The story of how in the wake of the Manson murders, a bunch of local beat poets foundeda not-so-family-friendly newspaper with a Satanic inclination.
Local occult publication Tuesdayâ€™s Child was born on Nov. 11, 1969 â€” three weeks after the Manson murders and a month and a half before the new decade. The newspaper â€” if it can even be called a newspaper; avant-garde magazine or cultural zinelet seems more appropriate â€” was assembled and curated by a bunch of angry beat poets and old L.A. Free Press writers, producing an “ecumenical, educational newspaper for the Los Angeles occult & underground.â€? They circulated the paper all over the city, selling it for 25 cents a copy.
Left: Tuesdayâ€™s Child inaugural issue published on Nov. 11, 1969. Right: A graphic comic from within the pages of the occult publication.
At the helm of Tuesdayâ€™s Child were founder Art Kunkin and editor Chester Anderson. Kunkin was a broke occult-and-labor-union-obsessed retired journalist. Anderson was a Haight-Ashbury zine-maker and musician who slept on a cot inside of the Tuesdayâ€™s Child offices in Hollywood. Together, their paper took shape: nonsense, “useful” witchcraft, political satire, riddles, socialist poetry, comics, countercultural sentiment and whatever else came into Kunkinâ€™s head while he trolled the Sunset Strip.
Unsurprisingly, Tuesdayâ€™s Childâ€™s favorite subject was Charles Manson, as he was the perfect intersection of crime, occultism, celebrity, class warfare and local news. One issue featured a crucified Manson on the cover, while another proclaimed he was â€śMan of the Year.â€? The timely coverage of the Manson murders through the absurdist lens of Tuesdayâ€™s Child was not only chilling, but it also predicted the rise of Mansonâ€™s notoriety and a cultish cynicism that would overtake the softer free-love ideologies of the 1960s.
Tuesdayâ€™s Child inexplicably ceased publication in the mid-1970s. Though the reason it shut down remains unclear, the publication probably didnâ€™t make many friends publishing essays like â€śThe Universe as an Electric Trainâ€? or â€śSympathy for the Devil.â€?
Still â€” and like the time it reflected â€” reading Tuesdayâ€™s Child, which can be found deep in the Los Angeles Public Library archives, is enjoyable in its confusion. It is darkly playful and politically provocative with prose that captures our lesser-known California magic.
To hear more about Tuesdayâ€™s Child and the hijinks that surrounded the publication, tune into Rebecca Leib and Jason Hortonâ€™s “Ghost Town” podcast.