Magazine Gymnastics: Three Very Cool Projects

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I just ordered Issue Zero of 48 HR Magazine, and now I’m all excited about what I’m calling “magazine gymnastics”–the art of maximum agility in magazine production.

If you missed the hurricane that was 48 HR Magazine last week, here’s a recap: On May 7th the editors of 48 HR announced a theme for the debut issue: Hustle. Interested writers and artists had 24 hours to produce and submit work. The next 24 hours were for the editorial team to “snip, mash and gild” the best submissions until they had a magazine. At the end of that period, the magazine was avaialble for purchase at MagCloud. And it’s beautiful.

Also this week I downloaded the iPhone app by British design magazine Creative Review. It’s an interactive adaptation of their annual design showcase issue and it’s an incredible piece of work (built by Russell Quinn, the fellow behind the also amazing McSweeney’s iPhone app). Every time I open the app I’m gone from the world for at least 15 minutes. For every featured project there are photos, the occasional video, and text. When the big news magazines talk about releasing each issue as an app, I bristle–but special issues as apps? I’m a believer.

Finally there is a tiny magazine published in South Africa called Goodwill Fernandes. I want it bad. Real bad. Here’s what Creative Review (yeah, those folks again) had to say about this 5×8 cm adventure in publishing: “The magazine comes in a tiny slipcase which can be removed to reveal the tiny, landscape format magazine. Inside there are short stories from both sides of the Atlantic and an interview by Pienaar with Francois van Coke–South Africa’s most controversial rock star; a story on a group called Jesus Saves that cleans up Cape Town’s graffiti by painting block shapes or stripes over the old graffiti; and a look at how Argentina’s government uses the medium of graffiti (which is otherwise banned in the country) as its most effective medium for propaganda and campaigning. And a whole lot more including a selection of knock knock jokes…” How do I get my hands on this thing?

I’m hooked–and I am on the magazine gymnastics beat from this day forward. If you come across anything I ought to know about, find me at jguntzel [at] utne [dot] com. Onward!

Sources: 48 HR, Creative Review

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