1. ARTHUR RETURNS TO PRINT DEC. 22, 2012
After a four-year sabbatical (faked death?), your beloved revolutionary sweetheart Arthur returns to print, renewed, refreshed, reinvigorated and in a bold new format: pages as tall and wide as a daily newspaper, printed in color and black and white on compostable newsprint, with ads only on the back cover(s). Amazing!
In partnership with Portland, Oregon’s Floating World Comics, Arthur’s gang of goofs, know-it-alls and village explainers are back, from Bull Tonguers Byron Coley and Thurston Moore to radical ecologist Nance Klehm to trickster activists Center for Tactical Magic to Defend Brooklyn‘s socio-political commentator Dave Reeves to a host of new, fresh-faced troublemakers, edited by ol’ doofus Jay Babcock and art directed by Yasmin Khan. You want a peek at the contents? So sorry, compadre! Wait ’til Arthur No. 33’s publication date: December 22, 2012. That’s right… 12.22.2012… THE DAY AFTER THE NON-END OF THE WORLD!
Please keep in mind… Arthur is no longer distributed for free anywhere. Those days are (sadly) long gone. Now you gotta buy Arthur or you won’t see it. Our price: Five bucks cheeeeeep!
NOW YOU MAY PRE-ORDER ARTHUR NO. 33 – CLICK HERE TO GET ON IT!
2. THE NEW YORK TIMES ON ARTHUR’S RETURN TO PRINT
From November 15, 2012 – New York Times:
A Counterculture Totem to Return as a Leaner Magazine
By BEN SISARIO
From 2002 to 2008, Arthur was music’s version of a literary-minded “little magazine.” Distributed free in record stores and coffee shops, it celebrated underground culture of all kinds and attracted writers like Alan Moore (“Watchmen”), Douglas Rushkoff and even Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, who wrote a reviews column with the critic Byron Coley.
Like magazines of all sizes in the digital age, however, Arthur struggled to stay in print. It briefly suspended publication, and then resumed it, in 2007 before disappearing completely the next year.
Now Arthur is back, with what its publisher and founding editor, Jay Babcock, says is a more stable business model. It will cost $5 an issue and be published on newsprint, with ads only on the back covers of its two sections, a move intended to shield the magazine from fluctuations in the economy and the ad market.
The magazine’s circulation used to be around 40,000, but will be less than 10,000 for its new issue, No. 33, which comes out Dec. 22 and will feature some of its former regular writers, like Mr. Moore and Mr. Coley. Mr. Babcock also has a new publishing partner, Jason Leivian of Floating World Comics in Portland, Ore.
Whether Arthur can stay alive is another question. Dozens of music and youth-culture magazines have shut down over the last decade. This summer, the 27-year-old Spin appeared to become the latest casualty. After publishing its last issue in August, the magazine, now owned by a publisher of blogs and celebrity Web sites, has continued online without any announced plans for returning to print.
Mr. Babcock said that Arthur’s modest but loyal following, and its freedom from the ad market, would help the magazine survive where others have not. By using newsprint instead of the higher-quality paper that advertisers prefer, and by keeping costs extremely low, Mr. Babcock said he could break even on a print run of just 1,000 copies.
“Newsprint is extremely attractive, and reader-supported is extremely attractive as opposed to ad-supported,” Mr. Babcock said from Joshua Tree, Calif., where he lives “on the grid but off the pavement” in near-wilderness, he said, making compost and earning money by renting a cabin to vacationers. (Another plus, he noted, is that newsprint is compostable.)
When Arthur emerged in the early 2000s, mainstream publications were narrowing their focus and trimming articles, and niche coverage was beginning to explode on blogs and in Web publications like Pitchfork. Arthur aimed to buck both trends by printing idiosyncratic, lengthy articles on off-center music and espousing a broad idea of counterculture that harked back to the 1960s, encompassing comics, urban ecology and antiwar activism.
“We’ve always had the idea that if the rest of the culture was going to decline and devolve in a lowest-common-denominator thing, we were trying to be the highest common denominator,” Mr. Babcock said.
The magazine earned a reputation for championing musicians like Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom of the so-called freak folk scene, and for an aggressive voice rarely seen in mainstream publications these days. One of its most popular articles was a combustible interview with the rock band Godsmack over its use of military imagery and support of Army recruitment.
Arthur still has only the most rudimentary Web site. Mr. Babcock said he hoped to produce an iPad-compatible version that would adequately capture the magazine’s large-scale artwork and broadsheet layout.
“That’ll be next year,” he said.
3. CLICK HERE TO REQUEST INFO FOR OLD SUBSCRIBERS
4. CLICK HERE TO REQUEST INFO FOR RETAILERS
5. CLICK HERE TO REQUEST INFO FOR ADVERTISERS
6. AND CLICK HERE TO REQUEST TO LEARN HOW TO SUBMIT SOMETHING FOR REVIEW TO BULL TONGUE COLUMNISTS BYRON COLEY AND THURSTON MOORE
7. SOME USEFUL BACKGROUND READING FOR THE ROLLING JUBILEE, OR FOR JUST ABOUT ANYONE WHO IS IN DEBT
“Everyone seems to owe something, and most of us (including our cities) are in so deep it’ll be years before we have any chance of getting out—if we have any chance at all. At least one in seven of us is already being pursued by debt collectors. We are told all of this is our own fault, that we got ourselves into this and that we should feel guilty or ashamed. But think about the numbers: 76% of Americans are debtors. How is it possible that three-quarters of us could all have just somehow failed to figure out how to properly manage our money, all at the same time? And why is it no one is asking, ‘Who do we all owe this money to, anyway?’ and ‘Where did they get the money they lent?'”
Read more: The Debt Resistors Operations Manual — a project of Strike Debt/Occupy Wall Street
8. AND THE WORDS WE ALWAYS COME BACK TO
“The way we describe our world shows how we think of our world. How we think of our world governs how we interpret our world. How we interpret our world directs how we participate in the world. How we participate in the world shapes the world.” —Robert Fripp
May our lives always be examples of love and kindness,
The Arthur Gang
Joshua Tree, Ca. * Portland, Ore. * wherever the heck you are
1. ARTHUR RETURNS TO PRINT DEC. 22, 2012