The EVERY LOSER Iggy Pop PUNK Magazine Extravaganza
A new PUNK Magazine, #22, is being published 47 years after the very first issue!
You might have noticed there is a new issue of PUNK Magazine available for purchase next year… Iggy Pop’s Website doesn’t mention it, but the FAN ZINE that costs around $20-30 extra when you buy Iggy’s latest? That’s a new issue of PUNK magazine! (PUNK #22, for those of us who keep track of these things.)
So how the @#$% did all of this happen? A new issue of PUNK? With IGGY?
The Back Story of PUNK Magazine #22: Iggy Pop EVERY LOSER
Back in late July, some guy texted me:
“Hey John this is Andrew Watt the producer. I wanna talk to you about this secret IGGY album I just made. I have some cool ideas.”
This guy, Andrew Watt, said he wanted me to devote an entirely new issue of PUNK to Iggy’s new album. He wanted it to be an authentic PUNK magazine, with the whole scraggly, hand-lettered mess of photos and comic strips we usually came up with. “What was your last issue number?” he once asked.
“Twenty-one,” I replied. (Our CBGB Tribute!)
“Then this will be PUNK magazine Number Twenty-two,” Andrew said. (And to be honest? He stuck to this promise all the way through. This is an authentic PUNK Magazine. I enjoyed complete creative control throughout.)
An entire issue devoted to Iggy Pop… Great idea, right? How could I say “No!”? So I agreed to do it. What could go wrong?
It turned out that Andrew Watt is not only a very successful producer of recorded music (Justin Bieber, Ozzy Osbourne, Miley Cyrus, Elton John, Pearl Jam, etc.) but he also displays great taste in magazines: He’s a huge fan of Mutant Monster Beach Party (PUNK Magazine #15). Like many people, he especially likes Roberta Bayley and Bruce Carleton’s work on the “Surfin’ Joey” segment. (Roberta even told me that she encouraged him to put this whole thing together. Thank you, Roberta!) Andrew had great ideas that I followed all the way through: Gotta print some great Iggy pix, stuff about the new album, illustrating each song on it, and run some Iggy History. He’s like the second coming of Tom Forcade!
Andrew told me how he was sure I would like the new Iggy LP. I have to admit I was skeptical at first. You know: “That’s what they all say.” A few weeks later, he sent me the tracks, and I was blown away. “Best Iggy Pop solo LP!” I gladly told him. By now, I would have killed an army of Nazi Disco Zombies to produce this new issue of PUNK Magazine that details Iggy’s amazing career and highlights his amazing new album! To me, Iggy was the first “Punk.” He started it all, the most important person in the history of punk rock, best musician, most influential, etc.
Once I heard this amazing new Iggy LP I started putting ideas together and researching everything about Iggy I could find on the Internet. I have to admit I hadn’t kept up with all of the intimate details of Iggy’s career since the 1970s, but he was always there. I always noticed that he was up to this or that.
There’s a lot about Iggy Pop on the internet, but most of it refers to The Stooges and Iggy’s drug years before he cleaned up his act in the early 1980s. Well, yeah, these are all interesting stories, but mostly old and retold many times over. So rather than tell the same old dismal stories about “The Depths of Drug Addiction” or track down the many photos where he cut himself on stage, I decided to focus on Iggy’s amazing creative career and his work: a bunch of great studios LPs, lots of quotable Iggy quotes, a massive number of film roles, (too many music videos to list), etc. So I got started on putting together the magazine:
STEP ONE: THE CARTOONISTS
I wrote up a dozen scripts and ideas for comic strips about the obvious historical stuff most people know about Iggy: Growing up in a Trailer Park, seeing The Doors before starting his own band, the Elvis Presley connection to defusing “Lust For Life,” “Iggy Meets Bowie,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, etc. We would tell the usual stories in a new way! So before I had a budget approved I sent scripts and story ideas to cartoonists I knew were punk rock guys and would work for nothing if it was for a new PUNK magazine all about Iggy:
Bruce has been PUNK Magazine’s Art Director Emeritus since 1978, and has a crazy biography. Check out what he has been up to since then. Crazy stuff.
I met him at a ComiCon in Italy. Rufus has a lot of punk rock/comic credibility: Last Gang In Town, Tank Girl, etc. I’m excited to introduce his work to US readers! He creates some great illustrations and has a wonderful color sense.
Danny’s a very professional caricaturist whose first artwork was for deerfrance’s band Floor Kiss in the 1980s! (deerfrance was PUNK Magazine’s first secretary/receptionist!) Danny did a lot of work with SCREW magazine and is definitely one of New York City’s best underground cartoonists.
Cliff is the former art director at Cracked magazine (where he worked with Don Martin and John Severin), and drew a fine cover for The Dictators live LP: Viva Dictators, and does amazing illustrations. Got to love his stuff.
Dan is a Pittsburgh punk rocker who’s been assisting me with inking and colorizing some of my artwork. Great to welcome a new cartoonist to the mix!
Of course, almost every script I sent to the cartoonists came back completely rewritten! And improved. Working with talented people is like herding cats—you have to give them enough room to have fun and explore, you just have to make sure they stay in the house and take care of their shit. I figured I would handle the leftover comic strips. (And I did! It was fun. Can’t wait until you can see everything!)
STEP TWO: THE PHOTOGRAPHERS
An issue of PUNK was rarely all about the comic strips and humor. I always published the best photos I could find, since they say a thousand words and all, and a large part of PUNK Magazine’s legacy is due to the photos we published. Between Andrew Watt and I, we got great stuff for the magazine from some of rock music’s best photogs:
Roberta was PUNK Magazine’s Ace Photog, and has essential images of Iggy in NYC in early 1976, when he visited CBGB and was interviewed for PUNK Magazine #4.
Bob worked with PUNK magazine from (almost) the very beginning (PUNK #8!), and he followed Iggy Pop from the very early 1970s to the current day. Out of all the images we received from photogs, Bob had my favorites.
He was a close friend with Iggy back in the day, and usually named as Iggy’s favorite photog. It is an honor to include his work in PUNK magazine!
He just happened to shoot an amazing early photo of Iggy in 1970, and his photo is my personal favorite: Ripped jeans, dog collar and all.
STEP THREE: SOMETHING YOU WON’T EXPECT!
Now that the main players were in place, I needed to add those extra ingredients to the magazine’s menu to make it especially delicious, so I enlisted even more talent:
“The Queen of Detroit” appeared in several issues of PUNK, once as the PUNK Magazine Pin-Up! (PUNK #17) She wrote a very interesting account of The Funhouse CPOP art gallery show in 2005, when Iggy, Ron and Scott all exhibited artifacts and artwork for an amazing event. (PS I was there! And it was amazing.)
Elin created the first PUNK magazine t-shirt as a teenager, then worked her way up to Associate Publisher. She helped me out when things got too crazy, and reminded me to get ahold of:
Another close friend of Iggy who gave us a first-time, exclusive photo. He was on my original list of photogs we needed to get into the magazine! (Elin reminded me…)
Robert’s artwork, parodies and comic strips appeared in every issue of PUNK magazine! And his pages were always people’s favorite part of the magazine.
One of the original PUNK magazine cartoonists whose “Unjabbed” vlog is becoming so popular he barely had time to contribute something.
So I managed to collect most of the original PUNK Magazine contributors (a few of them turned me down). I spent the rest of September and October (into November) writing, editing, finding more images, putting out fires, getting amazing stuff from everyone, and somehow making sure it could get printed on time.
STEP FOUR: THE CONTENTS… ANARCHY OUT OF CHAOS
In the end, I divided the magazine into a just a few parts:
1. The History of Iggy
This takes up most of the first half of the magazine and is the closest thing to an original PUNK mag: written and hand-lettered by me with lots of weird graphics and comic strips.
2. Bob Gruen’s Iggy Pop Photos
Several color pages in the middle of the mag with a centerfold photo that I like a lot!
3. Iggy Pop Interview by Flea!
This section features a nice, long interview with Iggy mostly about his new album (thanks to Andrew!).
4. Iggy Pop and The Stooges Funhouse Art Show
Niagara wrote an amazing first-person account of the fine-art gallery show she curated with Iggy and the Stooges!
5. Every Loser Tells a Story
Seven pages of song illustrations from Every Loser (curated by Bruce Carleton).
6. Iggy On Film
Every acting gig featuring Iggy Pop! This is a long, fun list.
Aside from a few extra photos, illustrations and comics, that’s about it. It is 64 pages total, one of PUNK Magazine’s biggest issues ever.
It looks like it will sell out soon (before January 6), and there are no plans yet to reprint it. So if you always wanted to buy an issue of PUNK magazine that would increase in value, like our 1970s issues? I can’t guarantee that this will become a rare, sought-after, collector’s edition but I am fairly certain that this is one of them. This is a great Iggy Pop record with a great issue of PUNK Magazine. And the record company is telling me that they aren’t printing a whole lot of copies. What could go wrong?
So maybe take a chance and buy one now instead of later…
Is it available as a stand- alone magazine?
Congratulations on the new project to keep you on your feet!