Screw cover

I did about 5 covers for Screw in the 90s. Instead of doing color on computers, we had to do each color on a separate overlay on tracing paper and make targets to get all the overlays to match up. We only had three colors to work from, and since I didn’t have zip-a-tone I had separate overlays for 20%C, 100%C, et cetera.

Screw was a newsprint tabloid that was one of the first publications to mix satire with sex. It became obsolete pretty soon when magazines like Hustler and to some extent National Lampoon came along with higher production values, and the ads for “escorts” that were Screw‘s bread and butter were featured in almost every urban alt-weekly. By the time I came along, the magazine was basically a vanity project for the recently deceased Al Goldstein, who was still living off the fortune he’d made twenty years earlier. Whenever Goldstein had a bad experience with an airline or consumer product, he would use the magazine as a platform to humiliate the CEO, or if he came up with an idea at the spur of the moment, he would ask the staff to execute it.

Since it was a weekly and Al didn’t always have a vendetta that week, it was mostly a playground for the staff and an outlet for their friends. It was pretty much a Who’s Who of every underground and alternative cartoonist working in New York City during their 30-odd-year run. Danny Hellman, probably their most prolific artist for Screw and go-to-guy for Goldstein’s ideas, has become the de facto executor for Screw‘s covers, which were almost always cartoons and illustrations. His blog features the best of the art he was able to salvage when the business closed down.
This was one of the covers I did. I was able to use the image for a t-Shirt and the cover of the second printing of Humor Can Be Funny. The only pre-requisite for any contribution was that there be some kind of sex involved in some way. A naked body counted in some way, I guess. They weren’t allowed to have erect penises on the cover, which was on another one I did, but they decided that since my style is so minimal it was okay.

Many cartoonists worked under pseudonyms for fear of blacklisting, and I was no exception. The first cover I did was under the nom de plume “Semen S. Hardon”, an anagram of my name. After the first cover, I realized nobody read the magazine or cared, so I stopped using it.

The other covers I did are in storage somewhere, but in the meantime, here’s this one from 1995.




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