‘Mad Police’ Model Kits, 1982 – 1983

Mad Max 2 (released as The Road Warrior in the US) was a surprise international hit in 1982. Unlike 1979’s Mad Max, which was dubbed and poorly marketed to American audiences, the sequel became an instant action classic, and its post-apocalyptic punk aesthetic forged a sci-fi subgenre that has been mined (and crassly exploited) ever since…

Grand Delusion: Cunard Caribbean Cruise Brochure, 1979

The number of cruise passengers worldwide increased from half a million in 1970 to 3.8 million in 1990, the hike almost exclusively thanks to Aaron Spelling’s The Love Boat (1977-1986), a one-hour dramatic fantasy that portrayed a relatively diverse, generally middle-class group of passengers and the close-knit crew that tended to them (and often cavorted with them) during the voyage…

Drifting Like Smoke: Hiroshi Yoshimura’s ‘Soundscape 1: Surround,’ 1986

Japanese ambient music grew out of the 1980s “economic miracle” that saw the country undergo massive urban development and industrial expansion, with Tokyo emerging as a global financial and cultural mecca. Hiroshi Yoshimura, a sound designer by trade and a musician since age five, was the defining figure of a close-kept movement he and fellow pioneer Satoshi Ashikawa called “environmental music”…

Getting Bombed: Carl Chaplin’s ‘Art Nuko’

From the early ’70s through the early ’90s, Canadian artist and activist Carl Chaplin produced and exhibited a series of paintings depicting the atomic destruction of major cities from around the world “to point out the horror of what would happen to all of mankind in a nuclear war.” The series was called Art Nuko, and it became quite controversial…

Surviving the Cursed Earth: The Mutants Recap 2018

Gentlemen, this is our third Christmas here at We Are the Mutants. 2018 has been particularly rough on all of us. Our “real” jobs have been punishing, we’ve lost loved ones, we’ve been sick as dogs, our significant others have been sick as dogs, one of my kids was in the hospital (she’s okay!), and Donald Trump is still the motherfucking President. But we’re still here…

Giving at the Office: Palitoy’s Action Man

So this week we’re each going to talk about a toy from Christmas past that one of the other guys has figuratively “gifted” us. I volunteered Richard to be my secret Santa because I expected a gift so quintessentially representative of the forlorn British ’70s of his youth that I could simply rag on him and his homeland for a few paragraphs…

Apocalypse, Rinse, Repeat: The Graphic Experience of Greg Irons’ ‘Light’

Despite a tragically short life, and despite still being almost completely unknown, Greg Irons has exerted an extraordinary influence on the course of underground and mainstream comics, graphic design, and the tattoo world, where he is regularly cited as a legend. Irons was born in Philadelphia in 1947 and moved to San Francisco during 1967’s Summer of Love, where he immediately found work designing event posters for music promoter Bill Graham…