Arthur’s first issue in four years reviewed in Portland Mercury

A Coffee-Table Newspaper
Arthur Magazine: Back from the Dead

by Ned Lannamann (Portland Mercury)

IT’S BEEN four years since we last held a hard copy of Arthur magazine in our hands, but it’s made an unlikely—and very welcome—return to the printed medium with issue 33. Editor Jay Babcock has teamed up with Jason Leivian of Portland’s Floating World Comics, who’s now co-publisher, and while the new incarnation takes on a very different format from those last issues of Arthur, the ideas and attitude are happily the same. Arthur’s lens is on fringe music, art, and ideas—the “New Weird America” scene, as some have termed it—and perhaps due to Leivian’s involvement, there’s more of a visual emphasis on comics than before.

Issue 33 is something new: a coffee-table newspaper, printed on 16 immense pages of newsprint with minimal ads, and almost every inch covered with words or pictures. The cover, a gigantic piece by surreal comics artist Rick Veitch, is gorgeous, and the crispness and clarity of the print is perhaps the best I’ve seen in a newspaper…

continues: Portland Mercury

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.

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