RAY GUN by Dean Kuipers


Out of Control
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 This anthology drawn from the pages of Ray Gun, one of the most visually idiosyncratic and original music magazines now being published, demonstrates just how consistently inventive and challenging the design of the magazine is but doesn't make the ``new niche cool'' publication any easier to understand. Kuipers, its editor, argues that too many magazines are addicted to ``the megalomaniacal need to control people, to steer culture away from the radical and toward the safe.'' One way in which they do that is by compartmentalizing art and text. Ray Gun doesn't: Words flow over images, dense blocks of text are squeezed into spreads featuring glowing color photographs or collages, a wide variety of typefaces are crowded into an issue. Another way in which magazines assert a rigid worldview is by strictly defining the roles of artists, writers, designers, and subjects: Ray Gun has recruited John Travolta, William S. Burroughs, Quentin Tarantino, Frank Zappa, and Keith Richards, among many others, as contributors, providing ``an open forum'' for the artists ``who define youth (or music) culture.'' The anthology offers a stunning gallery of cutting-edge design, but its highly experimental mix of images and text is likely to make it of interest only to designers and the already initiated.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-684-83980-6
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1997


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