A stapled 8 1/2 x 11 inch magazine, Big John’s Cowabunga! was founded in Midland, Michigan by John M. Koenig. By issue #11, July 1977, the magazine featured professionally typeset and photostat covers while the interior was created on typewriters. Also, by 1977, Cowabunga! was writing about punk and new wave bands internationally, including a spotlight on London, as well as locally featuring a cover story on Sonic’s Rendezvous Band.
Koenig started the magazine originally as a 16-year-old working with a mimeograph machine in his parents basement as a way to connect to the music he loved as well as find a way of communicating with other record collectors. Working on the magazine taught him skills that would translate to editing and publishing duties at various magazines including Goldmine.