I started 2 Warps to Neptune at the beginning of 2012. I was about to turn 40, my first daughter was about to be born, and I was feeling old and out of touch with the 21st century. In short, I was getting nostalgic. I wanted to carve out a space where I could look back on my youth and relate my growing fondness for the uniquely lavish, uniquely tangible “kid culture” of the 1970s and early 1980s. Although I’ll never get tired of the emotional comfort an old toy or an old iron-on can evoke, I soon became more critical of the backwards glance. I realized that I didn’t want to relive the past; I wanted to study it. I became much more interested in the foundations, innovations, and recurring themes of the era, especially as they related to the generation growing up under the spell of Dungeons & Dragons, Atari, and Star Wars.
Now I want to go further. I want to seriously and objectively explore the popular culture of the entire Cold War era, especially the more underappreciated and esoteric artifacts, artists, and attitudes: everything from EC horror comics and first wave ufology to post-apocalyptic cinema and space disco. I can’t do that alone, and I don’t want to. So, with the help of a number of excellent writers (and more to come, I hope), I’m starting an online magazine called We Are the Mutants. (The title of the magazine is taken from graffiti seen at the University of California at Berkeley in the late 1960s: “The bomb has already dropped, and we are the mutants.”) The magazine will focus on the period from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, but anything from the end of World War II to the fall of the Berlin Wall is fair game.
2 Warps to Neptune has been a labor of love, and occasional frustration (for reasons still unclear to me, people will take your words, images, and ideas and pass them off as their own, or simply not give credit where credit is due; such is the internet) for almost five years. That’s not long in blogging years, I know, but it’s a long time for me. I’ve done my best to offer something original, and I sure as hell refused to serve swill (clickbait lists, “retro” idolatry and “good old days” propaganda, man-child birthday cakes in the shape of Atari 2600s, etc.). I always understood that 2W2N would appeal to a relatively small group, and I’m proud of that. I’m also happy that so many of you got something out of the blog, and I’ve appreciated every single positive comment and email. A geek or a nerd, to me, is not someone who dresses up like a superhero, rolls d20s, owns a complete set of Kenner’s Star Wars figures from 1978, or is a “fan” of one or more fictional franchises; a geek or a nerd is simply an intellectual who explores serious ideas and speculative notions within the context of fantasy. That’s the definition I’m bringing to We Are the Mutants, anyway.
Launch is currently scheduled for August 29, 2016. Follow We Are the Mutants on Facebook and Twitter for updates. I’ll be posting at 2 Warps to Neptune for a few more weeks at a reduced rate, although I’m taking this week off. If you’re interested in contributing to We Are the Mutants, please email Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you on the other side.