Welcome

Alternating Crimes has been a voice for original thinkers from North Carolina and nationally since the mid 1980’s where it began as a literary arts magazine that featured comics. Since those Reagan era horror infested days, it’s been a comic book that drove Hell Car and now it’s moved online exposing new alternating currents.

 

About

Alternating Crimes began publishing Scream magazine in 1985. The opening editorial reads:

“Welcome to the first issue of SCREAM. For those of you who recognize our AC logo, yes we are the same people who attempted to bring out RADIO TUNES FROM THE ELECTRIC CHAIR back in September of 1979. This magazine never saw print but the idea didn’t die. Finally in November of 1984, the long, crazed hours involved with being editor and publisher of a small press seemed worth the effort and the tremendous input from the writers and artists in the area confirm this. Plans are in the works to upgrade our printing by sometime in early 1986. There will be a price change to $1.50 starting with the next issue, but there will also be more pages, more stories, and more comics.”

So began the era that was defined by this intention. Always improving, and always thinking towards the future. It was delivered by Russell Boone’s powerful voice and editorial guidance along with Katie Boone’s business management keeping the ship steady.

Below finds my loose manifesto and comics & illustration history, followed by a eulogy for Russell that chronicles his journey and accomplishments. Also visit Scream Magazine and Alternating Crimes Comix for more.

Daniel Gallant

Soap Box

Someone once said to me, or maybe I read it, start a blog when you feel like you have an bottomless subject and the desire to pursue it.

So here goes.

First and foremost is my selfish intention to publish my work on the web. Some of my early work was created pre-internet and even more during the early wild frontier days of the web and the dying days of print (at least for some). So there is a good bit of work that will be brand new for most visitors. I’ll stagger publication and make announcements. Give it a try. I’ve experimented with different formats, storytelling approaches and even genres.

All of this is overshadowed by the fact that I do have new work I am very excited about. I’ll feature pieces, or images to peak the interest of the public for future fandom.

My other intentions are perhaps a little more altruistic. I’d like to also feature some of the other creators that were involved in the original genesis’ of Alternating Crimes. So I’m going to be showing off some of their art and sell digital copies of some of the old issues online in hopes to give their work more exposure and also push knowledge of the creative efforts of a few of them into the digital age.

As time progresses we’ll try and generate enough interest to evolve this into any number of directions. Most of the initial focus will be on the blog section of the site. Housed right off the homepage, social media will not only feature new releases, but occasionally shared articles about other artists and cartoonists I love or appreciate.

The last intention bonds with the earlier intentions.

Few would argue that we are in extraordinary times. The current political climate has decided to ignore the voice of the majority in favor of enriching themselves and the very few wealthiest people in this world. For the little voices trying to rise to the surface as a collective unit, it is a harsh reality that no matter how loud and how many, we are still going to be ignored by the “ruling” class. Laws are being passed to remove the social safety net and finally put the remaining nails into the coffin of our environment. Shame on them. Have we learned nothing from history? Is the arc of the moral universe long, and truly bend toward justice?

We like to think so. But that doesn’t allow us the opportunity to sit back and watch, making others do our work for us. This is just one voice from the collective thinkers of the world, taking action, adding my voice in hopes of moral arc that pushes towards justice. But despite socialist leanings, no it isn’t a dirty word, I do believe that each one of us is a unique voice and adds tremendously to the collective voice when that flavor is steeped and nurtured to it’s fullest and allowed the breadth of that individuality. It’s what makes us human.

So what to expect from me, you’ll see me post about social and political issues, but I’ll most often post about artists and subjects that I love. And don’t be surprised when these subjects cross over each other more often than not.

Illustration & Comics Chronology

 

1986

My first comics are published in Scream Magazine

1995

Alternating Crimes Publishing (v2) founded. We publish several issues of our comic anthology “Alternating Crimes” before spinning off “Hell Car Comix” with Paul Friedrich

1995

Large series of product and instructions-for-use illustrations commissioned for Pilling Weck’s packaging, catalogs and brochures

1997

Hell Car Comix gets picked up as the primary component of an ongoing marketing package for a large independent music store cooperative

1997

CP&L commissions a large campaign of illustrations and graphics for use throughout marketing and their initial website

2000

“Danny and Chrissy” comic story is published in the annual SPX Anthology

2006

I co-create the humorous comic strip “Concrete Jungle”

2016

Final stages of young reader kids book “We All Rule”

Day Job Since 1993

http://foundryzero.com/

Russell Judd Boone

May 14th 2009 saw the passing of a major figure in the Raleigh alternative arts scene of the 80’s, Russell Boone, publisher of Scream magazine. Russell had a stroke in 2003 and then an accident involving traumatic brain injury in 2004, and had been cared for since by his wife and publishing partner, Katie Boone. She held a memorial gathering at the PR, and the attendees represented a fine tribute to Russ as well as a fascinating cross section of a certain segment of Raleigh’s intellectual culture. Russell was a Vietnam War veteran who made a pretty complete break with his earlier life. In finding and wooing Katie at a tender age, he married into a strong and distinct group of Raleighites who have always particularly charmed and impressed me – that is, the wave of NCSU professors’ kids who came of age in the 70’s, mostly in Cameron Park.  The PR’s side room was filled with them, many of whom made it back into town for the event. The late Mike Reynolds, an NCSU Hemingway scholar, was one of the aforementioned parents, but also a personal friend of Russell, who spent some time at NCSU. Mike provided original Hemingway material for publication in Scream, and helped it land on the map of small press publications of the era.

Scream was touted as a new combination of “literature, art comix and journalism.” Drawing on the local zine tradition that included Blind Boy’s Gazette and Biohazard Informe, Russell upped the ante and went for a full scale magazine with designer graphics. The marvelous community of artists, writers, and designers he attracted to his project created a body of work well worth remembering. In September 1985 Guy Munger, NandO’s book editor (and father of another family of Cameron Park intelligentsia) described the first issue thusly:

“…a mad melange of prophecy, poetry and ‘Rollywood Funny Papers’ (what us Mad mag grads call comix).  Among the attractions: ‘Gemstone File,’ a collection of predictions starring JFK, Jackie, Richard Nixon, Onassis, Howard Hughes and other notables that would make Nostradamus nervous; an eerie little piece by Mike Reynolds, ‘A Green in June’ about a hedge trimmer who just might play ‘paranoid parchesi’ with a chainsaw, and several poems worthy of note.”  (News and Observer, 9-8-85)

Billed as a quarterly, Scream’s run comprised seven issues, ending in 1989.  Each was more lush and polished than the previous, and Scream became an important venue for the emerging fusions of genre that would lead to graphic novels. Local expressionist extraordinaire David Larson did many of the covers, but others such as William Waters, Errol Engelbrecht, and Denis Draughon got their turn. Writers such as David Weaver, Richard Butner and Peter Eichenberger published early work. The Rollywood Funny Papers took on a life of their own as the flip side of what was essentially a double magazine, with powerful and beautifully presented dark comix by Lillian Jones, Rick Koobs, and Matt Feazell. Danny Gallant also contributed comix, but became a leading force in Scream’s truly sumptuous graphic designs, executed in multi-color offset by Richard Kilby’s Barefoot Press.  The final two issues gained some extra excitement when Charles Bukowski ackowledged his admiration for Scream by sending two pieces for Russell to publish.

After Russell decided to stop publishing Scream, Danny Gallant went on to publish several issues of Alternating Crimes in 1996-97, using an imprint Russell had founded in 1985. Russell was a consulting editor, and Danny continued to work with Russ on his own new publishing project – the catalogs for Boone’s Native Seed Company, his heirloom seed mail-order business. Just as Scream laid new ground for a local literary magazine, these catalogs educated about heirloom plants long before they were hot topics, offered the fruits of Russ and Katie’s wildcrafting, and managed to offer more art and literary value than anything of it’s kind.  David Larson’s sultry charcoals and pastels were on the covers, and toward the back- “The Anguished Adventures of Cowboy Ant”! This comic insertion in a seed catalog featured an ant hero whose work and words rocked the sleazy world of industrial agriculture. Russell wrote the strips and Danny Gallant illustrated and lettered them.

Though he was a successful editor and also worked many years on a novel, Russell’s seed enterprise brought him closer to his true love – outdoors and botanical adventures.  He was just about the only person from whom I’d accept a wild mushroom to eat, and I was rather glad he never got to see the destruction of the wooded hills surrounding Lake Raleigh, which he loved to roam. He and Katie went all over the state wildcrafting, and Russell always had so much to teach and share about plants, whether in the wilderness or the garden. His last years were inactive, and for the most part speechless, but Katie faithfully rolled his chair along the greenway and occasionally got him down to Sadlack’s. She will get some well deserved respite now, but she was fiercely loyal to him, and communicated with him in a way that most of us couldn’t. Russell said his piece, a big piece, with Scream, and for that and more he will be well remembered.