A Mag For Goodfellas
My C.V. makes no bones about it. I was the co-publisher and art director of Mobster Times. The magazine started as a vendetta against the former art directors of Screw, Brill and Waldstein, who left in a huff and founded and published Monster Times, a sci-fi tabloid, and grew into its own entity. There was just one letter difference between monster and mobster, but the magazines were far apart (although there were quite a few monsters in the crime families).
I’ve written about the magazine in more detail before (here), but I recently came across a cache of copies and was reminded that our editorial premise was to expose criminals and politicians under the same investigative light. In fact, we were light on investigation but had loads of fun indicting rogues like J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson for the crimes they committed in the name of democracy. Incidentally, we were a year ahead of Watergate — if only we had survived until then, what great issues that drama would have provided.
Below are the only three covers. Our mascot was Al “Scarface” Capone; Brad Holland repainted the world’s leading criminals as Syndics of the Drapers, based on a 1662 oil painting by Rembrandt; and Tom Hachtman provided Ms. Liberty in da chair. Holland also contributed “Great Moments in Crime,” and I was responsible for the subscription ads. Seeing them now, I missed my calling. My favorite feature was about picking your own prison — now that’s freedom of choice.
I also did the masthead and interior page design. Clunky though it was, my potential was clear: Either crime or design, or maybe both.
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