Outlaw publisher calls it quits

Port Townsend publisher Loompanics Unlimited, purveyor of outlaw literature for 30 years, is going out of business. The move to close has been prompted by declining sales and the decision of Loompanics founder-proprietor Mike Hoy that it was time to retire.

All inventory is on sale at a 50 percent discount, on a first-come-first-served basis. Go to www.loompanics.com (you have to be 18 or older), and you'll find book-categories ranging from "Anarchism and Egoism" to "Guerrilla Warfare" to "Paralegal Skills." A 2005 Loompanics catalog is also still available — and makes ideal bathroom reading.

In a 1999 story about Loompanics, Seattle Times reporter Richard Seven described the company as a disseminator of "subversive, weird, anarchistic, outrageous, politically incorrect and offensive ideas." He also noted: "The mail-order publisher has perched out on a limb of the First Amendment."

In a cartoon on the Web site, Hoy is depicted as saying, "Owning Loompanics has been the biggest thrill of my life — for 30 years I got to live my dream (and stick it to The Man!)."

Certainly there's no other outfit like it in the Pacific Northwest — or the whole country, for that matter.

It will be missed.

Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times book critic