cover image Punk: The Best of Punk Magazine

Punk: The Best of Punk Magazine

Edited by John Holmstrom. It Books, $30 (372p) ISBN 978-0-06-195835-9

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%E2%80%94 one of the co-founders alongside notable rock journalist Legs McNeil%E2%80%94employed 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. (Dec.)