In the zine scene of the 80’s and 90’s, a brand of transgressive zine that covered crime, deviant sexuality, racism, and misanthropy emerged. Some of the more well-known ones were Pure, ANSWER Me!, and Singin’ Dose Anti-Psychotic Blues. Among these was the zine FUCK, created by Dr. Randall Phillip. We’ll just move past if he’s actually a doctor or not and what kind.
FUCK was filled with disgusting imagery, crude art, pitch black humor, rape and murder fantasies, and all manner of horrible things. In 1996, Phillip release a full-length book similar in style to his zine through the same publisher of some of Mike Diana’s comics called Extermination Zone. It seems to have been largely forgotten and is rather difficult to find physical copies of now, but this is up there as one of the most graphic books I’ve read.
Extermination Zone‘s major theme running through it is the idea that most people aren’t actual Humans, but Martians in disguise. He claims that people who follow religion, non-whites, boring people, and just about anyone who gets on his nerves is actually a Martian. He advocates murdering them in horrific ways, making abortion practically mandatory to cull their numbers, and forming fascistic laws to exterminate them.
It’s clear he doesn’t take any of this seriously, as much of it is an exercise in base hatred. The racism especially comes across as an insincere repeating of Nazi talking points to make the readers angry. This is especially obvious in the latter parts of the book with several fiction sections that read like purposefully gross erotica. A story about torturing a Chinese and Polish man to death seemed especially very try-hard.
One of these sections that works better is “I Wish I Were in a Concentration Camp.” In this article, Phillip turns his hatred inward and rants about his extreme distaste for his own Jewish heritage. He talks about how he wishes he could go to a concentration camp so he could revel in the suffering of his fellow Jews and assist in it. While it’s best not to look for sincerity in these over-the-top articles, if the abuse from his parents that Phillip describes in the opening article, “I Want to Grow Up and Be Just Like My Mommy and Daddy,” it’s easy to see where this kind of self-hatred would come from.
The article that stuck out most to me was “Get Rid of Welfare!” One would think that this would be a hateful rant against poor and homeless people, but instead it’s a rant against corporate welfare. It includes several facts and figures of what various corporations receive in subsidies and tax loops. It wouldn’t be out of place in a radical leftist zine, right down to advocating sending mailbombs to these companies.
I suspect Phillip has some genuine distaste for pro-lifers. He recounts a “prank” in one part where he went to a rally where pro-lifers and pro-choicers were having opposing protests where he held up a sign saying, “Unborn Babies are Stupid People, Too. So Kill Them!” along with the picture of a bloody fetus. He notes the pro-choicers wanted nothing to do with him, but this is surrounded by a cartoon with the severed head of a pro-life activist on Phillip’s cock and a collage of new articles about murders committed on abortion doctors that deride the killers as loons.
There is a lot of offensive art, both drawings and collages, throughout the book. Almost all of it is graphic and offensive. The best drawing in the book is a very disturbing one of a man fucking a beheaded woman in a sex dungeon. There are several collages of deformed and dead people with ridiculous things scrawled on them. One which I’m probably going to hell for laughing at is a picture of a mans hand that was horrifically mutilated in the Rwandan genocide with the caption “Slap me five, homey!” scrawled over it.
This is a strange book. It self-consciously tries to attack the reader. In many ways it succeeds, in others it doesn’t, but it obviously has its tongue so deep in its cheek it’s stabbed through in a bloody gaping wound with the tongue sticking out like a living meat worm. It’s easy to find a scanned version online, and if you’re curious I recommend reading it that way. It’s an interesting piece of angry Generation X ephemera, but it’s not really worth the almost $200 price tag that used copies go for. It seems unlikely this will ever be reprinted, as Randall Phillips seems to no longer be active. The last thing he released was an album back in 2004, but I can find nothing else since.
Maybe the Martians finally got him.