Chicago Seed (newspaper)

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Cover of v.3, n.4 issue

Seed was an underground newspaper launched by artist Don Lewis and Earl Segal (aka the Mole), owner of the Molehole, a local poster shop, and published biweekly in Chicago, Illinois from May 1967 to 1974; there were 121 issues published in all. Disagreements between Lewis and Segal led to its purchase by Harry Dewar, a graphic designer and Colin Pearlson, a photographer, who thought it had commercial potential. Lester Dore took over the art direction when Don Lewis moved to New York to work for Screw magazine. Skeets Millard, a young photographer and community organizer who was publishing the Chicago edition of Kaleidoscope, joined the Seed staff in 1969, at a time when all of the original founders were gone and there was no one working on the paper who had been there more than 12 months; Mike Abrahamson was running the paper in Abe Peck's absence.[1] Jim Roslof, Karl Heinz-Meschbach, Paul Zmiewski, Skip Williamson, Jay Lynch, Peter Solt, and other 60s artists contributed to what was called one of the most beautiful underground press publications of its time.

The Seed was edited for several years by Abe Peck. Among the staff writers were Marshall Rosenthal and Eliot Wald. It was notable for its colorful psychedelic graphics and its eclectic, non-doctrinaire radical politics, and was a member of the Underground Press Syndicate. It was a real DIY operation: in the Seed office copy was set on an IBM Selectric and pasted up, negatives were made and stripped up for plate-making, and inks were mixed to take to the printer. The Seed, along with the San Francisco Oracle, was one of the first tabloid newspapers to use "split fount" inking on a web press. At its peak it circulated between 30 and 40,000 copies, with national distribution. Important events covered by Seed writers and artists were the trial of the Chicago Eight, Woodstock, and the murder of Fred Hampton. After losing its original printer in 1968 it was printed for a time on the presses of liberal Wisconsin newspaper publisher Bill Schanen, who provided printing services for a large number of Midwestern underground papers that could find no other printer.

See also[edit]


  • Uncovering the Sixties:The Life and Times of the Underground Press by Abe Peck.
  • Chicago Seed. Area Chicago. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  1. ^ The Underground Press in America by Robert J. Glessing (Indiana Univ. Press, 1970), p. 27.

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