By Laura Ann Tull
On Nov. 27 at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Boulevard in Venice, award-winning playwright and publisher, Jack Grapes hosted a retirement party for Onthebus.
More than 30 poets and authors came to say goodbye to the iconic poetry and prose magazine. Many read aloud selected works from the last issue of Onthebus.
First published in 1989, the magazine’s back catalog now sells for $150 a piece online. However, Grapes said it was time to wrap things up, “because the editor died,” although he is still very much alive and continues to publish other works.”
There were 22 issues of Onthebus produced over 25 years. The publication accepted authors from Los Angles and the world, and every issue had a section written by Charles Bukowski. Originally Grapes had asked Bukowski to write for the first issue of Onthebus. It stuck, and continued through all 22 issues. The last issue of the magazine contains letters between Grapes and Bukowski in facsimile.
Other highlights of the last Onthebus, are images of sculptures and drawings by Los Angeles artist Mindy Alper. Internationally acclaimed Olympic Artist Susan Manders, is credited with the cover art. Manders is the second woman ever selected as a United States Olympic Artist, an honor that includes artists Picasso, Warhol, Diebenkorn, Peter Max, and David Hockney.
The last Onthebus contains pieces by over 150 writers, including one of the world’s most well-known African American poets, Nikki Giovanni. The publication includes, in Jack Grapes own words, “the good the bad and the ugly.” Some pieces are for an adult audience or at the discretion of parents.
To find out more information about Onthebus see Jack Grape’s website Jackgrapes.com under “Collective.”