Shane Bugbee

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Shane Bugbee
Born (1968-11-09) November 9, 1968 (age 50)
OrganizationMike Hunt Publishing
Amy Bugbee
(m. 1996, divorced)

Shane Bugbee is a controversial artist, publisher, multi-media communicator, filmmaker and event promoter. He has been criticized for allegedly exploiting the death of Dana Plato of Diff'rent Strokes by releasing a CD recording of her "dying breath".[1][2]

Early life and career[edit]

Bugbee was born in Lubbock, Texas and by his own admission grew up very poor and moved house to house, eventually settling in Chicago with his family sharing an apartment with a black family. Being a complete attention seeking terror most of his young life, he dropped out of school at age 14 and has an admitted distrust of computers, believing them to be elitist.[3] He started his career as a zinester in 1986 establishing Michael Hunt Publishing, he began publishing cartoonist Mike Diana during his obscenity trial in his zine Naked Aggression. Bugbee was a strong supporter of Diana, and acted as his publisher and manager for nearly a decade. Bugbee hosted Diana's first solo art show at Goat Gallery in Chicago in Dec. 1994.[4] In 1992 Bugbee became an agent of Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy art to gain more attention and accolades, eventually publishing Gacy's bio "A Question of Doubt".[5] Bugbee met his now ex-wife Amy through Genesis P. Orridge and Clive Barker in 1994 at the Goat Gallery, and the two married in 1996.[6]

Bugbee is very much a self-proclaimed expert in the subject of serial killers,[7] Bugbee has spoken extensively on the subject, even touring a collection of artifacts including Ed Gein's tombstone.[8] These "side show" style speaking engagements have drawn criticism as exploitive[9] and over the edge. Salem, Massachusetts Mayor Stanley Usovicz tried to stop one event, calling it "an outrage"[10] after Bugbee displayed Ed Gein's truck in the center of Salem's downtown area.

In 1997 Bugbee organized "The Expo of the Extreme", a three-day event featuring bands, artists, films, petty criminals, and porn stars. The second installment of "The Expo Of The Extreme" in 1999, was to include Dana Plato as the hostess of an event highlighting Motörhead and Fang, but she died just weeks before the event from an alleged prescription drug suicide.[11]

Starting in 2001, he organized and extensively promoted a new tour entitled "The Angry White Men" tour.[3] featuring not only Mike Dianna, but controversial zine writer Jim Goad and decorated with confederate flags. He self-promoted the tour with the press release reading "If the Confederate flag doesn't infuriate you, perhaps the pornography will. If the pornography doesn't do it, perhaps Answer Me! #4, "the Rape Issue with the Limited Edition Rape Board Game," will do it. If the rape issue doesn't incite you, perhaps the presence of special guest Jim Goad, convicted woman beater, will." Jim Goad left the tour halfway through following a business dispute[12] and for the statements made by Bugbee proclaiming "Working-class white men have become the most despised group in America."[13]

Bugbee created his own blueberry soda pop, Ely Soda.[14] The popularity of the soda led to wider revelation of Bugbee's other entrepreneurial and artistic endeavors, eventually ending in the typical controversy and exile, with Bugbee claiming he had done nothing to deserve any of it. [15]


Bugbee turned his attention to environmental and political concerns, with the Angry White Men tour he started his new path of political activism and fighting for the working class, stating "I see my people as being working class. Blue collar. My teeth rot at the same rate as the black man living next store. We both don't have any insurance. We're all niggers. We're all slaves in this world. We all have to trade five days for two. Most people get the joke. Maybe if they hear us say things that are taboo, it will inspire them to say, No man, I'm not working for $5 an hour."[3] The Angry White Male tour was received with mixed reviews, and led to the creation of the The Northwest Club Coalition chaired by author Cristien Storm and supported by North Atlantic Books to fight against the White Nationalist the tour was drawing.[16] Bugbee was a winner in the Willie Nelson peaceful solution video contest.[17] From Nov. 4 2007 until Nov. 5, 2008 Bugbee embarked on a year long road trip called A Year At The Wheel [18] covering art, politics, religion and revolution which culminated into a book and documentary release [4].

Bugbee talked to many along the way from small town workers to Timothy Wyllie of the Process Church of the Final Judgment[19] settled in a small beach town in 2008 int he southeast corner of Washington state after the road trip. Shortly after arriving he began using sculpture as a medium of expression, producing dozens of works which have been exhibited in various shows. He was interviewed about his art in ArtSync magazine in 2011.[20] While running ArtSync, he started the imprint Young American Films that featured interviewed many artists, including Dagon from the black metal band Inquisition with topics ranging from symbolic uses of World War II imagery, artistic expression, free speech absolutism, and genocide.[21] and Nergal from Behemoth on the nature of Christianity and Catholicism in Poland.[22] he also interviewed Portland Artist Jesse Reno on art, dangerous art, censorship, and how one would define art. [23] Later the title would change to "What is Art?" inspired by the essay by Leo Tolstoy which tackled the subject of art, artists, and censorship.[24]

Starting in 2011, Bugbee was a member of the Center for Healing Spiritual and Cultic Abuse, an anti-cult lobbying group and served as an advisor for Satanic Cults.[25] The advisory board featured Doug Mesner and Michael Shermer of skeptic magazine. Starting in 2012, he organized as festival called WTF Fest, the tour, which appeared in 5 cities included poet and revolutionary John Sinclair, Star Trek artist Dave Archer, known for painting with a million volt Tesla Coil, scream queen Ruby LaRocca, and Dave Densmore a poet and commercial fisherman. The show included additional musical guests. it received mixed reviews.[26]

In 2014, Bugbee was involved in the formation of the Satanic Temple, assisting his former protege Doug Mesner develop what was originally set to be a mockumentary about the separation of Church and State, but developed into a religion. Bugbee acted as an advisor until it became clear the group's plans had changed.[27]

Additionally in 2014, he and a partner developed a concept for an underground news show called "Counterculture" with Natalia Garcia that was pitched to Showtime and other networks although the project was not picked up. Natalia Garcia later left to continue working on her series Polyamory.[28][29][30] The pilot included a tour of the Ku Klux Klan Museum, interviews with Charles Manson's wife 'Star' as she planted trees for ATWA, and Frank Kozik, as well as and interview with Karla LaVey. The pitch was to follow three topics and show both left and right, along with the decay of American culture including interviews with Chicago Occupy Wallstreet protestors.

In October 2015, Bugbee with fellow artist and friend Dave Archer, did a show at AFRU Gallery in Portland, the exhibit titled "Black Magic House Blessings and Fukushima Death Curses" featuring his sculptures and Dave Archer's wood burnings. It received favorable reviews in local press.[31] In 2018, he started a new Podcast entitled "Love, Loss, and Despair",[32] addressing among other things his recent divorce, the publishing of Might is Right, his first encounters and meeting with Katja Lane wife of White Nationalist David Lane, the failure of "A Year at The Wheel" to lock-in a final edit, his rivalry with artist Steven Johnson Leyba, and his admission into the Church of Satan.

He is currently in the process of creating a new podcast, as well as maintaining an Etsy shop with satirical screen prints mocking popular brands such as Nike.[33]

Media appearances[edit]

Bugbee has been profiled in The Chicago Reader[34] and Spin Magazine (September 2001) during the underground publishing boom. Bugbee was featured on the cover of The Chicago Reader; the feature was titled "Shocks to the System".

Bugbee has been a guest on Court TV with Nancy Grace. He appeared on E! True Hollywood Story regarding Dana Plato. A full chapter from the book ART THAT KILLS by George Petros is dedicated to Bugbee. The book covers the Transgressive Art Movement from 1984-2000.[35]

In 2013, Bugbee spoke at Harvard University about his book and movie The Suffering and Celebration of Life In America.[36]

Jody Picoult's 2010 bestseller House Rules begins with discussion about Bugbee and the cookbook he put out with serial killer Dorothea Puente.


  • Naked Aggression magazine 1991-93, by various
  • Superfly 1 by, Mike Diana 1993
  • For the Love of Bijork, by Al Frank 1993
  • Dixie Do Me, by Lisa Brosig 1993
  • Chicago Cartoon comix magazine 1993, by various (editor)
  • Worst of Boiled Angel, by Mike Diana, 1996
  • Extermination Zone, by Randall Phillips, 1996
  • MF Magazine 1995, 1996, 1997 by various
  • Chicago At Night adult newspaper 1998,1999, by various (editor)
  • Dana Plato's Last Breath, book & CD, by Shane Bugbee, 1999
  • Superfly 2 by, Mike Diana 2000
  • Bad Pill's, by Sverre H Kristensen 2000
  • Slipknot comic, by Tony Kelly 2000
  • ANSWER Me! #4, by Jim Goad 2001 (reprint)
  • Cooking With A Serial Killer, with Dorothea Puente, 2004
  • Might is Right, with Anton LaVey, 1996, 2006, 2013
  • The Trench Coat Diaries, by Shane Bugbee 1999
  • Ely Pride arts and entertainment magazine 2006, by various (editor)
  • The Suffering & Celebration of Life in America, by Shane Bugbee (2012)[37]


  • Expo of The Extreme 1997 & 1999, Chicago, IL
  • Court of Porn 1997, 1998, 1999, Chicago, Il
  • Angry White Male Tour, 2001[38]
  • True Crime Warped Minds Tour, 2004–2006
  • Festival of the Dead, 2005, Salem, Ma.
  • Satan's Rockin' 666 Eve,[39] 2006, Los Angeles
  • Harvard Speaking Engagement, 2013, Cambridge, Ma.[36]
  • Let's Talk Satan, 2013, Los Angeles, Ca.[40]
  • Between Feet Art Installation, Aug, 2016[41]
  • Lifesized Voodoo Dolls at Voodoo Doughnuts, Oct. 2016 [42]
  • What Is Art Questioned and Answered, 2017[43]


  1. ^ "The Dana Plato Memorial Site".
  2. ^ Dana Plato's Corpse Archived 2010-02-04 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c Benfer, Amy (June 14, 2001). "I offend, therefore I am". Salon.
  4. ^ Wyman, Bill (December 8, 1994). "Obscenities/Schmitsville". Chicago Reader. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  5. ^ Felshman, Jeffrey (May 27, 2004). "Chi Lives: making a killing off John Wayne Gacy". Chicago Reader.
  6. ^ Donaghey, River (May 29, 2013). "Shane Bugbee Searched for the Bad Side of America and Didn't Find It".
  7. ^ "Festival of the Dead - In the News". Festival of the Dead.
  8. ^ Staff, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (May 28, 2001). "Police grab grave marker promoted as serial killer's".
  9. ^ "truTV - Funny Because it's tru". truTV.
  10. ^ Steven Rosenberg (October 20, 2005). "Criticism brews over 'killer' talk - The Boston Globe".
  11. ^ Wilkins, Frank. "The Overdose Death of Dana Plato". Reel Reviews - Official Site.
  12. ^ "Jim Goad".
  13. ^ "Humor Is Dead - Jim Goad Interview".
  14. ^ "New Ely-designed soda hitting the shelves".
  15. ^ "Sympathy for the Devil".
  16. ^ "Have Fun! Fight Fascism!". North Atlantic Books. September 13, 2018.
  17. ^ "winning Willie Nelson video".
  18. ^ "'Wheel' Offers a Different Take on America".
  19. ^ "Timothy Wyllie - Mountainair, NM - Part 1". Vimeo.
  20. ^ "PRESS: Interview – The World's Biggest Troublemaker. - shane bugbee".
  21. ^ "art, genocide, free speech and black metal - dagon from the band inquisition pt.1". Vimeo.
  22. ^ "the hope that christianity never dies… nergal of extreme metal band behemoth talks the religion of doubt". Vimeo.
  23. ^ "jesse reno talks art, dangerous art, obsession and manipulation thru art". Vimeo.
  24. ^ "Trailer_V4_1 (1)". Vimeo.
  25. ^ "Shane Bugbee". August 2, 2011.
  26. ^ Valentine, Andy (April 18, 2012). "Aleister Crowley: Renegade Egg-Layer". Eugene Weekley. Archived from the original on May 11, 2012.
  27. ^ "".
  28. ^ "Polyamory in the News: October 2013".
  31. ^ Black Magic House Blessings and Fukushima Death Curses, Portland Mercury
  32. ^ "LOVE AND LOSS pt.1 Heading to Chicago. The beginning of the rest by The Tangible Formula for Love and Loss Despair and Joy and the Triumph and Failure of the Collective Will. • A podcast on Anchor". Anchor.
  33. ^ "shane bugbee - documenting moments of expressive communication, personal propaganda and commercial concern".
  34. ^ "Shocks to the System".
  35. ^ "ART THAT KILLS Chapter One".
  36. ^ a b Samuel C. Pottash (May 1, 2013). "Couple Shares Road Trip Experiences at GSE".
  37. ^ [1]
  38. ^ "SOUND CHECK / Angry White Male Meltdown, Plus Bachir Attar And Calexico". SFGate. June 6, 2001.
  39. ^ CAPLAN, JEREMY (June 5, 2006). "A Devil of a Day" – via
  40. ^ "Friday, things get creepy with Shane Bugbee & Rick Shapiro!".
  41. ^ [2]
  42. ^ [3]
  43. ^ Shannon Gormley. "The First-Thursday Art Scene Loses One Gallery and Gains Another". Willamette Week.

External links[edit]