New York Punk BandsPunk bands from New York
The punk scene arrives in New York.
Founded by cartoonist John Holmstrom and produced in 1975 by publisher Ged Dunn and music critic Legs McNeil, Punk was a fanzine-style music journal that was very close to the fanzine style. From the pages of Punk-Magazin, the musical genre Punkrock emerges with all the arrogance of the time, a definition that was coined a few years earlier by the Detroi Creem journal.
The founding group of Punk was the perfect union of various influences that came from the twilight in the mid-seventies: a mixture of raw music like that of Stooges by Iggy Pop, The New York Dolls and The Directors and an aesthetic that is very much dedicated to the world of the first subsurface comics like Zap Comix and Mike Magazines.
Only a few years later it was Holmstrom himself who gave us what in my opinion remains the best definition of punk magazine, namely "the printed version of The Ramones". Thanks to punk, the music scene - and not only that - became known in the USA in connection with the historic local CBGB in New York, spreading real trends, styles and, without the risk of exaggeration, a new independent lifestyle and background.
Between 1976 and 1979 Punk published 15 editions, plus a special edition in 1981, plus many more editions in his second life after the 2000s. His cover versions contained the best music of the time: from Sex Pistols to Iggy Pop, from Lou Reed to Patti Smith and Blondie.
In a short time the magazine became an instrument to make the New York subway music scene known and especially punk music, which was heard in places like CBGB, but also in Zeppz and Max's Kansas City. Bringing together some of the best contemporary underworld cartoonists like Holmstrom himself, Bobby London and a very young Peter Bagge, punk managed to complete the pages with a very popular and direct style journalism that made the magazine very different from the others of the time who, after years of hard belonging to the underworld world, showed signs of fatigue looking for new ways and styles.
These young talents made their first steps in punk magazines, writers and directors such as Mary Harron (I shot Andy Warhol and American Psycho), poet Pam Brown, artists such as Vampirella's Buz Vaultz, Anya Phillips, one of the first CBGB dancers to get hard-core, and the great music critic Lester Bangs, then just a little more than a boy.
In 1977 Dunn and McNeil left the project and were replaced by Art Directors Bruce Carleton, Ken Weiner and Elin Wilder, one of the few black personalities active in the punk scene of the time. John Holmstrom is a central figure in Punk's entire editorial career. Holmstrom, born in 1954, is an American subterranean cartoonist and writer who is best known for illustrating the covers of historical bands such as Ramones Rocket in Russia and Road to Ruin.
Some of his characters, Bosko and Joe, were also very successful and were first published in Scholastic's banana-journal. As mentioned earlier, at only 21, he was one of the founders of Punk and later worked with other magazines including The Village Voice, K-Power, Heavy Metal and High Times. In 1986, Holmstrom worked on the special edition of Spin-Magazin, which contributes to the creation of the chronology of punkrock, based on the comics that accompany its story.
As mentioned before, Punk came out again in 2007 for a few issues, but the time was over and the underground with it.