Roctober is a comics and music zine created by Chicago native Jake Austen, together with a regular cast of contributors. The first issue appeared in the Spring of 1992, and it continues to be published 2-3 times a year.
"Roctober" takes a broad view of popular music, covering everything from The Ramones, to Afrika Bombaataa, to Dolly Parton and David Allen Coe. Regular features include: "The Hall of Dynamic Greatness," Jake Austen's "Punk'n Head" comics, and "Flamin' Waymon Timbsdayle, King of Reviewland."
Editor Jake Austen refuses to ackowledge musical boundaries, saying that good gay disco is really no different from a good Misfits song. Austen is less interested in promoting one particular style of music than he is in publishing articles that are passionate about their subject matter.
The cover art is a virtual "Who's Who" of poster artists and underground cartoonists.
Past issues of Roctober have included some rather notable (or unusual) themes:
- The Secret History of Masked Rock 'n' Roll
- The Rock 'n' Roll AIDS Quilt (the cover of which was a full color photo of an actual quilt, sewn with the likenesses of the late Freddie Mercury, Eazy-E, Klaus Nomi, Sylvester, Ricky Nelson, and Esquerita)
- Icons and Enigmas (which featured a Cyndi Lauper interview and a Cyndi Lauper comic)
- Maximumsammysoul A Hilarious spoof of "punk Bible" Maximum Rock N Roll that looks just like an actual copy of MRR (right down to the cheap newsprint), except that it's a tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. featuring fake Sammy Davis Jr. columns by Reverend Norb, Vic Bondi, and Jeff Bale. Comes with a free CD.
- Comics Galore! (issues 20 and 26)
- Chicago Rock 'n' Soul Tour'
- One Man Band Encyclopedia
- Black Punk Time: Blacks in Punk, New Wave and Hardcore 1976-1983
Many consider "Roctober" to be the best music zine in America (Terminal Boredom called it "the greatest print mag in existence").
Roctober has also been featured in in USA Today.
- Pedro Bell, who designed most of the album art for Parliament-Funkadelic
- Flamin' Waymon Timsdayle, master of the one sentence record review
- Nardwuar the Human Serviette, Canadian television personality
- Jessica Abel
- Rob Syers
- Derek Erdman
- Jason Lutes
- Chris Ware
- "King" Darren Merinuk
- Jason Kochis
Notable zinesters who have contributed to Roctober
What follows is only a partial list:
- Heather McAdams
- Gentleman John Battles
- Seth Bogard
- Joe Chiapetta
- Seth Feinberg
- Jerome Gaynor
- Beth Johnson
- Missy Kulik
- Jason Mitchell
- Slink Moss
- Mark Murrmann
- John Porcellino
- James Porter
- Jason Shithead
- Jenny Zervakis