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It is hard to overstate why Bimbox is one of the greatest zines ever made. Explosive, provocative, hyper-smart yet willfully dumb, contrarian, endearing, mean, and a total hot mess of a publication. Founded by a couple of shit stirrers - Johnny Noxema and Rex Boy - in Toronto, late 80s, this tub of bile could not be purchased. It was "free to those who deserve it," postage paid direct from Toronto. Count yourself as one of the lucky ones if you actually got one.
Bimbox existed at a time when LGBT acceptance started to accelerate. The public was becoming more sympathetic to the AIDS crisis, and popular figures were starting to warm to gay audiences. Rather than ride the wave, Bimbox decided to take a dump on it. Where others saw bravery, they saw fakery. They roasted and mercilessly attacked piety and performative liberal antics. They relentlessly protested the racism and misogyny of the prevailing gay culture. They picked fights with... everyone. This is what two dudes with a professional income and their own photocopier can do when they put their minds to it.
Issue #3 - circa 1990 - finds them head-to-head with one of the only entities that could stop them - the US Customs Service, who had been blocking their zine from entering the US. Revel in the blow-by-blow drama and "response letter," as if they were engaged in an actual political debate. We continue with unmentionable erotica, features on the Partridge Family and Sylvester, and Mark Ewert's bizarre sex film (?) with Gus Van Sant.
Bimbox is the definition of polemic, a true bearer of free speech, and it goes without saying that it could not exist today. Love it or hate it, it was hard to ignore and while much of it is disagreeable, much of it isn't. I'm grateful for all of it.