the early seventies. Less of a cornerstone, perhaps, than a cinderblock rammed under the axle of a rusting 69 microbus, The Hall Mall has remained the reliable source for all things counterculture since the days when Jim Morrison walked the earth.  Dubbed "The Upstairs Underground" by tattoo artist and Hall Mall veteran Stingray, it has been home to countless vintage shops, record stores, smoke shops and tattoo parlors, providing Iowa City with its own microscopic version of London's Kensington Market or New York's St. Mark's Place.

Like the universe, the Hall Mall is in a constant state of chaos.  Businesses come and go, but the vibe remains the same. The merchants maintain an "anything goes" feel and a cooperative attitude that warms the hearts of libertarians and anarcho-socialists alike. "The rent is cheap and the attitude is loose," according to Bil at Focus Body Piercing. "It's the kind of place that, if you are thinking about starting a business, you can go for it. We have built-in foot traffic and the people up here support each other."

Over the years it has been home to businesses with names like The Wicca Shop, Underground Stereo, The Plainswoman Bookstore, Hemp Cat, Good Times, Ruby Tuesday, and Electric Head. The current residents include Exile Tattoo, Focus Body Piercing, The Konnexion, Antiques and Oddities, Rusty Records, FERAL!,  the recently opened Convenience Store and Velocipede InfoShop, and the soon to open White Rabbit.

Located above the ped mall at 114 1/2 East College Street, the entrance to the Hall Mall is an inconspicuous doorway sandwiched between College Street Billiards and Vito's. The narrow, poorly lit stairwell leads upstairs to a long, open vestibule, flanked by a series of identically transomed doorways, framed in dark wood popular at the time of the building’s construction at the turn of the last century. Reminiscent of a seedy office building where Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe might have hung out their shingles, one can imagine these offices once housing green-visored bookkeepers or dark-eyed palmists. Something about the location and the modest size has made it the lair of independent small businesses for over a century. 

The building which houses the Hall Mall was known in days past as the Schneider Building, originally the home of Schneider Brothers Furniture, Carpet and Rugs. City records show that in 1916, the Schneider Brothers empire had grown to encompass three buildings on the block, and in addition to the furniture business, the building at 114 was listed as "furniture and undertaker."

During the 1920's, the upstairs began to be listed as a separate address, 114 1/2, "The Schneider Building Offices." In the following decades, the offices housed a beauty shop, a number of lawyers, real estate brokers, lenders, "Morford the Chain Man", a publisher, and by the sixties, it was home to the Johnson County Democrats, Alcoholics Anonymous, and L.L. Pelling, now one of the biggest paving companies in the Midwest.

In the early seventies, when downtown business districts across the nation began their decline, many of the spaces at 114 1/2 went empty. It was not long before a new breed of hippie entrepreneurs, including Gregory J. Stokesberry, discovered them.  Also known as "The Wizzard" (a moniker bestowed upon him by the late great artist Ed "Big Daddy" Roth), Stokesberry moved in to four adjoining spaces formerly occupied by L.L. Pelling in 1975. Along with Red Rose Old Clothes and Emerald City, "Gregory J. Stokesberry - Organic Merchant" was one of the original pioneers of the counterculture business revolution that would become the Hall Mall.

I recently visited "Wizzard World Headquarters" in Cedar Rapids Czech Village, where Stokesberry runs his current business, marketing original artwork and t-shirts and publishing a magazine, all targeted at the "Kustom Kulture" audience.

"The Hall Mall was the only place in town where a start up could find some cheap space," says Stokesberry. "I got married and had to make a living.  I was into antiques, I was in to green plants, all the hippie decor stuff, ya know, and I was in to the birds and monkeys (editors note: exotic animals, not the bands) so that's what I did. I was a hail and hearty lad with a pickup truck - I used to move jukeboxes up and down those stairs."

"The first were Rose (Red Rose Old Clothes) and Kirk at Emerald City - I moved in after them. We all tried to make it nice ... I used to go out and get a bottle of sherry and cookies from Barbara's Bakery. Every afternoon we would have cookies and sherry ... it was always real cool. Eventually the bums started coming up and grabbing handfuls of cookies...the unemployed bums, I mean, as opposed to us employed bums."

The Wizzard was kind enough to take me to his storage space where we discovered a drowsy raccoon sleeping in front of the original sign that once hung outside his store. It is a hand-carved piece by Bill Schnute, the master woodcarver whose work was a hallmark of Iowa City hippie style.

Several of those original businesses survived and thrived, becoming essential parts of the downtown scene, catering to the tastes of those who couldn't find what they wanted in the sterility of the growing mall culture. Throughout the 80's and 90's, the Hall Mall housed a continuous flow of alternative businesses.  "This was the place to be - I had heard of this place in Chicago. I moved out here when my girlfriend came to go to college, and I started tattooing up here in '95. At the height of the grunge era, it was always full of people," says Stingray at Exile Tattoo. 

It was the 90's - the economy was strong and business was good, and a second generation of Hall Mall regulars was coming of age with their own taste for the bizarre...but times were about to change. Corporate America was waking up to the potential for profit in the underground scene, and set out to create a safe, mall friendly version to sell to the masses.  By the end of the 90's, the political climate in America was changing as well. The election of George W. Bush in 2000 heralded the beginning of an era of new conservatism and intolerance, and places like the Hall Mall were bound to experience the fallout. 

Hemp Cat, a hemp clothing store and one of the Hall Mall's most popular businesses, was raided in 2001 by the “The Man” and although no charges were filed, their computers were confiscated and they were forced out of business. Several other long-time mainstays left. Stingray and several others left, and Electric Head went into decline. There was a fire. The Hall Mall hit hard times. People began asking "is there anybody up there anymore?" It was down, but not out.

A new generation began to take up residence. The Konnexion, Davey Jones Tattoo, the Lowbrow Cafe and Rusty Records opened, and they were working hard to bring the Hall Mall back to life.

In 2004, with the independent spirit, youthful zeal and naiveté which is a hallmark of Hall Mall tenants, Kelly Stucker bought an existing Hall Mall smoke shop, “Shasta Mountain,” reopening under the name "The Konnexion." “I just kinda jumped in with both feet and hoped to hell it would work out.”

“I used to hang out at the Hall Mall when I was about fifteen – I remember flirting with the cute guy at Moon Mystique. Twelve years later, I have my shop in that same spot…it felt really freakin’ awesome when I got my key to the front door and the old Moon Mystique. It was just fate…”

In October of 2004, my wife Ericka and I were pedaling my paintings and custom bikes and her jewelry at the "Inktober" Tattoo Expo when we met Kelly and Davey. They convinced us that the Hall Mall was coming back, and we should consider renting a space.  We opened FERAL! on a shoestring, just before Christmas, selling vintage oddities, lowrider bikes and outsider art and homemade organic catnip toys.  It seemed, somehow, like a good fit.

"The Hall Mall revival is underway," according to Brad Allison of Antiques and Oddities, one of the most recent residents. "Back in the day, there was a waiting list to get a space here. 20 years later, there is space available, and I jumped at the chance."

As with all things, the cycle is coming back around, and the "Schneider Building Offices" are being reinvented once again. The Hall Mall has become a music venue, featuring some of the best young acts in the area and offering the only space in town available to the experimental and unabashedly weird.  Plans are underway to give the hallway a new look, and to do a mural project in the stairwell. Before long, we hope to have a film festival. Free wireless and comfy sofas provide one of the few smoker-friendly places to study and hang out. As it has always been, the potential of the space is limited only by the resourcefulness of its occupants.

As I grow older and more cynical, I remain optimistic about the Hall Mall. As I watch the increasing corporatization of our society, it seems more and more essential to maintain an outpost whose only mission is to buck the system. If counterculture can truly have a tradition, it is ours to uphold. Like Marlon Brando in "The Young Ones," when asked, "Hey Johnny, What are you rebelling against?" the Hall Mall answers, "What have you got?"

Sunday, October 2, 2011

OBSOLETE #5 - Call for Submissions!!

November 15th is the deadline for submissions for the next issue of OBSOLETE! 

Would you like to see your short fiction, poetry, essays, illustrations cartoons or photos in real, honest-to-god PRINT? Get off your lazy artist ass and send your work to . Short stories and articles should be less than 3000 words. Full page comics and illustrations should be formatted to an 11 X 17 page (smaller works welcome).

Did I mention that we PAY? OBSOLETE  pays $1 per line for poems or $5 per 350 words of prose (minimum payment for either genre is $20, maximum $100). Artwork. photos and comics will be paid on an individual basis, ranging from $10-$100. We ask for first North American serial rights only. Copyright reverts to the author upon publication. This applies to original, unpublished work- if you would like to submit previously published work, we are happy to trade for ad space.

Want to Submit by mail?
Rich Dana
POB 72
Victor, IA

Please send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with your work if you would like it returned. Do not send your only copy! Please do not send original artwork. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What’s going to become of libraries?

by Christopher Schipper

A bright young Canadian woman asked me this question recently, as we waited, sheltered from an afternoon downpour, for a streetcar to return us downtown from the New Orleans Museum of Art. The subtext to her question was unmistakable: the eventual demise of libraries, in her mind, was a foregone conclusion. Such questions, sad to say, are neither unique, nor surprising. Reasons for such assumptions are obvious: the rise of the internet has made libraries, in the minds of many, superfluous. Financial support for institutions of education and culture has been in sharp decline for years; a recessionary economy makes the future of libraries perilous.

If the future of libraries is uncertain, the fate of the great city of New Orleans was even less certain not so long ago. I was in town recently for the American Library Association’s annual conference, as I had been five years before.  Ten short months after the disastrous hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the devastating flooding of the city, ALA opted to go ahead with plans for the annual conference. Flood debris still littered much of the city, high water marks were clearly visible, and many storefronts were empty. The people of New Orleans were warm and gracious, but the city seemed a shell of her former self. With a diminished population – and tax base, the future of New Orleans seemed pretty shaky.

When I read predictions of doom for libraries, I am now reminded of remarks I heard at the more recent ALA conference, most notably from the current mayor of New Orleans. I learned that, in the aftermath of the storm, governmental officials made a crucial realization: that libraries are an essential community component; in the days and weeks following Katrina, residents flocked to their libraries, to obtain information, and to communicate with loved ones. Conference attendees were delighted to hear that, with this in mind, New Orleans will have added twenty libraries by the end of 2011. In doing so, New Orleans has made an important investment in its future (this is no small accomplishment in the current ‘cut my taxes’ political environment).

It was not until the main collection of the Cedar Rapids Public Library (where I worked for 13 years) went underwater that, through the tireless efforts of my former colleagues, the federal government (FEMA) finally declared libraries to be an essential service. It’s important at this point to also note that, while the CRPL print collection was destroyed, that library endures.

Let’s consider for a moment what we mean by: library. These days, whether or not the word library represents a physical place is an open question for debate. Many of us have fond childhood memories of visiting the local library – often a Carnegie Library, themselves architectural monuments to Knowledge. Carnegie libraries were long the centerpiece of hundreds of small towns and cities; classically designed, and laden with books for community use and enrichment (libraries, incidentally, represent another American institution that is nearly extinct: the shared public space). Libraries, however, have never been only about books. Besides the Internet, technology has created what many regard as the greatest threat to the printed word and to libraries: the e-book. Indeed, I have many well-intentioned, passionate lovers and defenders of libraries, who regard the relationship between these formats as a competition – in other words, a zero sum game. Concerns that technology will replace beloved print editions are not without basis – a number of libraries have done exactly that, but for a number of reasons, I can’t see that happening everywhere any time soon. Time magazine recently published an article (“Is a Bookless Library Still a Library?”) that considers this question. Personally, I think a library without books would be a contradiction in terms, but this a possibility.  Information is now available in more formats than ever before; people use different formats because of different needs. Libraries are about much more than just the books they house – they’ve always been about connecting people with the information that they want or need; officials in New Orleans understand this, and the future of libraries in that great city, for now, is bright.

I’m the director of the campus library at San Juan College – a two-year school located in Farmington – in a remote and rural part of Northwest New Mexico. Farmington is often referred to as a border town, because of its proximity to the Navajo Nation. Our geographic location contributes to a very significant digital divide (the chasm between those who have access to the internet and those who do not), making any predictions for the obsolescence of print wildly premature. While we have e-books available for use, our print collection is still heavily used – in part because some of our users lack what many of us take for granted: home internet access, a personal computer, and in some cases – electricity. If not for the library, many library users would lack access to not only the internet, but information that is essential to their lives. In today’s political climate, perhaps the very egalitarian nature of libraries motivates some of the questions related to the value of libraries. While uncertainty about the viability and future of libraries (and despite the rise of the internet) persists, their continued use is not at all in question:
 Library use continues to climb. Sixty-eight percent of adults in the U.S. have public library cards, the greatest number since the ALA began collecting this data in 1990.
 Americans visit libraries more than 1.3 billion times and check out more than 2.1 billion items each year.  Users turn to their libraries for free books, to borrow DVDs, to learn new computer skills, to conduct job searches and more.
 Americans go to school, public and academic libraries 50 percent more often than they go to the movies.
 A 2006 poll conducted by the American Library Association found that 92 percent of respondents expect libraries to be needed in the future, despite the increased availability of information on the Internet.
 Nationally, the average user takes out more than seven books a year . . . but users turn to their libraries for more than books: to borrow DVDs, to learn new computer skills, to conduct job searches, and to participate in the activities of local and community organizations.
Nearly all Americans (96 percent) – even if they are not regular library visitors – agree that libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed. They support our public education and lifelong learning.
There are now more public library buildings in the U.S. than there are McDonald’s – a total of 16,592, including branches.
 Library use continues to rise – public library visits exceed 1.3 billion, and libraries circulate more items than Fed Ex ships – more than 2.1 billion books, CDs, DVDs and more.
 Americans check out on average more than seven books a year.  They spend about $31 for the public library – about the cost of one hardcover book.
 Americans spend about two-and-a-half times as much on salty snacks as they do on public libraries.

As the last bullet point above indicates, financial support for libraries is sadly lacking. In New Mexico, we have a bond initiative to support libraries, but the measure requires voter approval every two years. This “book bond” came into being as a way for the voters to supplement the lack of legislative support for libraries throughout the state. In the run-up to the last bond approval, I was called a dirty Marxist for making the case that libraries in the state are under-funded, and desperately in need of the money that the bond represents! While libraries are hardly a socialist enterprise, the return on investment is impressive, if one considers the bullet point above (average checkouts: 7 books per year).

At San Juan College, we serve a terrifically diverse demographic, with widely varied informational and technological needs and expectations. During my short time here (I began work here in 2006), I’ve noticed a shift from non-traditional students, to a younger demographic; students who have just completed high school, and have never known a time without Internet. With ready access to web-based information, and a lifetime of technology skills, what use do younger, tech-savvy students have for libraries? Can the internet serve as a viable substitute for libraries? If one considers the internet to be a library of sorts, one would also have to concede that it is a very poorly organized library, and one that grows by staggering degree every day; portions of the internet are available only at a cost (e.g. – research databases and other subscriptions). Libraries provide resources that assist students in this regard; access to subscription-based research databases is a common feature at US academic libraries, and professional staff (i.e. – reference librarians) that is skilled in assisting users with the navigation of the internet and other complex information media.

Younger students are oftentimes not traditional readers, and some never have owned a book. Many of our youngest students seem not to recognize the value of print formats; they lack familiarity with standard research strategies such as the use of the subject indexes that are commonly found in the back of books. Any reading that these students do is more commonly from an electronic screen – a reality that today’s library ignores at its peril. Our library must also recognize and support the variety of learning styles that exist among our students. Kindles that utilize a text-to-speech function are invaluable for our developmental or dyslexic students. Our library has five Kindles available to borrow; we have recently purchased three Nooks for circulation as well. We have approximately 70,000 volumes in our print collection, but also about 25,000 e-book titles. My point is that we strive to meet the needs of all of our users, and do so using a successful integration of formats; we offer books, magazines, journals, electronic articles, e-books, Kindles, Nooks - successfully, and without incident. To do otherwise is truly to risk obsolescence, particularly among younger library users.  Lacking an adequate array of useful resources, and a well trained staff, a traditional library is little more than a room full of books, in the eyes of our youngest (and future) users – and a dinosaur. Incidentally – we still spend more on print books than just about anything else.

I don’t know what the future of libraries in the US holds. The liquidation of bookstore giant Borders is in the news today. A political solution to the nation’s budget and debt crises is proving elusive. Adequate funding for the nation’s libraries may assume diminished priority over time, but this would be penny wise, but pound foolish; voters are tragically unable or unwilling to recognize the connection between the taxes, and the services such as libraries that many take for granted. Libraries represent an invaluable repository of knowledge, culture and human achievement – and a means for most of our citizens to actualize their own potential. Libraries have always evolved; a decent library is a dynamic thing, but one that cannot afford to stagnate.

Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11, oil and being part of the solution.

Here is a short essay I wrote for the Iowa Renewable Energy Association newsletter shortly after 9/11. I think it's still relevant, unfortunately.

From “Energy Matters”, Fall 2001
by Rich Dana

“By the way, if you want to have a war over oil, leave me out of it- because I don’t think we need it.  All I have to say is, go solar! Go wind!  Let a little freedom into your life, and help your neighbors stay free, too.  FREEDOM!”

Richard Perez, Publisher, Home Power- keynote address at I-Renew Expo, Sept. 8, 2001

I was disassembling the geodesic dome we had erected at Prairiewoods for the expo on September 11 th, 2001.  It was a warm and windy late summer day, and the trampled grass in the meadow still held the positive energy of all those curious and excited visitors who had walked there in the previous days.  But the radio in my truck flooded the air around me with news of unspeakable acts of desperate and hateful men.

My mind was back in New York, tracing in vivid detail the sights and sounds of my daily bicycle ride across the Brooklyn Bridge, under the shadow of the twin towers, dodging taxis or catching  a tow on the back door of a delivery  van, to my woodshop just a few blocks north of the Trade Center. 

I sat down and looked up through the octagonal and pentagonal sections of the dome, which made the sky and prairie around me like the colored segments of a stained glass window.  I feared for my friends and family back in the city, and for the world, and listened  with  dull, numb disbelief. 

In the month that followed, I kept thinking about the words of Richard Perez, during his keynote address just 3 days before the attack. He talked about the freedoms that renewable energy can bring. Among them were economic freedom and  freedom from wars over oil.  In those months I have read extensively about the roots of the hatred for America in Central Asia and the Middle East, and realized the extent to which motivations for action on both sides of the conflict are determined by the lust for oil.

It is with this knowledge that I invite you all, as members of the renewable energy community, to join me to work with new and greater resolve, to prove to the world that we in Iowa CAN become exporters of homegrown energy, that we CAN significantly reduce our nations dangerous reliance on vulnerable sources of energy like foreign crude, natural gas and nuclear.  We know that we can do this by using the great renewable resources we are blessed with here in Iowa, not the least of which is our minds, our hearts, and our spirit.

Let us in Iowa and across the nation take this on as our personal responsibility, to make this Americas last battle caused by foreign entanglements rooted in oil, and to honor the lives of those forever entombed in the rubble of corporate greed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

ObMag#4 Intro

Senile: /see-nahy-ul/
 Having or showing the weaknesses or diseases of old age, esp. a loss of mental faculties.

Nihilism: /nahy-uh-liz-uhm/
1. total rejection of established laws and institutions.
2. anarchy, terrorism, or other revolutionary activity.

Here’s how it went down.

Political unrest in the Middle East drove up fuel prices and the cost of living.  A protracted war against a seemingly undefeatable indigenous guerilla force sucked the national coffers dry. A gutless democrat president was steamrolled by corporatist republicans and downturns in housing and manufacturing dragged the economy into recession and sent unemployment to record highs. And Ronald Reagan was elected President.

It was in that atmosphere of post-Vietnam imperial decline that punk came of age. Nihilism was the message. The government and society had sold out the American people. Older hippies were well down the path toward yuppiedom, so punks chose to start their own alternative culture. Punk was based not on the collectivist optimism of the psychedelic generation, but more on a vision of a DIY culture rising from the ashes of  mundane mainsteam middle-America. Punk bands booked their own tours, pressed their own records, designed their own flyers. Punk artists took to the streets or started their own galleries. Punk writers published their own ‘zines. A subculture grew and punks flourished, without the permission of the growing corporatocracy. Punk was the last best hope for a life outside the establishment system.

In the 90’s, many punks, now in their 30’s, sadly but not unexpectedly took the opportunity to sneak back into the middle class from whence they came. The Clintonian neo-liberal tech-boom train was leaving the station, and “alternative” college rock enthusiasts rushed to get on board, following their hippie elders into the world of khaki pants and retirement accounts. The new breed of assembly line worker was being born. Not on the factory floor-  oh no, President Clinton made sure that those jobs went overseas- but rather in the climate controlled cubicles of the former punk outposts like San Francisco, Seattle and Lower Manhattan. But this assembly line is better! You could listen to your favorite punk tunes (through headphones), wear your Chuck Taylor Allstars (to signify that you are “thinking outside of the box”) AND the cafeteria has organic and vegetarian options!

Ex-punks had babies, and brought children into a future that just a few years before they thought would not exist. Back then, they were thrashing in a pit while the Circle Jerks sang “ I went to see a rabbi, but despite his advise, I want an operation I will not father life! Operation, operation, snip & tie, snip & tie!” Suddenly they are getting their musical cues from the bumper music on “All Things Considered” while they haul a van full of brats with food allergies to be coached by some stay-at-home dad, whose liberal arts college degree in humanities and ability to kick a soccer ball has drawn him the short straw while his formerly pink-haired, pierced-nosed wife (with an MBA) drinks single malt scotch in a hotel bar at a conference in Phoenix.

Through it all, a few aging punks keep the faith. They missed the train, or fell off the train, or in many cases, the train ran them over. They were born without the business gene, or they just never gave a shit about money. Some would sell out if they could, but addiction, depression, psychosis or other mental or personality disorders don’t allow it. The DIY spirit keeps them alive.  They do for themselves. They still know how to survive without the system promoting their own shit, selling their own shit, scraping by. Times are tough again, but they still know the ropes.

Now, in the era of “austerity,” jobs are scarce and the establishment is once again selling out the American people. But this time there is no youth movement in sight. Surveillance society and digital culture has apparently stolen the punk babies souls. They need to be shown the way. They can’t learn it all from reading Maximum Rock and Roll, after all.  It’s time for old punks to rediscover their roots. To re-activate. To take back the mantle of nihilism and rage like there is no tomorrow. What is there to lose? Jump off the train. Before it’s too late, before the anti-depressants, craft-brewed beer and vegan cupcakes take away the last of your will to fight. The punk generation needs to go “senihl”.

So here’s how it’s going to go down...

Political unrest in the Middle East drove up fuel prices and the cost of living.  A protracted war against a seemingly undefeatable indigenous guerilla force sucked the national coffers dry. A gutless democrat president was steamrolled by corporatist republicans and downturns in housing and manufacturing dragged the economy into recession and sent unemployment to record highs. And ??? will be elected President.

Time to dig out the Circle Jerks records.
Want to read more? Check out the free paper at your local hipster hangout. Not there? We can send you a stack to distribute to local coffee houses, book and record shops.  Email us at:

Friday, July 1, 2011

ObMag #4 Preview: The Canadian Tuxedo

Issue #4 (out in July) features an article on the “denim kit”- also known as the “Canadian tuxedo” or “denim sandwich”. The cheap and functional combo of jeans and denim jacket has been the uniform of cow punchers, construction workers, bikers, punks and metal heads. The timeless favorite of badasses and fashion rejects, ObMag pays homage to the blue suit in our summer issue- due out this month.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

R.I.P. Flick Colby- Unsung Hero of Pop Music

From The Guardian...

When 15 million viewers tuned into Top of the Pops each week during the show's 1970s heyday, the appeal extended beyond the hitmakers on the screen to those who were not appearing, since an absent act's single was interpreted by the show's all-female dance troupe, Pan's People. Their silky routines were choreographed by one of their dancers, Flick Colby, who has died aged 65 of bronchial pneumonia, after suffering from cancer.
Colby, an American with long blonde hair and a megawatt smile, confected slinky, semi-risque and often extravagant Top of the Pops routines for Pan's People for eight years. She continued to work on the show with subsequent troupes, choreographing moves to suit a range of musical styles such as glam rock, folk, soul, disco and punk.

Full Story

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dumpster-Diver Gardening

from ObMag#1...

We began dumpster-diver gardening sometime in the early 90's, when we came across a vendor at the Brooklyn Terminal Market tossing flats of slightly wilted bedding plants into the trash. Neither Wildgirl nor I were strangers to dumpster diving (a proud trash-picking tradition that is now fashionably know as "Freeganism"), and W.G. immediately hatched a plan for me to distract the shop owner by buying a bag of peat moss while she filled the trunk of her '74 Valiant with rescued greenery. "It wasn't so much about wanting the plants," she recalls- "It was about the waste. It was about the disposable society."

Fast-forward 10 years. We no longer live in New York. We have a small organic farm, and grow a lot of our own stuff. On a blistering July afternoon in Coralville, Iowa, I noticed one of the seasonal garden centers set up in a grocery store parking lot was breaking down for the season and again, they were dumpster-izing flat after flat of sad, leggy, brown and bolting tomato plants, squash, peppers, herbs, and flowers. A lot of the higher-priced organic and heirloom stuff was left behind. I took as much as the old Subaru GL would hold. What I have discovered in the last few years that throughout the Midwest (indeed, much of the country), is that huge numbers of plants get dumped, given away or sold for next to nothing sometime in the last part of June to first week of July. If timed properly, a pickup truck can be filled with blueberry bushes, roses, prairie plants, perennials, and lots and lots of vegetable plants for less than twenty bucks- often for nothing more than the price of gas. If you are a non-driver and really hard-core, you can do it with a cargo bike, shopping cart, hand truck, wheelbarrow or travois. The keys to success are timing, speed, and a modicum of stealth. Despite the fact that the stuff is being jettisoned, employees, particularly middle managers, can tend to flex-out on people who want their trash. In most cases, though, if you time your arrival properly, the peons who got exiled to the sweltering parking lot to haul the stuff to the dumpster are more than happy to have you lighten their load.

Monday, May 23, 2011

OBSOLETE! is now accepting Bitcoins

If you haven't heard about it already, check out Bitcoins. This is an open-source, P2P currency that is making a very real attempt to do an end-run around the banking industry and create a "people's currency". Can they make the Fed obsolete? Probably not, and if they are successful, I'm sure the government will crush it....
...but for now, why not give it a try? You can find our Bitcoin address in the right-hand column of this page.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Warren Buffett's Radioactive Ronin Pillage Iowa

  Months  after massive earthquakes and Tsunamis crushed Japan, the "Fukushima 50" toil on. Crawling through darkened tunnels dangerously close to overheating radioactive reactors, the remaining nuclear power plant employees at Fukushima Dai-Ichi struggle to stop the worsening catastrophe that is spreading deadly toxic pollution across their already crippled homeland. The Fukushima 50 know that they have already sacrificed their lives. They know that the exposure they have already experienced will kill them.
Like samurai committing nuclear seppuku, radioactive ritual suicide, the 50 are driven by a sense of honor and loyalty.
Meanwhile, at the Iowa state capital, lobbyists for MidAmerican Energy continue to push for passage of Senate File 390, a bill that they say will send the message that "Iowa is open for business for nuclear power". They also work from a sense of loyalty, but not like the Fukushima 50. They are corporate ronin, political samurai with no loyalty other than to those who pay them to pillage.
Warren Buffett, who's Berkshire Hathaway Company controls MidAmerican Energy, has been obsessed with nuclear power for many years. In 2007 Buffet made an unsuccessful play to build a nuclear plant in Idaho. More recently, Buffett was outbid by French state-owned utility giant Electricite de France (EDF) for a 49% share of Constellation Energy's Calvert Cliffs III nuclear reactor. Now, Buffett hopes that the third time will be the charm for his nuclear ambitions and he wants to make his nuclear dream come true in Iowa.
Senate File 390 is a bill that seeks to raise MidAmerican customer's electric rates to cover the cost of Mr. Buffett's dream. Despite the fact that Fukushima now rivals Chernobyl as history's biggest nuclear power plant catastrophe, Buffet's Iowa statehouse ronin fight on, hiring more lobbyists to fight back the increasing resistance from "the little people".
Before Fukushima, MidAmerican anticipated easy passage of their bill, counting on republicans to vote "for" nuclear power (which they generally would do just to piss off democrats) along with a cadre of "pro-business" democrats (re: those who took MidAm campaign money).  They were confident that the tired, gray-haired, granola-eating "no-nukes" enviro-dinosaurs could surely be no match for the giant stick they swing at the Iowa statehouse. Surprisingly though, even since Fukushima, the groundswell of opposition has come not as much from enviros as from those who object to MidAm's financing scheme.
AARP (American Association of Retired People) state director Barry Koeppl was quoted in an April 11th article in the Des Moines Register as saying; “We oppose Senate File 390 and House File 961 because those bills substantially shift the cost and risk for nuclear power construction to ratepayers. Rather than rely on shareholders to finance a new power plant, this legislation shifts the billion-dollar-plus costs to ratepayers for a possible nuclear power plant, years before the plant is built, or the plant design has even been approved.”
Apparently, AARP is not alone.  Word has it that MidAm lobbyists are now feverishly counting votes- including republican votes. It seems that Iowa's new crop of Tea-Party Republicans also have problems with state government approving what amounts to a rate-payer funded subsidy for MidAms admittedly sketchy plans. Republican leadership is finding that some of the tea-partiers may be making good on their promise of less government- and the new influx of radical freshmen republican legislators may be a knife that cuts both ways.
This new alliance of populists from the far left and right may be a harbinger of things to come. Not unlike it the U.S. House where far-left Dennis Kucinich and far-right Ron Paul agree in a surprising number of cases concerning issues of personal freedom, the fight against nuclear power on economic grounds may illustrate that there is more common ground to be found in the future when "the little people" stop listening to corporatist Republican and Democrats talking points.
In the mean time, elevated levels of radioactivity are being found in milk in California. Nuclear experts predict Fukushima may kill as many as 200,000 from increased cancers in the next 50 years. Spent waste containment pools continue to fill up at sites across the world. And yet, a majority of Iowa's legislators appear to be willing to charge MidAmerican customers up-front for the privilege of hanging out the "Iowa is open for business for nuclear" sign, and making Warren Buffet's dream come true.

Call for Submissions: OBMAG! #4

We are now accepting submissions for the upcoming issue of OBSOLETE! Short fiction, essays on politics or culture, reviews, poetry, cartoons, photos and other original artwork are all welcome. The theme is The Senihilism Issue: In praise of old punks, cranks and crazies - but your work need not directly relate to that theme.
The deadline for submission is June 1st, so GET IT TOGETHER!
Want to advertise? 1500 free copies of OBSOLETE! Are distributed at indie book stores, record shops and coffee houses from coast to coast, and ad rates are DIRT CHEAP! 
Help keep the underground press alive and CONTRIBUTE! 
Send submissions or questions to:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

OBMAG #3- The Cory Doctorow Interview

If you don't know who Cory Doctorow is, you may be living under a rock.  Of course, we here at OBSOLETE! applaud anyone who chooses the  "Sub Silicis" lifestyle. Those of you who choose to spend time in the digital realm, however, have much to thank Mr. Doctorow for.

The Canadian science fiction writer and journalist is an editor of Boing Boing. He is a leading advocate for liberalizing copyright laws and has worked on copyright issues for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. His novels, including Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Little Brother and Makers are all available as free downloads under a Creative Commons license.

Doctorow's 2009 book Makers is a wonderful story of Feral Technology, a vision of post-scarcity Amerika where hardware hackers battle the Disney empire for the last scraps of the withered economy, and the resources they mine are the detritus of consumer culture.

Cory sat down for an interview at ICON 35 in Cedar Rapids, IA, where he was the special guest author.  We spoke as he prepared shots of espresso in his motel room with an amazing portable handheld espresso maker.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Marina DeBris does her thing- and REPRESENTS!

Marina DeBris, whose work graced the pages of ObMag #2, shows off a particularly good catch while rocking her OBSOLETE! t-shirt!  Check out Marina's work at Shirts are hand-screened by Don Rock of We have a few left of this limited edition shirt, so email us today with your size and get one while you still can (for a $20 donation)!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Preview: How To Use $180 And Social Media To Travel The Country For A Year

Amy Bugbee wrote a great travelogue for issue #3. This article is from the forthcoming book Politics, Art, Religion, Revolution or the suffering and celebration of life in America, available in November 2011. Look for more info at:

"My husband Shane and I set out on a yearlong road trip with $180 in our pockets. We had no savings account, no credit cards, no back up. Our only safety net was the Internet. With our dog and turtle in the back seat of our Chevy Blazer, we left with a few blankets, a bag of baking gear, a suitcase full of clothes. Most importantly, one lap- top computer, an HD Video camera and a donated digital audio recorder."

Read the rest of Amy's story....

Want to get your own copy of OBSOLETE! delivered to your door? Use the paypal buttons at the right of the page. Do you have a local indie bookstore or coffee house that would like to offer free copies of OBSOLETE! to their customers? email us and we'll send you a stack.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

OBMAG #3 Preview- Hoodoo:Open Source Religion

Hoodoo: Open Source Religion

Thanks to American popular music, many people have heard the terms “hoodoo,” “juju” and “mojo," but few understand what they really mean. For modern, white, middle class R&B and blues fans, they conjure up exotic images of the Deep South, some shadowy world of African-American spirituality that they don't really "get." Movie fans don't know what “mojo” is, but thanks to Austin Powers, they know they want it. Throughout the history of American popular media, stereotypes abound, ranging from the comical witchdoctor act of Screamin' Jay Hawkins to “Tia Dalma”, the black-toothed, dreadlocked swamp priestess in “Pirates of the Caribbean 2”. But what is hoodoo, really?

In a world of hierarchical and regimented spiritual dogma, hoodoo is a feral cat. It lives wild on the outskirts of American religious culture, thriving and propagating out of sight, right in the back yard of organized religion. Organized religion might catch a glimpse of it from the corner of its eye. Organized religion might fear hoodoo. Hoodoo might even live in the same house, as organized religion - it might let organized religion stroke its tail, but it will never wear its collar. Hoodoo is free.

Hoodoo is not Voodoo.  Voodoo is an organized religion. Voodoo and its variants practiced in Haiti and in Louisiana, are descended from the West African Vodun religion. Hoodoo, on the other hand, is an amalgam of African and European folk magic traditions, not a religion, per se. Hoodoo can be a noun or a verb. You can "do" hoodoo or "make" hoodoo.

The iconoclastic writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston wrote extensively on hoodoo. Even with her deep understanding of hoodoo, Hurston herself mischaracterized hoodoo as being synonymous with Voodoo in her 1935 classic Mules and Men:

“Hoodoo, or Voodoo, as pronounced by the whites, is burning with a flame in America, with all the intensity of a suppressed religion. It has its thousands of secret adherents. It It adapts itself like Christianity to its locale, reclaiming some of its borrowed characteristics to itself, such as fire-worship as signified in the Christian church by the altar and the candles and the belief in the power of water to sanctify as in baptism.
Belief in magic is older than writing. So nobody knows how it started.
The way we tell it, hoodoo started way back there before everything. Six days of magic spells and mighty words and the world with its elements above and below was made. And now God is leaning back taking a seventh day rest. When the eighth day comes around. He'll start to making new again.”
As Hurston states, nobody does know the true origin of hoodoo.  There is even debate about the etymology. Some say it is derived from the word “hu'du'ba” (magical retribution), which was brought to America by African slaves of the Hausa tribe. Others claim that it is Irish origin- from the Gaelic Uath Dubh (pronounced h-úŏ doo)- meaning a malevolent being or unlucky person. Perhaps it is a primordial sound, like Om, a verbalization of something common to human experience, transcending etymological pigeonholeing.

Some historical facts are known about hoodoo. The combination of African and European folk magic was born on the plantations of the Antebellum South and later grew and spread among sharecroppers and the rural poor. Later, as the U.S. became industrialized, hoodoo took on a more urban flavor and became more commercialized. According to Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by Catherine Yronwode (pronounced "Ironwood"), many of the Old Testament and Hebrew mystical elements were mingled into hoodoo by the Jewish-owned chemists whose mail order beauty and healthcare businesses served the black community. "Cat" Yronwode, who also owns and operates "Lucky Mojo Curio Company" writes: "... the agents who sold these items for manufacturer-distributors like Valmor-King, Lucky Heart, Hi-Hat and so forth were usually part-time beauticians and hoodoo root workers. They would come to your house to fix your hair (selling you the cosmetics and hair preparations they had bought wholesale) and they would also do psychic consultations and perform rootwork and conjuration, using the curios available from the same sources. They kept a stock of goods on hand, but they also carried their company's retail cosmetics catalogues and curio catalogues with them, and you could order both types of products through them and have the items drop-shipped directly to your home. "  This also explains some of the traditional importance of the beauty parlor and barber shops in black and immigrant communities.

For some, hoodoo might be seen as a spiritual pyramid scheme, but in some ways, hoodoo is analogous to open source software- it is a spiritual program that shares common source code but is not proprietary. It can be adapted to run on any religious operating system, and it can add functionality not normally allowed by religious programmers. One church, priest or practitioner does not own it. Hoodoo can co-exist along side Voodoo, Catholicism, Protestant beliefs or other folk traditions. It is a religious “hack”- a tool to modify the source code of religion and make it work for the spiritual hacker. Hoodoo practitioners save prayers to God for big-picture matters of salvation. Day-to-day matters of love, luck and finances are all matters for direct spiritual action through spell casting, spiritual cleansing and “rootwork”.

A December 28th, 2010, article in the Wall Street Journal brought attention to the recent rebirth in interest in hoodoo, which they attribute partially to tough economic times and partially to the rise of Internet retailing. The article points out that...“Today's hoodoo revival is again being driven primarily by white retailers, and that has some blacks criticizing the commercialization of ancient rituals for a quick profit. “ Historically though, internet marketing is just an extension of the mail-order curio business that supplied practitioners on the early 20th century.

Hoodoo is an interesting combination of ancient traditions and modern technology. The revival has some echoes of the “New Age” craze of the 80's and 90's, but the multi-cultural roots and blue-collar heritage give it decidedly more dynamic character and sense of humor than the crystals and chimes bourgeois-Zen set. It's rituals reflect it's heritage- sweeping and scrubbing floors, growing and harvesting wild plants, preparing charms, known as “mojo hands” or “gris-gris”.
One of the most important elements of hoodoo, like any magical system, is that of personal empowerment through ritual. These rituals, although rooted in tradition, are an art and the practitioners are artists who attempt to take direct action on their spiritual lives. Critics and skeptics may laugh at the idea of burning candles or carrying a "High-John" root to attract money or using magnetic toy Scotty-dogs in a love spell. However, humans live in a semantic and symbolic space, and the reality tunnel of the individual is defined by their belief. One individual may feel better about their life when they buy "Fair Trade" coffee, another may feel safer with a gun in their house. Humans are fetishistic by nature, whether the "Toby" is a crucifix or an iphone.

As technology pushes humans into a more and more Korzybskian realm where the map becomes reality than the territory becomes something conceptual, hoodoo seems more real than ever. In a wooded area outside of Forestville, CA., Cat Yronwode and her crew at Lucky Mojo keep the tradition alive. In strip-malls and bodegas, beauty parlors and back yards, rootworkers and conjurors are hacking reality with all of the human senses.
Like what you've read?  why not subscribe and have OBSOLETE! Magazine delivered to your door? 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Revolution will televise itself.

OBSOLETE #3 - Out Now!
Ask your indie bookseller to carry OBSOLETE!

Read Issues #1 & #2 online...

You can now read issues #1 & #2 online at ScribD....

Download the front page of OBMAG #3

Download a pdf of the front page of OBMAG! #3 here:

More previews to come....

Please help spread the word about OBSOLETE! and help keep the free, alternative underground newspaper alive!

Do you or your friends run an indy bookshop, record store, consignment shop, infoshop or other business that would like to offer their customers FREE copies of OBMAG!?  Drop us a line and we will ship you a bundle.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

At Last!! Issue #3 is out!

 Better late than never-  OBSOLETE! #3 is on the street,  with a great selection of original material. 

This issue includes an exclusive interview with Cory Doctorow,  a feature article on Kal Spelletich of KalTek and an amazing list of contributing writers,  all looking at the idea of "Feral Technology". Writers and artists include:

Alissa Bader has dedicated herself to spending a lifetime hanging out with those people her mother once warned her about. Alissa also purchased her first package of bacon, ever, last May. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

Tim Beckett grew up in western Canada, primarily Uranium City, Saskatchewan and Edmonton, Alberta. He fled to Montreal at age 19 and has lived in London and New York ever since. He has been employed as a tree-planter, TV researcher, housepainter, web developer and pretty much anything else he can get. He is working on a novel ‘Uranium City Return’ about going back to his now nearly empty hometown. He is currently managing editor of Sensitive Skin Magazine.

Amy Bugbee was born in a part of Chicagoland that was built by Al Capone. Calumet City was the original Sin City before Vegas came along. She was raised by a fireman and a librarian, so she is morbid and well read. For nearly 15 years she has been married to the biggest trouble maker in the underground, Shane Bugbee, and the two of them have been wreaking havoc ever since. She is a writer, photographer, and baker who lives on the Washington Coast with her husband, dog, and turtle.

Shane Bugbee: “I’ve done a lot over many years and have survived.  Recently I was told that I’m intense and a loose cannon. Quite often folks are afraid of me, and for good reason.   Presently wrapping up a book and film that combines the year my wife and I spent on the road with the head trip that is being run out of a small minnesota town for siding with school shooters and being friends with anton lavey.   Our upcoming book will be in stores this November... it is called, Politics,Art,Religion,Revolution: the suffering and celebration of life in America.  

 Ray Cathode is an artist/illustrator living on the rocky coast of the great state of Maine (U.S.A.). He studied under Karl Ferdinand Braun, then later on at the Academy of Carlo Pittore. His earlier output of art was very academian; then after a tragic accident severely damaged his drawing hand, his art took on a darker quality that is cruder in execution, yet richer in meaning. He is currently hidden deep beneath the snow, in his underground studio, churning out strange images with his mighty vorpal pen.

MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick was born in the Bronx in 1967.  She holds a B.A. in English from Manhattan College.  Published in: Make Room for Dada,  Mount Vernon Inquirer, Mount Vernon Today, Westchester Times Tribune, Mount Vernon Independent, Contemporary Literary Horizon, and MoonLit.  Anthologized in: “Blood Beats in Four Square Miles.”  Readings at: The Back Fence, ABC NoRio, Centerfold Coffeehouse, AC-BAW Arts Center, Mount Vernon Public Library, Lola’s Teahouse, and Blue Door Gallery.  She lives with her husband and three boys in Mount Vernon, NY.

W. Joe Hoppe grew up the rust belt city of Jackson, Michigan but has lived in Austin, TX for the last twenty years with artist Polly Monear and their son Max. He has published one book-length collection of poetry, _Galvanized_ ( Along with teaching English and Creative Writing at Austin Community College, he enjoys writing and wrenching on old Mopars. W. Joe’s 1971 Dodge Truck runs on sweet lady propane--hopefully you’ll read all about that in a future issue of OBSOLETE!

Wister D Lamb III is a (photoshop) stooge for the media priests. Living in North Houston, TX, Working in high fashion and low advertising in NY for 19 years, he has recently escaped into the realm of achieving feral otherness with his personal friends profile pics on FaceBook. His piece is from a series of about 200 people he actually knows personally.  

Sean Madden darkly surrealistic paintings and drawings have been exhibited and published throughout the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. His work is reminiscent of the underground comics scene he was influenced by as a juvenile delinquent on the streets of Buffalo, New York in the 60’s and 70’s. For years he provided pen and ink illustrations for horror and sci-fi publishers.   Currently, he provides illustrations for the Vancouver- based urban clothing company Die Constant (, and exhibits with a growing list of galleries and private collectors. He has recently published a partly autobiographical compilation of his pen and ink works entitled “Beyond the Sun: The Insane Pen and Ink Art of Sean Madden.” 

“Darius “Qojak” Carr is an artist living in Tama, Iowa. Darius writes, makes art, tattoos and takes photographs when he is not trying to make a living working at the casino on the Meskwaki settlement.

 Stephen Sweny is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute and a veteran illustrator. Steve’s work has been featured in The New York Times, National Lampoon, Forbes, GQ and many other publications. He is represented by Donna Rosen artists.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cheap Advertizing in OBSOLETE! #3: Barter for a 1/6th page ad !

 Do you want to advertise your book, comic, zine,  album, film, website, art exhibit, book shop, record store, coffee house or other creative endeavor or business in OBSOLETE? We have a limited number of spots for 1/6th page ads that can be yours for a small donation (what you can afford- we will also swap or barter!). We would love to help promote your work- email for availability.

 Larger spaces are available for a very reasonable rate- 1/4, 1/2 and full page ads are all available.

The first print run of issue #3 will be 2500 copies- distributed free at independently owned businesses from coast to coast.