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arcade 7
 
solid writing
exceptional art
historical 3
score 8
Arcade, The Comics Revue #7
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Only Printing /
Fall, 1976 / 52 Pages / The Print Mint
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AVERAGE SCORE 10
After seemingly hitting its stride in the previous issue, Arcade kind of took a step back in its seventh issue, relying on reprinted Tijuana Bible smut, Robert Crumb sketchbook material and a couple less-than-stellar comics. The magazine folded after this issue, and it's almost like the staff of the magazine knew it was coming and didn't work as hard as before. Don't blame Kim Deitch though, since he contributed a terrific Miles Microft adventure in the 12-page "Possessed," which really helps save this issue.

I think I read in Rosenkranz's Rebel Visions that Arcade's retail outlets didn't know what to make of the magazine. It featured all these underground artists, but instead of coming out once a year or changing titles all the time like most undergrounds, Arcade came out like clockwork every quarter. When issue five came out, some retailers still had the previous four issue on their shelves. What the hell were they supposed to do, build a reading library?

But as alluded to in my overview of Arcade, I think the magazine had more than just retailing issues. Well, actually, my criticism also relates to retailing, except my point is that the magazine failed to connect with a broad audience in the retail marketplace because it took itself too seriously.

When it was all over, co-editor Art Spiegelman vowed he would never edit another magazine again because of the tension and jealousies involved. But four years later he helped launch (with his wife Françoise Mouly) and co-edited the art-comic magazine Raw, forever changing the landscape of comic books yet again. It seems likely that Spiegelman learned a great deal from the issues he encountered as co-editor of Arcade and applied those learnings to Raw (which ironically ran only four more issues than Arcade, but that did represent nine more years). It's hard to compare the two publications, since they are distinctly different from one another and Mouly's influence on Raw cannot be underestimated.


As for Arcade, it was a great comic magazine and my minor quibbling about its content does nothing to detract from its place in history. It helped underground comic creators reach a new, more mature and intellectual audience that rightly lauded the magazine for its terrific comics.

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keyline
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES:
The Print Mint printed approximately 25,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted. Though the Print Mint survived for another couple of years after the final issue of Arcade before going out of business, the magazine's expensive production and associated costs were reportedly key factors that led to their downfall.
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COMIC CREATORS:
Art Spiegelman - (co-editor) 2 (ad), 3
Bill Griffith - (co-editor) 3, 4, 39-42
Mark Beyer - (staff) 50
Diane Noomin - (staff) 44-45
Spain Rodgriguez - (staff) 46-48
Mark Kay Brown - 1
Robert Crumb - 2 (ad), 4 (ad), 17-24
Harvey Kurtzman - 2 (ad)
Steve Anker - 4 (text)
Aline Kominsky - 4, 25
Jay Lynch - 4 (ad)
Kim Dietch - 5-16
Justin Green - 26-27
Robert Williams - 28 (art)
Jim Hoberman - 28 (text)
Robert Armstrong - 29-31
Michael McMillan - 32-33
Michele Brand - 43
Carol Becker - 46-48 (research)
Oliver Christianson - 49
Rory Hayes - 49
Lulu Stanley - 50
S. Clay Wilson - 51
B. Kliban - 52
Kirk Fenton - 4 (letter)
Steve Fisk - 4 (letter)
Chris Carduff - 4 (letter)
Joel Goldstein - 4 (letter)
William J. Manson - 4 (letter)
Larry Hubbell - 4 (letter)