Catholic Guilt Zine

Catholic Guilt Zine No. 8, Madison, Wisconsin, 1983 (silkscreen cover by Johnie)

Given the political environment in Madison, Wisconsin in the early 1980s, we collaborated with Danny to produce a zine titled Catholic Guilt. Taking advantage of our access to the art and journalism departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and readily available photocopy technology, we produced 9 issues starting in February 1982 and continuing until 1986, printing 300 copies of each plus 2 calendars (1983, 1984) reproducing artworks by local punk artists. We sold them in record stores and in person on the “mall” where we installed ourselves with broken religious statues (found cheap and ample at thrift stores) and colorful plastic rosaries. CG contained art, film, music, and club reviews along with articles and interviews with local bands. It critiqued social and political events including issues of pop culture saturation; left over religious anxiety; and the rising tide of conformity and consumerism. The cover of the first issue simply read: “CAUTION: Persons with high blood pressure, heart ailments and pregnant women are not advised to open this” and sold for 50 cents. It included articles with titles like “A Holy Story: The Demonic Altar Boys (666)”. After a 2-1/2 year hiatus, the final issue in 1986, contained fashion advice, a feature on iron lungs, the psychedelic ’80s, Chrissy’s Craft Corner, patriotism and an interview with Killdozer.” Copies of most of the issues were acquired by Jim Danky, an expert on alternative and small press publications, for the Wisconsin State Historical Society Visual Materials Archive in Madison.

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