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Ugly Planet magazine is dedicated to documenting artists who support innovation, diversity, equality, justice and social introspection.  

Ugly Planet is not a corporation but a collective of artists, writers and other aspiring propagandists. Ugly Planet is made possible by the support of friends and the kindness of strangers.

S. Lahoz

Pedro Taino

S. LaHoz

Hannah Wolfe
Andrea McCready 

Liam O’Donoghue
Kira Yustak
Sue Woznicki
Chris Mercado

Vinnie Apicella
Jennifer Bleyer
Dub C.
Richard John Cummins
Debra DeSalvo
Colleen Frary
Dawn Fredericks
Mark Harris
Yasmin Hernandez
Walidah Imarisha
Tracy Jones
Crista Lauctes
Serena Norr
Joan Riley-Murphy
Bad Santistevan
Dorsey Thrush
Ben Tyree
Jeb Toocrass

If you're a band, record company or publicist, and would like to send materials for review you may contact us here.
We are always looking for contributors.
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Read what other publications are saying about UglyPlanet.

What's UGLY PLANET about?
Ugly Planet magazine is dedicated to documenting artists who support innovation, diversity, equality, justice and social introspection.  We seek artists (regardless of genre) who transcend the simple title of "entertainer," and endeavor to enlighten or engender political or social change. We would like to encourage new generations and maintain the idea of using art and media as tools for social change and introspect. 

How do you choose your subjects?
We do not choose featured artists based on popularity or how many magazines we think they will help us sell. We choose them based on who they are and what they represent in the music community. We want to show music fans (and the music industry) a different face of "music." By being in the magazine, artists show their support for relevant music.

Why do you cover mostly music?
The main goal behind Ugly Planet is to get people to talk and exchange information by using the format of popular music. The idea of music as more than just entertainment. To show music fans that artists can talk about other things besides getting rich 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 articles or short stories?
Ugly Planet is not about editorializing. It's about the artists and having a conversation with them. There are plenty of zines and magazines (not to mention Internet zines and blogs) churning 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 shorts (such as autobiographical confrontations with the system).

Do you plan to include "fine art" artists, or just illustrators?
Ugly Planet is about the artists who use popular media (music, visual arts, publishing, filmmaking) to promote social change. This does not include fine art painters (or sculptors), social workers or other activists. Our focus is the idea of promoting the use of popular media to create social change or awareness.

Why is the magazine mostly "question and answer" format?
I grew up on Seconds, MaximumRockNRoll, 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 conversational 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 Public 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 own 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 photos?
Ugly Planet does not run press or publicity photos. Especially ones that have run in other publications. Also, Ugly Planet does not run live performance photos or photos of musicians holding  instruments. For this reason, Ugly Planet requests that a photo session be set up for all interview subjects. This is done in order to keep the look and feel of the magazine. Which is, large portraits and spreads throughout. If a photo session is not possible, the story may run smaller, and in most cases with an illustration by one of our freelance artist/contributors. 

How do you decide what goes on the cover?
At the present time, covers will not be photos of bands featured in the magazine. This is to keep the cover 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 you review?
We review all kinds of music. Even artists who may not be political. If we like the music, find it relevant and original, we'll review it. We also review documentaries on DVD, music on CD or DVD, nonfiction books and other publications.  If you would like to send materials for review you may contact us here.

Who pays for Ugly Planet?
Because Ugly Planet magazine has a small staff, our basic operating costs are very low.  Almost most 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 consumer magazine with liquor, cigarette and car sponsors.  Ugly Planet can only happen with your help

Do you make a living from Ugly Planet?
Absolutely not. We put our own money (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 measure by how much money a project is making. But rather the influence that project has on the culture. 

Why don't you change your format just a bit, so you can reach more readers (and make more money)?
As an artist, what I learn over and over again as I get older, is that when your art work reflects your vision without compromise, you send out a message to find and connect with others 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 for Ugly Planet's future?
Even though I truly enjoy making this mag, I don't do it as a business. I have no plans to ever make money off Ugly Planet. It's a project I do for myself and the people who enjoy 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 to a different project. 

Your magazine claims to be D.I.Y., but it's very slick, what's up with that?
We use the same (QuarkXpress) design program and (Apple) computer that a lot of D.I.Y. zines use. D.I.Y. means just that, Do-It-Yourself. It doesn't mean "be sloppy and crude", or "make it look like you don't care". If you came by and hung out with us, you'll 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 and what kind of programs do you use?
Issue One was done on an Apple PowerBook G3 using QuarkXpress 5.0. Issue Two was done on an Apple iBook 12" G4 using QuarkXpress 6.  All photos are shot on 35mm film (some on 120mm). After the photos are chosen for the issue, only the frames  we need 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. That new CD (containing the layouts, photos and fonts) is sent to our printer in North Dakota. A week later they send us a proof. If approved, the issue is ready in another week. 

What kind of equipment do you recommend for someone who's starting out?
Most everyone we know uses (Apple) Macs. Some have bought them new, some of us have bought them used.  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 programs. You may get away with using simple (or free) photo software, but when it 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 computer for a few hours a day while you work on your project. It's not a program 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 mistakes people make is the missuse (or abuse) of fonts. Yes, a class at your local college would help quite a bit. 

Why do you use Apple computers?
Apples are easy to use. Apple has  made lot of innovations toward digital self publishing, be it music, film 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 to become one, reading or taking classes on current (digital) media tools is essential.  

If you have any other questions contact us.


When's Next Issue?

The next issue of  Ugly planet will not be like previous issues.

The business model of Do It Yourself publishing has completely changed. What we used to do back in the early 1990s (or even 2000s) does not apply today. Not only has the internet changed the way we read, view and listen to media, but we have a whole new generation that has no idea what it was like before that.

I the last couple of years we have been waiting for the technology to catch up to what I envisioned to be the next step. Streaming video and eBooks. Four years ago we were all still new to those ideas. And most of us still had computers that were too slow to fully participate in that technology.

Today we can watch movies and read books on our phones. The technology is much more user friendly. The ability to create such content is has become even more accessible on the publisher end.

In 2011 will be working out the "infrastructure" for creating the electronic version of Ugly Planet.

So, that's what's up. In the meantime stay tuned to our Facebook page for the latest.

Back issues are still available. You can still order them. Enjoy!

Things to look for in the future:
• A YouTube channel with excusive interviews.
• A yearly issue that will look more like a coffee table book (with no ads) and will be printed on demand or for viewing as an eBook.