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Death Panel Issue 2

death panel press magazine zine trumbull island jarrod shanahan

Magazines rise and fall on a monthly basis here in New York City. That issue of Mass Appeal with The Clipse on the cover is still in our magazine rack next to the john, along with countless issues of The Source, GIANT, American Helicopter Society, Cookie, VIBE, 02138, Play, and Chief. Now, in the place of each of these periodicals, warped and bloated from years of steam and other forms of éther de toilette, two or three smaller zineforms have sprung forth. Like baby eagles they cry out, hungry for more readers, ignorant to the dangers and financial ruin that await them beyond their nest of bro-ship and bar party hook-ups. But perhaps this generation of publications will redefine what a magazine is, and how it works. This is a review of one of these magazines.

Trumbull hooked me up with a press pass to the release party for Death Panel Magazine’s second issue, which is at least twice as hype as the last issue of Death Panel, and printed on a finer stock of paper than most blogs would dare. It was shortly after returning home from this soiree that I lost my issue of Death Panel. I paid for it, mind you — I believe it cost $2. Well, I had no more money, and I felt embarrassed about my predicament, so with a deadline looming I decided to push on with the review with what was available to me.

I closed my eyes and thought back to the party. There were a series of readings by some of the Death Panel contributors. They were all-right guys and girls. One of them wasn’t all-right, but his reading was the best. Austin Lemieux. Here are some other names emerging from the murk: Andy Spano? Richard Thomas? Niina Pollari? And despite the fact that Death Panel is by and large a printed affair, one of the night’s readers joined us via satellite from a far-flung corner of the globe — not too shabby.

I gather the rest of Death Panel issue 2 is rounded out by a cast of contributors who think deeply, write well, draw good, and know Jarrod Shanahan, its founder. There was another Death Panel event, a magazine party and reading held at the ubiquitous1 659 Lounge. A disco ball spun in the middle of the room, and by candlelight and PBR the attendees took turns standing on stage to speak their words. Behind them, a backdrop featuring a Puerto Rican flag with the faces of some prominent Cocolos2cocolos 659 lounge brooklyn trumbull island death panel hung. A certain familiar long-haired Brooklyn hot boy was sitting in the massage chair in the far back corner, feeding it quarter after quarter, feeling the vibrations with his eyes closed. I called out to him. Within moments, he had catapulted himself out of the reclining touchy chair and launched into an animated diatribe about the trials of the day. Mr. Shanahan walked to the back of the room and politely asked us to quiet down. We obliged, but unknowingly reverted back to our original cacaphonic level only a few minutes later. Mr. Shanahan returned three times to shoosh us. We weren’t respecting the delicate atmospheric formula necessary for a reading to “work.” On behalf of DB and the editors of Trumbull Magazine, I would like to submit a formal apology for our insensitive conduct that evening — we are sorry.

What I will not quiet down about is how much Death Panel means to our neighborhood in Brooklyn, to the other four boroughs, to the sixth borough, to punx (far and wide), to Lil Wayne, to skins, the publishing industry, the dispersed peoples of the early 2000s Boston scene, ravers in New Zealand, mutant dolphins in the Yangtze Basin, spacemen on distant planes, Austin Lemieux’s girlfriend, and others to whom we have not yet connected the dots. Points of intersected twine in this patchy dreamcatcher called life, we all…Death Panel 2 a feather twirling in the winds of the dreams of children, hanging from a strip of dried buffalo leather (Flushing Ave).


  1. Insofar as Summer 2010 skinhead, graffiti, and Puerto Rican biker gang activity (good, old-fashioned fun) is concerned.
  2. Cocolo refers to Spanish-speaking Caribbean people beholden to Afro-Latino culture, especially Salsa music, as opposed to the "rockeros," a group who emerged in the 1970s and 80s in Puerto Rico, favoring rock music and the English language instead.


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