Chicago: Self-published, 1981. Side-stapled in wraps. Item #4275
4to (8 ½ x 11 in.) Offset. 26 pp. Minor shelf wear, otherwise near fine.
One of Chicago’s earliest punk and new wave fanzines, The Coolest Retard ran for 23 issues between 1979 and 1983. Issues featured stories, interviews, columns, record reviews, and live show reviews, with an emphasis on bands and artists from the Chicago area. Packing issues with features on some of the popular bands emerging from the era, The Coolest Retard provides a vivid portrayal of Chicago’s early punk. Its cut-and-paste collage style makes it definitive of the punk zine aesthetic that has lasted to this very day.
Cover feature on Mark Smith (The Fall) as the “Retard of the Year.” Contains interviews with The Teardrop Explodes and Hugh Cornell (The Stranglers), and a news update on Gang Of Four. Also contains an article on music from continental Africa and its influence on contemporary new wave and punk.