Arthur, the superb and obsessive free music monthly with an ear deliberately cocked toward pyschedelia and politics, is in the middle of a crisis–and the two founders are telling different stories. In a statement posted on the mag’s Web site, publisher Laris Kreslins explains that Arthur has been searching for a new publisher since the start of the year and is now on indefinite hiatus: “A breakdown this past week in negotiations for the future of the magazine led to an unfortunate and perplexing announcement that ‘Arthur is Dead.’”

The person who made that claim is Kreslin’s partner, editor Jay Babcock. In an e-mail he’s currently circulating, he writes, “Laris Kreslins wanted me to buy him out of his 50% share in Arthur [I own the other 50%] if I wanted to continue the mag since he didn’t want to do it anymore, and I couldn’t raise the cash and get someone to sign the deal that Laris wanted signed. Straight-up greed/idiocy. Anyways Laris has now barred me from the Arthur website/blog/mailing lists that I’ve maintained for the last four years.”

It’s hard to believe that a magazine that’s been around for five years, surviving only through advertising, wouldn’t have some kind of contract between the two owners, but who knows? While Kreslins writes that some of form of Arthur may emerge in the future, he says that for the present time the Web site will function as an archive and  promises that subscribers will soon be notified about “options for cancelled subscriptions.”