TWISTED IMAGE #8 “Businessman Special”

With this issue I decided to go back to the original format — 11-by-17 tabloid free newspaper paid for by ads. And take one last shot at trying to set it up as an actual business (hence the “Businessman Special” title). I even talked our old printer into taking us back (I convinced them that the “Gore and Violence” issue had merely been a youthful indescretion and that I would be a good boy from here on in). . . The content was kind of workman-like. It lacked a lot the magic and inspiration of some of the earlier issues. But there’s still some solid stuff in there. And the “magic” hadn’t help me make a profit off the damn thing anyways. So maybe there was something to be said for a simpler, more meat-and-potatoes, approach. The cover, of course, isn’t an example of my more subtle attempts at satire. Let’s just say at this point I had decided to err on the side of the obvious.

I had pretty much lost interest in the Punk Rock thing by this point (1986). To me punk had kind of become a copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy. And it’s depressing how quickly a once dynamic and original cultural movement can congeal into dogma and orthodoxy (along with all the self-appointed leaders who see the parade going by and rush up front and pretend to “lead” it). . . So I was shooting for a more general “underground-slash-counterculture art” kind of audience. People interested in the stuff just a bit off the fringe of the mainstream, but without devolving into total weirdness. People interested in an actual letter from Charles Manson and stuff like that.

I had also developed a huge number of correspondences. Hundreds of letters, artwork and assorted madness would come flooding into my mail box every month. I “lived for the mail” during this period. So I didn’t even need to leave my apartment to come up with most of the content for TWISTED IMAGE. Which was fine by me. It just came to me on it’s own. And my job as managing editor (so-called) was simply to pick out the most interesting bits to publish.

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