Sep 26, 2017

The Village Voice: Apocalypse ’92

The L.A. Rebellion/Riot Cover That Could Have Been: I was working as design director at The Village Voice during the time of the L.A. Rebellion (or riots, depending on your point of view) in 1992. The editors began working on an intense package of coverage and analysis before the weekend, and I was told to hold off on working up a cover design. I got up early on Monday (closing day) and walked to The Voice office. On the way I passed a newsstand that had a copy of the day’s USA Today newspaper. On the front page was a photograph of a crowd of people in L.A. including a woman who was yelling. That picture really spoke to me, so I grabbed a copy and ran up to office. We took the photo up to the production department and had them blow it up REALLY big straight from the newsprint. The result was a giant screaming face with a crazy pixelated dot pattern. Then editor Jon Larsen wrote the ultimate headline: “F*CK THA POLICE!” (originally the asterisk wasn’t there…). Cooler heads eventually prevailed, and APOCALYPSE ’92 took its place. Still, it remains one of my favorite Voice covers, reflecting the passion and politics of its time. Thanks to Peter Noel for digging up the original cover and headline.