Merry Xmas and Happy New Year from Seattle’s The Rocket Magazine

The Rocket was a freewheeling, gonzo music, art, and politics magazine published in Seattle from 1979 until 2000, initially monthly and later bi-weekly. It had strong visual content, and featured a stellar roster of illustrators, cartoonists, and photographers, and a notable cast of rotating art directors which included Art Chantry, Helene Silverman, Mark Michaelson, Kate Thompson, Jeff Kleinsmith, Norman Hathaway, Jesse Marinoff Reyes, and more (the more also included me!). In addition to being the off-and-on art director, I was also the editor for five years. Starting in the early 80s and running through the mid-90s, The Rocket would feature an annual illustrated Xmas/New Year’s cover. The art directors and editors tapped an amazing list of illustrators for those covers, including Charles Burns, Lynda Barry, Matt Groening, Gary Panter, Drew Friedman, Ed Fotheringham, and many others. Art Chantry (who was art director of The Rocket at least four times) has collected the best of these covers on his Facebook page (along with some great background info and comments). Here are nine of our favorites.

(Above): December 22, 1993-January 26, 1994. Illustration: Matt Groening, art director: Jeff Kleinsmith.


January 1983. Illustration: Charles Burns, art director: Helene Silverman.


January 1986. Illustration: Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, art director: Art Chantry.


January 1984. Illustration: Lynda Barry, art director: Robert Newman.


January 1991. Illustration: Don Martin, art director: Art Chantry.


January 1984. Illustration: Gary Panter, art director: Helene Silverman.


January 1987. Illustration: Drew Friedman, art director: Kate Thompson.


January 1989. Illustration: Mark Marek.


January 1993. Illustration: Ed Fotheringham, art director: Art Chantry.