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22: Radical America

September 6, 2010

Here’s another installment of covers of a periodical, this time Radical America, which began as an organ of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1967, and then ran into the late 1980s. A couple years back at the Anarchist Bookfair in San Francisco I found a box of old Radical Americas, 5 for $1 or something like that, and pulled out a big stack based on, I admit, the coolest covers, but also interesting content. Turns out that one of my favorite covers (v12n6, Nov/Dec 1978) features an illustration by Nikki Schumann, adapted from a Boycott Grapes poster from the early 70s. On a second look, I realized this was the same artist whose calendars my parents religiously bought every year and hung in a small frame in our kitchen, changing the image out each month!
Turns out that Brown University has digitally cataloged the entire collection of Radical America, which Icky noted in a post here a couple month back (HERE), and all the old issues can be downloaded HERE. Where possible, I’ve noted the cover designers/illustrators. My guess is that a lot of the final design of the covers was done by Nick Thorkelson, and artist and designer on the editorial board, so if unstated, I’d say it’s probably by Nick.
v5n5:1971 and v12n2:1978 (cover based on murals in Chicano Park, San Diego):

v12n3:1978 and v13n3:1979:

v13n5:1979 and v13n6:1979:

v14n4:1980 and v15n3:1981 (cover by Nick Thorkelson based on 1921 design by Mieczyslaw Szuka):

v15n5:1981 and v16n4:1982:

v17n6:1983 and v19n2:1985:

v20n2:1986 and v21n6:1987-1988 (cover design by Kristen Bjork):

Anti-capitalismAnti-warCulture & MediaEducationFeminisms & GenderGlobal SolidarityHistoryInspirationLaborMigrationPolice & PrisonsRacial JusticeSocial Movements

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3 comments on “22: Radical America

Thanks for posting these, Josh — so cool to see them again, and I’m glad they struck your fancy.
I met Nikki Schumann shortly after I came to the Boston area. She and I and Larry Gonick (as in “Cartoon History of the Universe”) and Mike Prokosch and Coby Everdell mounted a show of political artwork together, around 1973, called “Art Works.”
In case anyone is interested, the images on the covers marked “Chicano Park,” “Miners, “Re-industrialization,” and “Chernobyl” were indeed created by myself. The female figure on the “Feminism & Leninism” cover was lifted from a cartoon by Nicole Hollander, who did all sorts of feminist cartooning before she started her “Sylvia” comic strip. The image on the “Struggle for Control of Production” cover was done for us by Joan Green, who was friendly with but not a member of the Radical America board in those days — I think she made it with rubber stamps. And the image on the “Disarm!” cover is of course from Goya’s “Disasters of War.”

Is your next posting in this series gonna be either Womanspirit, Heresies or Avantegaurde cause you’re hitting two for five of my favorite arts/culture journals.

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