The Razor's Edge

By Clive Python | 14jammar

When I uploaded a mirror of The Razor's Edge to The Internet Archive I didn't really know much about the magazine, apart from the fact that it was published in 1977 in New York.

For a long time, I couldn't find much information online about the magazine. All I knew about the magazine is from the online copy of it and from the Wikimedia page.

While trying (and failing) to find information on The Razor's Edge, I found a website for a magazine that has the similar name of RazorsEdge Magazine, that is published in Baltimore and "is a unique, quarterly lifestyle periodical targeted to the hair and fashion industries" - but despite its name, it would seem that it has nothing at all to do with the 1970's "Razor's Edge", for one it is aimed towards 17-to-60-year-olds, and two it would seem that it was first published in April of 2004 and not 1977.

My luck changed when I decided to research one of the authors of the magazine, that being Alan Shenker, looking his name up online, I came across an article written in 2013 by The Comics Journal who were reporting on his death. As it turns out, Alan Shenker was a Jewish guy who was born in March of 1945 and often used the pen name of Yossarian. To quote Shenker on why he used a pen name;

Basically my parents didn't want me to use the family name. Plus if you choose a name, you have a lot more leeway. People start to accept you the way you want to be, rather than some name that your parents chose twenty years earlier and forced on you. Plus it's nice to be semi-anonymous. I can go into a certain situation as Shenker and get better feedback on my work, because they don't know I was the one who had done the work.

The article goes over The Razor's Edge and Yossarian's work by saying;

Yossarian had a fetish for bald women and self published several issues of The Razor's Edge, which featured women shaving their heads.


["]Yossarian was sweet and shy["], said [Rex] Weiner and as a good Jewish boy, he was conflicted about his art. "He had a fetish for bald women you know, but he was out front about it. There was a nice militancy about his cartoon work. He believed that cartoonists should be organized and independent and he was proud of being part of that underground movement."

According to the article, Yossarian would work on other magazines such as Screw, East Village Other, Gothic Blimp Works, The Rat, Kiss and the New York Ace.

The first issue of The Razor's Edge, dated April 1977. This is a copy of the Wikimedia page, the original uploaded blanked out all of the copyrighted images, the original uploader also notes that it was unlikely that The Razor's Edge got proper authorization to use such images.


The Razor's Edge Issue 1

The Comics Journal article on Alan Shenker [Internet Archive,]

The Razor's Edge: 1970s underground fetish zine about bald women and shaving [Internet Archive,]

Bawdy, Bald and Beautiful [Internet Archive,]

Written by Clive "James" Python, 12/03/18.*/*