The Aspen Wall Posters

The wallposter is a bi-weekly publication of the Aspen Wallposter Corporation, Box 1561, Aspen, Colorado.   Subscription rates will be announced in issue No. 2.  A very limited amount of advertising will be accepted as of issue No. 3  The Wallposter is not a newspaper – at least not for now.   But the sneaky demise of the Illusrated News leaves Aspen with only one editorial voice (in print & on the air) and politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum.   We intend to fill that vacuum.   We also intend to make some people wish that wolves had stolen them from their cradles.   The only criteria for art and editorial content will be quality- Any nazi greedhead with the money to hire a good ghostwriter is welcome to submit his screeds for publication.   Dull, and/or illiterate bullshit will be rejected out of hand.   Our space is limited and we have no rewrite staff to cope with gibberish or garbled swill.   We’ll make every effort, however, to publish any relevant, coherent and even outrageous counterpoint to our own clearly biased opinions. So – in the now-famous words of Spiro T. Agnew – “Let the Hundred Flowers Bloom”  -The Editors (Tom Benton and Hunter Thompson) 

Hunter S. Thompson, with elixir in hand, and Tom Benton behind their convenient disguise, await public reaction to the first issue of the Aspen Wall Poster

Hunter S. Thompson, with elixir in hand, and Tom Benton behind their convenient disguise, await public reaction to the first issue of the Aspen Wall Poster

The following article appeared in the Aspen Times on March 5, 1970.   Page C-1

Scurilous Sheet hits the streets.

A new way to open your eyes, fill your mind or line your waste basket was introduced to Aspen this week with publication of the first issue of The Aspen Wall Poster.

Designed as a bi-monthly output of graphics and opinion printed in a poster format, the new publication is the result of efforts by Tom Benton and Hunter S. Thompson to fill the editorial void created by the recent close of the Aspen Illustrated News.

The opening article by Thompson had been accepted by the News for publication before the abrupt end game of the paper.   Looking for a forum that would be free of the financial and editorial limitations of a newspaper, Thompson created the Wall Poster with Benton.

Denying the idea that they are looking for a personal soapbox, Benton and Thompson said in a statement on intent in the first issue they will accept any “relevant, coherent, and even outrageous counterpoint to our clearly biased opinions.

“The only criteria for art and editorial content will be quality.   Any Nazi greedhead with the money to hire a good ghostwriter is welcome to submit his screeds for publication.”

When asked by an Aspen Times reporter in an exclusive newspaper interview (easy when you’re the only paper in town), who would be their principle targets in the promised bi-monthly “heavy shot on local things,”  Thompson and Benton replied, “the greedheads, the land-rapers and the Nazis.”

A quick perusal of their first number gives some indication exactly who they consider in those categories.

Much like Consumer Reports which promise to “call spades spades, names, names, and let the chips fall where they may,”  the Wall Poster will hopefully provide a forum in which consumer of the much abused “quality of life” in Aspen can report.

The Graphics on the first issue are a re-working of the Joe Edwards campaign poster and it is backed by a bit of prickly invective about city and county cracker barrel politics.   But then it is the only way you can get a Benton poster for a dollar and if mounted with epoxy your children will never read the back.

Speaking of the format, Benton said that next time they would switch the invective and people would put the poster up against the wall.   Thompson said that personally he would like to see the graphics get into the erotic.   Nothing but dirty old logic, that, considering the way veritable mounds of Playboy are sold in Aspen.

The Wall Poster will also accept ads, but they must be interesting and will naturally be subject to editorial comment.   Thompson remarked that advertisers could buy equal time in the issues that blasted them.

Thompson, swaggering around the clandestine press room of the sheet in jack boots, Same Browne belt and campaign metal denied rumors that he coveted the Pitkin County Sheriff’s job, “although he said he was growing a beard to better represent Aspen at law enforcement conferences.

He noted that pressure for a draft is strong among his east coast financial backers and a posse will be formed soon.   Cowboy boots, side burns, and Basalt residency will not be mandatory, but useful.

The only member of the shadow organization that seems to surround the new sheet with a title is Circulation Manager Gene Johnston.

If warranted, he will make deliveries with a fierce dog in one hand, a large gun in the other and the posters flashing between.

Thompson said that “just because some of the writing may be a little heavy, it doesn’t mean it’s not serious.”

Remarking that the momentum for local reform had dropped since the election, the editors said that it was a mistake to only get excited two weeks out of the year.

Valley exploiters count on just such apathy and it would be a shame to let them have the whole game the rest of the year.

Although they claim to be entirely free of outside group influence, Benton noted that if you burn a candle under the poster, the word “revolution” appears.   Thompson said that if you urinated on it, secret messages would come out in the margins, but he didn’t recommend doing it when you were holding the candle under.