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CEREAL KILLER

 
 

The Cereal Killer fanzine* which I wrote, cartooned and copied, was sold in record stores in Boston, and by me personally in the halls of high school. 

Theme: Spoofing of merchandising characters, especially cereal boxes.  Basically what Family Guy does in its spare time.

CK also featured prankster character Agent Obnoxious and three guys named Otto, Sludgesweat and Q-Ball: The Unicycle Punks, whose surreal and loud adventures were inspired by the BBC series The Young Ones.  Basically, three Vyvyans.

A fascinating artifact.  Hard to believe this was once the way to ‘Share’ ideas, or funny crap you’d find like lists of horrible student typos or dumb insurance claims.   Proto-reblogging.** 

Cereal Killer magazine had a fake letters to the editor column and comedic horoscopes.  There were a few fake staff members like Harry The Howitzer.  Sometimes I would gin up drama by declaring that an editor had been fired.

There were some prose stories, some attempts at plain old comic book storytelling and a LOT of mortifyingly bad Napoleon Dynamite-like D&D art. 

Each issue was 16 pages, including a 1/2 page ad for my biggest sales spot, Harvard Square’s Mystery Train Records, which was like 50 feet from the “Them Apples” Dunkin’ Donuts in the film Good Will Hunting. 

At the time, it was pretty novel for a kid to be able to mock up realistic documents.   I’d spoof school documents in the same font as the original.  I can just hear the Superpaint 3.5” diskette spinning in my first-gen Macintosh.  No hard drive, so you had to store files on the Superpaint disk along with the program. 

I would sometimes include stickers, printed on dot matrix.

There was never any contact info but for my name. Most of the readership knew me personally.

If you were one of the handful of strangers who, as Mystery Train’s owner told me, regularly bought the issues-  then I applaud your tenacity googling this 20 years after the fact.  I’m dying to hear from you.

-Bart Gold.



  1. *Terminology alert:   The term fanzine originally referred to literature/copied booklets made by fans of a specific band like the Grateful Dead.  People would sell fanzines to finance their travels. 

    The term was broadly applied to encompass a lot of self-photocopied humor / music criticism / general punk rock interest publications you could pick up in Boston’s record stores.

    Cereal Killer could just as well have been  dubbed a self-published magazine, but at the time, it thought of itself a fanzine.  


** I can’t believe this same list that
   I republished is still around and
   could be found in 20 seconds of
  googling. Not bad for a paper
  document that once spread virally  
  through photocopiers.