Bugle (newspaper)

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The Bugle or Bugle-American (the latter was the original name) was an underground newspaper based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and distributed throughout Wisconsin from September 1970 to 1978, publishing mostly weekly for a total of 316 issues in all. While by no means conservative, the Bugle was less radical than the city's other underground newspaper, Kaleidoscope (making it an early example of the alternative newsweekly genre);[1] but it was not viewed that way by the local establishment media such as the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel. It was founded by Denis Kitchen, Dave Schreiner, Mike Hughes, Mike Jacobi and Judy Jacobi,[2] some of them (like Kitchen) former journalism students at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. The tongue-in-cheek name was inspired by that of the Daily Bugle, the fictional newspaper published by Spider-Man-hater J. Jonah Jameson. Due to Kitchen's interest in underground comics, the Bugle featured a comics page with the works not only of local artists like Kitchen, Jim Mitchell, Don Glassford, Bruce Walthers, and Wendel Pugh, but work by nationally known artists like Robert Crumb as well. For a time Kitchen syndicated these strips to about 50 college and alternative papers around the country.[3] On February 22, 1975, the Bugle's office on Bremen Street on the East Side was firebombed. The newspaper's next issue was delayed only a week, aided by financial support from such fans as George Reedy, Leonard Cohen and Bryan Ferry.[4] Like the bombing at about the same time of Kaleidoscope's editor John Kois' car, this bombing was never solved; many suspected involvement by the Milwaukee Police Department's Red Squad.[5]

Veterans of the Bugle (in addition to Kitchen) include Tony Capaccio (later editor of Jane's Defence Weekly), Greg Kot (the Chicago Tribune's pop music critic since 1990), Rob Fixmer (later technology news editor of the New York Times), Gary Peterson, and Peter James Spielmann of the Associated Press.


  1. ^ Krulos, Tea. "The Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen," Riverwest Currents, V. 2, #7; July 2003 [1]
  2. ^ Kitchen, Denis. "Button 065: Bugle-American (Wisconsin underground Newspaper by Denis Kitchen)" [2]
  3. ^ The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen (Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Books, 2010), p. 26, 29, and passim.
  4. ^ Peterson, Gary. "February on My Mind," Lake County News, Feb. 24, 2007 [3]
  5. ^ Armstrong, David. A Trumpet to Arms: Alternative Media in America (Houghton Mifflin, 1981), p. 148-149 et seq.