Remembering 61 Years of The Village Voice
[Call for Entries: The Logo Design Awards]
On September 21, 2017, The Village Voice, a weekly New York City institution, published its final print edition, after 61 years. Begun in 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and Norman Mailer, over the years it garnered three Pulitzer Prizes, the National Press Foundation and George Polk Awards, and featured writers and critics such as James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg, Henry Miller, Katherine Anne Porter, Ezra Pound, Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Nat Hentoff, J. Hoberman, Jonas Mekas and Andrew Sarris. The cover featured a 1965 photo of Bob Dylan bidding us adieu.
Final print edition. Photo by Fred W. McDarrah, art director: Ashley Smestad Vélez
The first issue, 1955
Ironically that is around the time, as a young teen, I began, along with friends, venturing downtown, as those of us in The Bronx referred to Manhattan, and discovered The Voice. It became my entree into a culture counter to the one I read about between the pages of The New York Post and The Daily News, the only two newspapers my transit worker father brought home (no New York Times in my house). It soon featured a young writer I knew, Richard Goldstein, who grew up in the same building as I did, in Parkside Projects. He later went on to be Executive Editor.
But my real indulgence was the eponymously titled comic strip by cartoonist Jules Feiffer, who had been a Voice mainstay since 1956. Overtime time “Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies” joined him on those pages and other contributors over the years have been Lynda Barry, Charles Burns, R. Crumb, Matt Groening, Art Spiegelman, Ward Sutton and Tom Tomorrow, et al.
Illustrators who graced the covers include such luminaries as Steve Brodner, Phillip Burke, Sue Coe, Margaret Cusack, Stephen Kroninger, Luba Lukova, Scott Menchin, Christoph Niemann, Gary Panter, Edel Rodriguez and Alex Ross. There have been myriad Design Directors / Art Directors, including Florian Bachleda, Tom Carlson, George Delmerico, Jennifer Gilman, Milton Glaser, Michael Grossman, Andrew Horton, Kim Klein, Robert Newman and Ivylise Simones.
Cover design and illustration by Milton Glaser, 1970s.
Illustration by Philip Burke. Design Director: Michael Grossman, 1987
Illustration by Stephen Kroninger. Design Director: Robert Newman, Art Directors: Jennifer Gilman, Florian Bachleda, 1993
Illustration by Scott Menchin. Art Director: Jennifer Gilman, 1994
Illustration and art direction by Ivylise Simones, 2009
Illustration by Luba Lukova
Illustration by Christoph Niemann
Illustration by Steve Brodner
Illustration by Autumn Whitehurst
The final edition featured artwork by Brodner, Drew Friedman, Mack, Mark Alan Stamaty, Sutton and Lauren Weinstein. Going forward The Voice will be available digitally only.
Illustration by Ward Sutton for the final print issue
Illustration by Drew Friedman for the final print issue