The Chicago-based Punk Planet first emerged in the fanzine boom of the mid-1990's, and soon rose to challenge the seminal Maximum Rock'n Roll as the dominate publication documenting the American punk rock scene. Early issues of the 'zine were rough and clearly trying to emulate the format of MRnR, however, the publication would later develop into a force in its own right.

Published bi-monthly, Punk Planet has the requisite band interviews and record reviews one would expect from a punk rock fanzine, however, its strength lies in its hard left political writing, not its music journalism. Over the years, Punk Planet has dealt with issues of labor, race, gender, sexuality, etc. that many of its peers ignore. It is, for example, a stalwart supporter of the anti-globalization and contemporary anti-war movements, and famously challenged the U.S.-led sanctions on Iraq.

In addition to its politics, it's arguable that Punk Planet was a major force in the underground popularization of the "emo" subgenre of hardcore in the middle 1990's. Without Punk Planet to document the early efforts of such bands as Braid, Texas is the Reason, the Promise Ring, Jejune, etc., it's arguable that bands like the Dashboard Confessional and Jimmy Eat World would never have been successful.

Although it has abandoned its early "newsprint" days, Punk Planet is not exactly Spin, either. Despite a focus on graphic design (which has often been a source of contention within the punk community), the publication still maintains a black and white interior that could hardly be described "slick." Clean and polished perhaps, but definitely not overbearing in the manner of entertainment and women's magazines.

In addition to the magazine, Punk Planet also exists on the web at PunkPlanet.com. But unlike other publications, Punk Planet does not reprint its content online, choosing instead to focus on community interaction and breaking news of interest to a left-leaning punk audience. Its editor and publisher, Dan Sinker, holds that freelance journalists should retain exclusive digital reprint rights for their work. Whether or not one agrees with this, it is indisputable that this policy exemplifies Punk Planet's commitment to progressive leftist politcs.

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