The radical art of the Chicago Seed | Slideshows | Chicago Reader

July 28, 2014 Slideshows » Blogs

The radical art of the Chicago Seed 

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Patrick Sisson
Patrick Sisson
Released during the Chicago Seven Trial, which Peck attended every day, the cover reflected a culmination of issues, including the Days of Rage antiwar demonstrations in Chicago. "We were enraged," says Peck. "I think this one showed we had more arrows in our quiver than just color and inks."
Patrick Sisson
"I wrote the text for this cover, a comment on consumerism," says Peck. "That was how we lived, we tried to live off the grid, and a lot of our supplies were 'liberated.' I think Lester Dore did the collage. We got hundreds of requests for the card, and no money to do anything about it."
Patrick Sisson
Skip Williamson created this cover the '68 Convention issue, which included a guide on what to do if you got arrested. A frequent contributor, Williamson gave the paper what they wanted. "My politics were further to the left than they were—I was politically incorrect when there was no such thing," he says.
Patrick Sisson
Patrick Sisson
Patrick Sisson
Patrick Sisson
Patrick Sisson
"I have a framed version of this in my house," says Peck. "It's Skip Williamson's sardonic, sarcastic worldview, a bit of a spoof on the cops and us. Everyone was scared by the movement, and we thought we were going to scare the U.S. out of Vietnam. But really, we weren't walking around wearing bandoliers and toting guns. It's a take on both the straight view of the movement and our own sense of power, and who are we kidding?"
Patrick Sisson
Patrick Sisson
"This was our first women's issue," says Peck. "Power to the sisters. Several of the staffers worked for Jane, an underground abortion-referral service. You saw women's sensibilities fully integrated into the Seed in 1970, when the women's movement was kind of crescendoing."
Patrick Sisson
"This was our best-selling cover," says Peck. "It sold 35,000 copies in three days. It was after Kent State. We just didn't want to run the usual kind of screed. We lifted this image from the San Jose Red Eye—we were part of the Underground Press Syndicate, which was anticopyright‚ and it really caught the zeitgeist."
Patrick Sisson
Patrick Sisson
"We weren't photo driven," says Peck of this Skip Williamson cover. "This was a better comment, in our style. Know who that guy is? He's like the precious bodily fluids guy from Dr. Strangelove, bomb 'em back to the Stone Age." According to Williamson, the marchers asked to use this as the image for the event.
Patrick Sisson
Patrick Sisson
"This is actually a very interesting cover for the Seed," says Peck. "It was unusual in that it was a photo, and it was staged. At the time, lots of people were getting into heroin, there was lots of bad drugs and bad acid. Here's the Seed running drug prices in the back, pharmacology, and suddenly doing this cover. We were a community newspaper. If we were druggies, we had to critique the ugly parts of our culture."
Patrick Sisson
Patrick Sisson
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Patrick Sisson

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