and ASAP. Even saving the earth is part of intelligent design….
Art Chantry ( email@example.com):
I was looking at an old copy of The Mother Earth News (issue #14, march 1972). It’ quite a trip to again see this long lost “back to nature” hippie culture that was so popular back then. I was in high school when this came out initially and so many of my friends back then considered themselves ‘hip”, that a lot of them actually looked at this magazine (and things like Stewart Brand’s “whole earth catalog”) as a virtual bible. Ever notice you can’t find pristine copies of that anymore? They were virtually “used to death.”
A close friend of mine in high school was the son of locally renowned architect (in the old ‘northwest school’ style). My pal became a ‘back to nature’ hippie and actually turned his father’s front yard (of his dream masterpiece private home) into CROPS! His mom started using a loom to make their clothes! He even took his personal basketball court and turned it into a pig pen and raised and slaughtered his own pig! Boy, was THAT a disaster! The dumb kid didn’t have CLUE how to do that, but felt he’d read enough magazines to make him an expert. It’s a story not for the squeamish!
My old high school friend carried that obsession with the ‘back to nature’ hippie fad of that era and became a farmer in eastern Washington. I’m quite sure he subscribed to this magazine, the Mother Earth news. He probably even had this very issue in his farmer library. To this day, you’ll find a lot of old hippies who became yuppies and now ride bicycles in Seattle and raise chickens in their suburban neighborhood back yards.
These ideas drift from subculture into mainstream and gradually transform into DIY concepts of purity. Where do you think the punks (the children of hippie parents) got it from? So weird.
On the inside cover of this issue of Mother Earth news is this interesting reprint of an ‘underground famous’ image. This is Ron Cobb’s comic panel where he presents his idea for a logo for the ‘back to earth” movement – the ‘ecology’ logo (originally “copyrighted to the world” in 1969). If you read all that fine print in the panel, you’ll see how much sincere effort he put into this image and how many bits and pieces of historical precedent he ties into it. It’s really quite an intellectual exercise and a great lesson for fledgling designers everywhere to read. This is how design is properly done.
It actually took hold and became a pop culture staple for a couple of decades. It eventually faded from popularity (too many iron-on tshirts in the 1970′s, i guess) and drifted into the distant memory alongside ‘keep on truckin’” and the peace symbol. I think maybe it’s high time to bring it back? Think on it some…
Ron Cobb was the original underground cartoonist. He has been cited as an inspiration for Robert Crumb to start his Zap comics. His panel work was published in the Berkeley Barb (i think it was) for a years before the underground comics revolution started. He also did some famous covers for rock bands of the era (like ‘after Bathing at Baxter’s’ by the Jefferson Airplane.) and he also did a lot of monster covers for magazine
ke ‘famous monsters of filmland’ and for children’s horror records.
Over the last few decades he became entrenched as a mat painter in the Hollywood machine and famously did the cityscape of future Los Angeles in “Bladerunner” among many other big big films. I think he worked on the ‘Star Wars’ movies, as well.
One time I contacted him and tried to get him to do a monster image for a cover of a Mono Men record on Estrus Records. but, he wrote back simply saying he “didn’t do monsters andy more”. That was that. Succinct and decisive. Just like the man’s philosophies.
We should all be so lucky