Friday, June 3, 2011

Never Let Your Magazine Run Dry

(migrated from my Tripod blog on 11/05/2011)

If there's one thing I love, it's print media.

And among the various forms of print media, magazines are my special passion (and not necessarily the kind with centerfolds!). So much so, that I have bought my weight (210#) in magazines some months.

I have a wide variety of interests, and it's not uncommon to see magazines on my coffee table spanning such diverse subjects as radio & communications, architecture & design, urbanism, computers, business, men's fashion, and current events.  It's fairly common to see foreign (language) magazines in the mix as well.

Being somewhat of a self-starter/DIY kinda guy, I have a special place in my heart for 'zines and independently-produced magazines.  A few years ago, while doing a quick Google search for distributors of independent 'zines (domestic and international), I came across Colophon.

http://www.welovecolophon.com/home/

Despite never being able to get to Luxembourg to visit (let alone attend the bi-annual Colophon symposium), I have contented myself with their online database of magazines (print, PDF, and... blog).  There is a veritable treasure-trove of magazines, some good, some... not.

Some of my favourites include new type/art/design mag Gratuitous Type,  Aussie design mag DQ, German-language UrbanSpacemag, and a plethora of magazines that didn't seem to last longer than a couple of issues.

Quality ranges from slick, polished glossies to things that look like they were scribbled with Crayolas.  
Have a quick look at their database, there's bound to be something you'll like.



Now, I told you all that so I could tell you this.

My original career choice (when I graduated in '91) was to be a commercial artist and layout designer/paste-up editor, but those plans fell through when Red River Community College (as it was then known) cancelled their Graphic Arts course that year.  The world had changed, and Desktop Publishing had become all the rage.  Not wanting to wait a year or so while the course was revamped or retooled (and under pressure to "go to school"), I opted to make a career out of my "other" interest, computers.

As a side note, my computer career (a tech support lackey for a major computer manufacturer) lasted all of 105 minutes.  After the fourth call, I asked my supervisor if all our callers were this stupid.  When she replied in the affirmative, I said my goodbyes.

I never truly gave up on my dream, however.  I have been an irregular contributor to a few magazines (print and... otherwise) since the mid-90s.  My most recent articles appeared in the first and last issues of computer hobbyist zine 300 Baud, and have had a few dozen articles appear elsewhere in a few other (also now defunct) publications as well.

I started Conceited Jerk Dot Com (originally titled "Welcome to the Darkest Corners of my Mind") as a move into the realm of digital publishing.  To that end, it's been an abject failure on the design front, something I am hoping to alleviate shortly...