Neelon's American Graffiti sketches this second-epoch renaissance as an activist operation with a profound intellectual bent. Graf stalwarts everywhere are sympathetic to revolutionary ideas, but in spots like Harvard Square, where seminal writers like Wombat broke bread and filled black books, the climate was especially radical.

As for artistic integrity, Boston writers aimed to bend any and all boundaries in the 1990s — Ryze even took classes in Celtic lettering at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. At the same time, whereas many writers elsewhere began bombing indiscriminately — hitting as much real estate as possible with quick, colorless "throw-ups" — the commonwealth remained a competitive canvas.

"I was always someone who could do pieces," continues Sp.One, "but in New York I did more highways and trains . . . Boston for me was more about doing productions and more colorful pieces."

In retrospect, the Boston crew was damn near anomalous on Planet Krylon — especially in their time — yet their legacy remains vital.

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