There’s this guy Tony , another transplant from the old(ish) punk scene who’s resurfaced in Bushwick as a purveyor of cool, odd, and sometimes baffling goods on folding tables along the street. I have a habit of, when there’s extra cash flow, checking his magazines and comics, mostly for old MAD’s, but honestly this find (which falls under “baffling”) was worth the whole dollar I spent on it.
I’m not sure what’s “New Wave” about teen pregnancy, or about that blonde guy who looks like he’d rather be auditioning for an all-male remake of Flashdance. I’m not even sure what cultural relevancy new wave had by 1986/87 in the US, when the powers of mainstream commodification were dictating that everything be hair metal or squeaky clean teen pop stars. (I can still remember the garbage I’d hear for liking bands that used synthesizers, Germans, or androgynous performers.) But whatever. Despite the objections of Mr. Bald America, they can and did publish this. Did they ever.
As far as the comic itself, well, I took a break from my Stewart Home kick to actually read the thing, which was a whole lot of nothing going on. A PTA argument about sex-ed, a robot nags the teenagers to do their homework, the most popular girl in school is pregnant, and the editor of the school paper refuses to print a story one of the characters wrote presumably involving teen pregnancy, though it’s never really clarified what in the article made it objectionable. That’s the way the whole comic is, none of this gets resolved, I guess so kids pick up the next issue. Though talk of teenage kicks and sex ed and even abortion are batted around a bit, it never really crystallizes what stance is being taken on those things either, I guess so kids’ parents will allow them to buy the next issue. The editor in chief is Cat Yronwode. I must be more of a Frenemy of Lulu because honestly I’m more familiar with who she is through her occult site Lucky Mojo than her ties to the comic industry. Never met the woman but judging from the articles on that about tantra, sex-magick, and early crusaders for sexual liberation, I can’t imagine her as the sort to clutch pearls over any of those topics. Nonetheless, this remains vague. Another feature of this book, which I wasn’t sure I could scan hi-res enough to read without eating up my bandwidth, is the letters page, which somehow manages to contain every racial slur imaginable. Who was writing in to this book and what about it prompted THAT?!? Maybe they were vying to get into one of those “Biff! Pow! Comics Aren’t Just For Kids!” type articles that used to appear now and again in those days?
All in all, a $1 find as hilarious as it is confusing. Though I really have to say, you don’t REALLY get to be a sexually relevant new wave comic until you have something like this go on: