Punk Planet was a 16,000 print run punk zine, based in Chicago, IL, that focused most of its energy on looking at punk subculture. In addition to covering music, Punk Planet also covered visual arts and a wide variety of progressive issues -- including media criticism, feminism, and labor issues. The most notable features in Punk Planet were the interviews and the album and zine reviews. The interviews generally ran two or three pages, and focused on the motivations of the artist (or organizer, activist, or whoever) being interviewed.
- Daniel Sinker - publisher, co-editor, art director
- Anne Elizabeth Moore - associate publisher, co-editor
- Joe Meno - contributing editor
- Dave Hofer - reviews coordinator
- Laura Pearson - editorial associate
Notable Issue Topics/Subjects
- Issue 22 —first issue with full color, cardstock cover
- Issues 24, 46 and 67: Art & Design 1, 2, and 3 —theme issue
- Issue 34 —first issue with perfect binding
- Issue 50 The Chicago Issue —theme issue
- Issues 55 and 75: The Revenge of Print 1 and 2 —theme issue
The first issue was published in May of 1994 and was created in part as a response to the perception that Maximum Rock and Roll was becoming too elitist. Early issues of Punk Planet were said to be rough and clearly trying to emulate the format of Maximum Rock n Roll, however, the publication certainly developed into a force in its own right. It started as a newsprint punk fanzine that was originally published out of Hoboken, New Jersey but it featured a cleaner, more readable lay-out than many punk-oriented zines of that time. Regular columnists back in '95 included Sinker, Will Dandy, Julia Cole, Slim Moon, Darren Cahr, Dave Hake, Leah Ryan, Jim Connell, Kim Bae, Larry Livermore and Jersey Beat zine's Jim Testa.
Punk Planet reviewed hundreds of underground zines and albums and each issue contained pages upon pages of such reviews. The zine contained left political writing together with its music journalism. Over the years, Punk Planet has dealt with issues of labor, race, gender and sexuality. It was, for example, a stalwart supporter of the anti-globalization and contemporary anti-war movements, and famously challenged the U.S.-led sanctions on Iraq. It has also been said that Punk Planet was a major force in the underground popularization of the "emo" subgenre of hardcore in the middle 1990's. It is said to have covered daring music – not just conventional punk, but any independent artist with a punk ethos. It also contained a fiction section. The zine is said to have retained a sense of community over the years in which the letters section sought to make reader active participants.
After the launching of its website, Punk Planet did not reprint its content online, choosing instead to focus on community interaction and breaking news of interest. Its editor and publisher, Dan Sinker, holds that freelance journalists should retain exclusive digital reprint rights for their work and the zine has discussed this including in a seminar held in November 2006 on intellectual property and copyright issues for independent publishers, artists, zine-makers and students. This was hoped to be a provocative and educational evening for publishers, freelancers, visual artists, zine-makers and students involved in the Chicago independent press community.
On June 18, 2007, an email was sent out to subscribers 30 minutes before a post at punkplanet.com informed the public that after 13 years and 80 issues, Punk Planet's final issue was being sent out. The reasoning pointed to "bad distribution deals, disappearing advertisers, and a decreasing audience of subscribers".
A few hours later, Alan Lastufka made a video eulogy, dedicated to Punk Planet co-editors Dan Sinker and Anne Elizabeth Moore. The video featured Alan, Dan Halligan, Mack (KungFuFlipperBaby on the PP forums), Kevin (KPunk on the PP forums) and M. Brianna Stallings. The video can be watched on YouTube.
While the magazine was discontinued, the online forums and Punk Planet Books (see below) will continue.
Punk Planet Books
As of August 2006, Punk Planet has printed 75 issues of their bi-monthly publication, and in the fall of 2004 launched a book publishing arm, Punk Planet Books, in conjunction with the New York-based small press Akashic Books.
- "The Boy Detective Fails" by Joe Meno (September 2006)
- "100 Posters, 134 Squirrels" by Jay Ryan (November 2005)
- "Lessons in Taxidermy" by Bee Lavender (March 2005)
- "All the Power: Revolution Without Illusion" by Mark Andersen (September 2004)
- "Hairstyles of the Damned" by Joe Meno (August 2004)
- "We Owe You Nothing: punk planet, the collected interviews"