magazine is dedicated to documenting artists who support innovation,
equality, justice and social introspection.
is not a corporation but a collective of artists, writers and other
propagandists. Ugly Planet is made possible by the support of friends
the kindness of strangers.
Richard John Cummins
SENDING YOUR MATERIALS:
you're a band, record company or publicist, and would like to send
review you may contact us
looking for contributors.
other publications are saying about UglyPlanet.
magazine is dedicated to documenting artists who support innovation,
equality, justice and social introspection. We seek artists
of genre) who transcend the simple title of "entertainer," and endeavor
to enlighten or engender political or social change. We would like to
new generations and maintain the idea of using art and media as tools
social change and introspect.
How do you choose your
We do not choose featured
based on popularity or how many magazines we think they will help us
We choose them based on who they are and what they represent in the
community. We want to show music fans (and the music industry) a
face of "music." By being in the magazine, artists show their support
Why do you cover mostly
The main goal behind Ugly
is to get people to talk and exchange information by using the format
popular music. The idea of music as more than just entertainment. To
music fans that artists can talk about other things besides getting
and getting laid. Ugly Planet is not the Nation, Mother Jones, the New
York Times, etc. It's a small music publication. We like to keep things
light and nonesoteric. In a language everyone can understand. So, some
subjects go on tangents while others are more laid back.
Why don't you do any
Ugly Planet is not about
It's about the artists and having a conversation with them. There are
of zines and magazines (not to mention Internet zines and blogs)
out hundreds of editorials each day. So, there won't be any editorials,
poetry or fiction in Ugly Planet. However, we are open to nonfiction
(such as autobiographical confrontations with the system).
Do you plan to include
artists, or just illustrators?
Ugly Planet is about the
who use popular media (music, visual arts, publishing, filmmaking) to
social change. This does not include fine art painters (or sculptors),
social workers or other activists. Our focus is the idea of promoting
use of popular media to create social change or awareness.
Why is the magazine
and answer" format?
I grew up on Seconds,
Flipside and countless other DYI zines of the 80s. And I appreciate the
simple Q&A format. I enjoy reading interviews that are in a
style. To read what an artist has to say, instead of reading a writer's
witty assumptions and interpretations. In the Q&A format, we honor
the artists and let them have the spotlight. As my co-editor (a huge
Enemy fan) says, "If I see an article on Public Enemy I won't read it,
but if I see a Q&A with Public Enemy I'll read it." As someone who
considers music to have been the single most powerful influence on my
life, I agree. I normally skip critics and rants and just want to hear
the music or hear the artist talk.
What is your policy on
Ugly Planet does not run
publicity photos. Especially ones that have run in other publications.
Also, Ugly Planet does not run live performance photos or photos of
holding instruments. For this reason, Ugly Planet requests that a
photo session be set up for all interview subjects. This is done in
to keep the look and feel of the magazine. Which is, large portraits
spreads throughout. If a photo session is not possible, the story may
smaller, and in most cases with an illustration by one of our freelance
How do you decide what
At the present time, covers
not be photos of bands featured in the magazine. This is to keep the
of the magazine from looking like every other music magazine. Instead,
since we do an interview with one artist/illustrator in each issue, we
plan to run one piece (on the cover) from that issue's featured artist.
What kinds of music do
We review all kinds of music.
artists who may not be political. If we like the music, find it
and original, we'll review it. We also review documentaries on DVD,
on CD or DVD, nonfiction books and other publications. If
you would like to send materials for review you may contact us
Who pays for Ugly
Because Ugly Planet magazine
a small staff, our basic operating costs are very low. Almost
of our funding comes from ads and from people like you (donations). We
are not a corporation with private investors. We are not a glossy
magazine with liquor, cigarette and car sponsors. Ugly Planet can
only happen with your
Do you make a living
Absolutely not. We put our
(earned at our regular jobs) and time (we should be on vacation) to put
together Ugly Planet. We don't think success of a project is
by how much money a project is making. But rather the influence that
has on the culture.
Why don't you change
just a bit, so you can reach more readers (and make more money)?
As an artist, what I learn
over again as I get older, is that when your art work reflects your
without compromise, you send out a message to find and connect with
like you. When you modify your art to fit popular demand or trends, you
disguise and isolate yourself into a box you don't even belong in.
What ideas do you have
Even though I truly enjoy
this mag, I don't do it as a business. I have no plans to ever make
off Ugly Planet. It's a project I do for myself and the people who
reading it. Kept for historical reference. Some people have a garden or
a front lawn they work on; I have Ugly Planet. I can't find more
artists to interview (or start to lose too much money), I can move on
a different project.
Your magazine claims to
but it's very slick, what's up with that?
We use the same (QuarkXpress)
program and (Apple) computer that a lot of D.I.Y. zines use. D.I.Y.
just that, Do-It-Yourself. It doesn't mean "be sloppy and crude", or
it look like you don't care". If you came by and hung out with us,
find that Ugly Planet is a true D.I.Y. concept all the way. One of the
most D.I.Y. projects you'll ever run into.
What kind of computer
kind of programs do you use?
Issue One was done on an
G3 using QuarkXpress 5.0. Issue Two was done on an Apple iBook 12" G4
QuarkXpress 6. All photos are shot on 35mm film (some on 120mm).
After the photos are chosen for the issue, only the frames we
are scanned. Photoshop is only used for converting many of the pictures
from color to Black and White. Minor contrast adjustments are made. The
magazine is entirely laid out using QuarkXpress 6 and saved on a CD.
new CD (containing the layouts, photos and fonts) is sent to our
in North Dakota. A week later they send us a proof. If approved, the
is ready in another week.
What kind of equipment
do you recommend
for someone who's starting out?
Most everyone we know uses
Macs. Some have bought them new, some of us have bought them
These days you can buy an older used Mac on Ebay for $200 (for an iMac)
or $350 plus monitor (for a G4). The most expensive part is the
You may get away with using simple (or free) photo software, but when
comes to layout and type QuarkExpress is quite expensive ($900). But if
you are a student you may qualify for a discount or you may be able to
use a computer at school that already has the program. Also ask around
maybe someone you know already has Quark and you can ask to use their
for a few hours a day while you work on your project. It's not a
you can just pick up and learn in one day or week. Like anything else,
you should pick up a book and read up on how to use it and learn a bit
more about typepography and printing production. One of the main
people make is the missuse (or abuse) of fonts. Yes, a class at your
college would help quite a bit.
Why do you use Apple
Apples are easy to use. Apple
made lot of innovations toward digital self publishing, be it music,
or printed matter. The Apple computer is a great tool for D.Y.I. media.
Get acquainted with it. If you are a propagandist or have plans
become one, reading or taking classes on current (digital) media tools
If you have any other