All 80 issues of ‘Punk Planet’ now available for free online
All 80 issues of the beloved Punk Planet zine are now available to read for free on the Internet Archive, as Pitchfork points out. The Chicago zine was founded by Dan Sinker and was launched in 1994 before being forced to shut down in 2007.
"As the end kind of came into focus, we started looking beyond the simple answer–which is we were killed by distributors that went bankrupt–and started looking at the larger issues that were also affecting us," Sinker told the AV Club when Punk Planet was forced to call it a day. "Things like, 'Hey, wow, record labels are going under because no one is paying for music!' And, 'Hey, look at this, people are going to these Internet sites because people can pick up a record review the same day the record came out!' At a mainstream-press level, these are issues that people were wrestling with five years ago–and five years ago, all of us in the underground pointed and laughed and said, 'Ha ha, that won't be us.' [Laughs.] But why we thought that is anyone's guess."
If you're unfamiliar with the iconic zine, the description on Internet Archive provides some background:
Punk Planet was a 16,000 print run punk zine, based in Chicago, Illinois, that focused most of its energy on looking at punk subculture rather than punk as simply another genre of music to which teenagers listen. In addition to covering music, Punk Planet also covered visual arts and a wide variety of progressive issues — including media criticism, feminism, and labor issues.
The most notable features in Punk Planet were the interviews and album reviews. The interviews generally ran two or three pages, and tended to focus on the motivations of the artist (or organizer, activist, or whoever) being interviewed. Punk Planet aimed to be more inclusive than the well-known zine Maximum Rock and Roll, and tried to review nearly all the records it received, so long as the record label wasn't owned or partially owned by a major label. This led to a review section typically longer than thirty pages, covering a variety of musical styles. Although much of the music thus reviewed was, expectedly, aggressive rock, the reviews also covered country, folk, hip-hop, indie rock, and other genres. The Punk Planet reviews section also encompassed independently released comics, zines, and DVDs.
When Punk Planet had to cease print distribution, Sinker first focused on the Punk Planet website punkplanet.com, but that shuttered soon after as well. That URL now redirects to the Internet Archive for Punk Planet.