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Covering Relix: Wheel of Dead with Les Kippel (May_June 1990)

September 02, 2015

Our special 40th anniversary issue of Relix includes Relix founder Les Kippel's look back at some of the magazine's covers. Here's what he has to say about Vol. 17 No. 3 from May_June 1990.

One of my all-time favorite covers is the “Wheel of Dead” cover from 1990, Vol. 17, No. 3. We went all out on this summer double issue. We were now using recycled paper and Relix readers applauded that commitment to the environment. The art, another collaboration between myself and Gary Kroman, was enhanced by embossing the cover to make the bones of the skeleton announcer stick out for added effect. We also used this cover on one of Relix Records’ “Dead Delites” compilations. Within months of our publishing this art, Vanna White’s lawyers sued Mitsubishi for using her “likeness” in an ad. They made a robot parody of her turning letters. Then, her lawyers decided they would come to Relix. Our office staff had a laugh at this one.

I said to the person who called, “So, Vanna sees herself as an emaciated Deadhead girl wearing roses and a tie-dyed dress? Please, tell me she does so I can publish this!”

The lawyer hesitated. I said, “I know of at least two tabloids that want this story for their front cover.”

The lawyer said he would call me back. He never did!

You got to love it!