In some respects, Pop Smear has come a long way, and in others, it hasn’t. Changes include a lot more pages (all glossy and full-color) and an expanded staff, some of which have very interesting things to say. Staying the same is publisher James’ personal chip-on-the-shoulder attitude and an often-borderline juvenile sense of humor. Any of these could be considered boon or bane, depending on your mentality.
Issue #13 has several interesting articles, and some real clunkers. Things like a visual tour of New York City with Gwar, the tale of the Phone Booth in the Middle of Nowhere, the inside scoop on K-Mart’s Blue Light Special, and an interview of John Paul Jones by the Chainsaw Kitten’s Tyson Meade are very interesting reads, and creative in approach. On the negative side, there’s a lot of “inside” stuff — a Pop Smear Party Pictorial that eats up four pages, the illustrated accidents of a couple of staffers. Then there’s a fascination with porn, expressed with annotated screen shots of the infamous Tommy Lee/Pamela Anderson video, an interview with starlet Amy Theist, and reviews that could go either way depending on your frame of mind.
If you’re the type of person who thinks they’d enjoy most of the stuff I’ve described, then by all means write for a sample issue — the cover price is $3, and a one-year/six-issue subscription is $15. POPsmear, 648 Broadway #200, New York, NY 10012; http://www.popsmear.com