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the last supplement to the whole earth catalog
excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 8
The Last Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog
The Realist #89
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Only Printing / March, 1971 / 132 pages / The Realist
The Last Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog is also issue no. 89 of the groundbreaking tabloid magazine The Realist. Despite its front cover art by Robert Crumb, this is by no means a comic book, but it's closer to being a comic book than most other issues of The Realist.

With 132 pages of content, The Last Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog is a big magazine with a lot to chew on. Articles include "Alternative Education in the Seventies," "Yoga Sutras of Patan Jali," and "Monologue with Future Shock." There are cartoons by Ed Badajos (Filipino Food), Joel Beck, Dick Guindon, Skip Williamson and Dan O'Neill. Ken Kesey writes about multiple topics in the multi-page "Tools from my Chest," including The Beatles, Eldridge Cleaver and S. Clay Wilson. The Last Supplement is not a quick read and of course a magazine from 40 years ago is going to have some stuff that feels dated, but even that stuff illuminates unique subcultures from a fascinating era in human history.

With sales in the tens of thousands, The Last Supplement is a good example of how countercultural content didn't stop The Realist from attracting a diverse audience. Krassner was certainly a visionary about the future of mass media, and The Realist helped him achieve his singular goal: "To put myself out of business by helping to liberate communication by example." The destiny that Krassner predicted back in the '60s is now well established, as controversy has become a cultivated commodity, with no shortage to be found in a horde of outlets with no off button. And each and every one of them owes some degree of thanks to The Realist.
There is only one printing of this magazine, but two versions were produced
. One was for retail sale on newstands and other outlets, the other for distribution to subscribers. They can be differentiated by the back cover artwork. It has not been reprinted, but the entire magazine, along with every other issue of The Realist, is available online at The Realist Archives.

Paul Krassner (co-editor)
Ken Kesey (co-editor)

There were dozens of contributors to this magazine, which are defined at The Realist archives link listed above.