Zach Huntting, 29, is a musician and barista who promotes electronica through his artist collective, FourthCity. Two years ago he began advertising his events on the one open-source medium available to low-budget promoters like himself-utility poles. Since then he's felt like he lives under the heel of Poster Giant, a Seattle-based company whose postering blitzkriegs routinely plasters over his modest efforts, he says.

One day, beneath the Ballard Bridge, it looked like Poster Giant had selectively targeted his work. "I decided to take that pole back." Returning to the site, he obliterated every square inch of Poster Giant's ads with posters of a small humanoid sporting a colossal erect penis, and two words: POSTER MIDGET.

Thus, a competitor was born. On Wednesday, May 11, Huntting announced his new venture in an e-mail accusing Poster Giant of destroying unexpired posters and "mercilessly" retaliating against anyone who compains aobut it.

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Doug Cox, founder of Poster Giant, is baffled by the accusations. "They are definitely a bunch of lies," he says. "Our policy is not to cover other peoples' fliers." Cox is a seasoned entrepreneur: He survived the Darwinian Mark Sidran poster-ban era, when thousands of posters competed for space, by selling club owners a guarantee that their posters would remain organized and visible until an event expired. Grabbing up that market has paid off in the post ban era. Today, Poster Giant's satisfied client base includes venues from the Henry Art Gallery to Neumo's.

But Huntting is convinced Poster Midget's crew of volunteers and its rock-bottom prices will ignite a war of attrition and emancipate the city's poles. It's unclear, however, how long Poster Midget can hold out-right now it's headquartered in Huntting's apartment, sharing a phone line with FourthCity. ■