Wednesday, March 31, 2004

19 Heeb; The New Jew Review

How do you start a new magazine? Get a $60,000 grant from Steven Spielberg and take a pejorative term like “Heeb” and make it your title. It worked for Jennifer Bleyer, a 25-year-old Columbia graduate and freelance writer. She writes in Volume 1, Number 1, Winter 2002:
“There is absolutely no uniform experience of being or feeling jewish in this country. In meeting tons of people through this magazine, I’ve been exposed to every possible gradation of humor, discomfort, nostalgia, animosity, devotion, authority, pride, curiosity, unfathomable skepticism and immeasurable love toward this thing that we have in common. . . So here it is--a little mirror held up to the new jewish world, with all its dirt and glitter. . . check your neuroses at the door.”
According to a July 30, 2001 article in The New York Observer, the initial funding for Heeb came from the Joshua Venture fellowship program, jointly supported by Mr. Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, as well as several others. Heeb is among the first of the eight grants the program awarded earlier this year [2001].

I’ve looked through the first issue--but can’t begin to describe what it is about. Check out the web site, which says Heeb is now in its fifth issue. So, whatever it is about, it caught on.

Heeb; the New Jew Review
Winter 2002, Volume 1, Number 1
ISSN: 1535-0134
Subject: American Jews
Publication schedule quarterly
Heeb Magazine, Inc.
P.O. Box 20074
Brooklyn, NY 11202
$4.50; $17.99 for 4 issues
Editor: Jennifer Bleyer

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18 Working Woman Weekends

1987. Seems like yesterday. The children were both graduated and gone. I was having empty-nest syndrome big time. I thought I would die. I don't think I gave a hoot about having my week-ends free, because I was just thrilled to have a new job that I loved as Head of the Veterinary Medicine Library at Ohio State. Other women obviously need some help with their week-ends, and thus this magazine. John Stoltenberg, the editor, wrote in the Winter 1987 Premier Issue (don't you love a guy telling us about how to live our week-ends?):
A new weekends life-style is emerging in this country--and it promises to enrich the lives of many people who have made serious commitments to their careers. . . Weekends was conceived in part because effective R & R and getaways worthy of the name call for just as much commitment and purposefulness as a successful business deal. Wonderful weekends don't just happen; smart career people decide to make them happen. . . [Husbands and wives] joint commitment to their careers has forged a new sense of partnership--a new collegiality--that has completely transformed their expectations of weekends.
Is it only me? Or does this guy sound just a bit condescending, like women couldn't battle a week-end respite without some help? So I googled John. Turns out he is a white male, self-described as a gay feminist and has written two books on the topic, Refusing To Be A Man and The End Of Manhood. He has an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, so he also has written, not unfavorably, on Promise Keepers, a Christian men's group.

Weekends offers snippets on short trips, vehicles, outings, relationships with family members, a celebrity bio (Diane Sawyer), winter holiday get-a-ways, romantic places, entertaining and recipes, and some health tips. There is nothing here that wasn't covered in the supermarket magazines Family Circle and Woman's Day of 17 years ago.

According to Ulrich's, Weekends ceased after a brief life, as a publication of Hal Publications. Working Woman had a fairly long run of 30 years, from 1972 to 2001. It incorporated (in 1997) Executive Female (0199-2880), which superseded (1978-1979) Executive Female Digest (0160-8134).

Working Woman Weekends
Winter 1987, Premier Issue, Supplement to Working Woman (0145-5761)
ISSN: (na)
Subject: Women--Lifestyle
Status: Ceased 198?
Working Woman/McCall's Group
342 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10172
Editor: John Stoltenberg
Working Woman Editor-in-Chief: Anne Mollegen Smith
Publisher: Carol Anderson Taber

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

17 Taste of Home

There were two premiere issues of Taste of Home, one a premiere newsstand issue, Vol. 1, no. 2, April/May 1993 (cover is May/93) and the other called simply Premiere Edition 1993 (2). They have different covers and different content. This magazine features practical, down home recipes, with ingredients most cooks have on hand. It includes step-by-step instructions and special articles on frugal recipes, cooking for diabetics, brown bags, picnics, collecting, using herbs, using garden produce, and regional and seasonal favorites. The newsstand copy says
Putting out the first issue of a new magazine is a lot like putting your first meal on the table for your in-laws. Your stomach is a little tight. . . Our whole staff was like a bunch of new brides when we mailed the first issue. . .to people throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Of course, this is a magazine that boasts of being edited by a thousand country cooks. I have a subscription to this magazine, and that is still the policy 12 years later. There are removable pages in Taste of Home that can be cut apart into recipe cards. Of course, I wouldn’t do that, but I have photocopied some, and used the “Favorite Broccoli Salad” on p. 37 many, many times.

I got these first issues from Ruth, who turns 90 this year and lives in my home town in Illinois. She used to work for a magazine fulfillment agency and apparently also liked first issues and gave me her copies. She had also visited Reiman Publications in Wisconsin, the publisher of a number of glossy, nostalgic magazines. Ruth and my father grew up on adjoining farms in Pine Creek, Illinois, and her nephew and I were neighbors when we were little.

Taste of Home; the magazine edited by a thousand country cooks!
Premiere Edition 1993 (2)
April/May 1993, Vol. 1, No. 2, Premiere Newsstand Issue
ISSN: 1071-5878 (supplied)
Canadian GST No. R123204331
Subject: Cooking
Publication schedule, bimonthly
Reiman Publications
5400 S. 60th St.
Greendale WI 53129
$2.95; $16.98/year
Food editor: Mary Beth Jung
Senior Editor: Bob Ottum
Publisher: Roy Reiman

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16 Special Issues

I'm rearranging my shelves this morning to make my collection a little more accessible. I found a stack of magazines that I had saved for one reason or another, and some special issues of Time Magazine, which at that time I must have thought important to save, but now see how poorly written they were.

For example, I saved the Time Special Anniversary Issue "The Most Amazing 60 Years in History." They meant, of course, 60 years of Time Magazine coverage. Unfortunately, the senior writer, Otto Friedrich, neglected to tell the editors to put the date on the journal, so I have no idea when it appeared. There are copyright dates of 1983 on the cigarette advertising, but the cover, the colophon, and the running title at the bottom of each page are mute. So I got out a magnifying glass and peered at the tiny reproduction of the cover of volume 1, number 1 and discovered it is dated March 3, 1923.

And it only gets worse. The articles are rambling and not tied to any dates--I guess they thought the readers of the 1980s would know when Lindbergh flew, the Russians revolted, Rosa Parks rode the bus, the H-bomb was tested or Minute Rice was invented. Instead of chronological, it is divided into 6 broad categories, with overlaps so large, they make no sense. So it appears that a "history" issue that should begin with 1923, starts with 1939, indeed a very fine year, but apparently chosen because it was the preface to World War II, the defining moment for the editors of this issue. It skips from 1950 to 1968 then back to 1930, 1949 and 1956 and so on. I'm getting dizzy. Then 1927, 1948, 1963, pausing for a large fold out of the 1983 Chrysler Laser XE (another clue?), a model I don't remember. Now back to 1923 with a story of von Ludendorff and his side-kick Adolf Hitler, women protesting sex discrimination, and the war on diabetes slogging through 1980. Start over at 1944 on to 1982 where the discussion pretty much ends with how the personal computer is changing lives and offices.

Because this special issue is now over 20 years old its only value is to point out how worthless it is as an historical source, somehow giving it worth in the history of magazines. Odd.

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Monday, March 29, 2004

15 Angus Journal

In the 1970s I was the Agricultural Economics Bibliographer in the Agriculture Library, The Ohio State University. In those days things were so simple, I’m not sure we were required to use “The” before pronouncing Ohio! The library has a long name now I can’t even remember. One of the genres of agriculture literature that library didn’t include in its collection policy then was “breed journals” and “herd books.” The library would need to be double the size.

At some point, the volume 1, number 1 of Angus Journal, July 1979, came into my hands. Why an Angus Journal? From a speech given by Mike Sweet to the Board of Directors and staff of the American Angus Association in March 1979 we learn the reason goes back to the very first magazine published in this country, American Magazine, A Monthly Review of the Political State of the British Colonies, February 13, 1741. Mr. Sweet also referred to the Continental Congress, where instead of flipping a coin to see who would tell King George what they had in mind, the founders wrote it down, “the best editorial I have ever read.“ .
“. . .they had to write it down on paper and sign it. They had to communicate via the written word. There was no misunderstanding their intent, reasons, purpose or goals. . . Gentlemen, a few short weeks ago we weren’t magazine publishers and now we is. And we have an awesome responsibility. What are we going to do with the Journal?. . . It is an entirely revolutionary idea in the livestock industry for a magazine to give the reader and the advertiser his money’s worth. . . the first issue of the association-owned Angus Journal [will have to be] a Cadillac publication. . .our own self-portrait, in living color.
Frank C. Murphy seems to be the premier illustrator of Angus cattle, and one of his bulls appears on the cover. You can download his art of Angus cattle and calves as clip art at a special web site which includes a screen saver. The first, bull with head turned to the right, is a black and white of this issue's cover.

This is not a true first issue, the association had purchased the superseded (as of vol. 60, 1979) Aberdeen-Angus Journal (0001-3161) from the publisher. The web site says

The Angus Journal is our flagship publication. Started in 1919, it was purchased in July 1979 by the Association. With a mailed circulation of more than 16,000, the award-winning monthly magazine serves as the breed's official publication and the voice of the Angus industry. Through the Angus Journal, we strive to serve all members of the Association -- be they breed founders or new members, owners of two-cow herds or owners of 2,000.
Angus Journal
July 1979, Vol.1,No.1, Charter issue
ISSN: 0194-9543 (supplied)
Subject: Agriculture--Livestock
Publication schedule, monthly
Angus Productions, Inc.
Frederick & Brookside
St. Joseph, MO 64501
$1.50; $7.50/year
General Manager/Editor: Mike Sweet
Associate editors: Linda Wells, Ann Gooding

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Sunday, March 28, 2004

14 Discover Horses

So I take a chance here and declare Discover Horses a first issue magazine, published by American Horse Shows Association and Fleet Street Publishing Corporation. The President of the association, Jane F. Clark writes
“this special guide features the writing, photographs, illustrations and expertise of a host of to-notch equestrian publications, organizations and individuals committed to horses. They enthusiastically answered our call for material that would serve as a warm introduction to the world of horses.”
There is a special relationship between women/girls and horses. (I know about this from personal experience--I wanted a horse all my life--13 years--until I actually owned one and had to pay for its upkeep.) This is one of the few magazines I’ve seen where the president, executive director, executive editor, editor, the publisher president, executive vice president, editorial director and almost all the staff and writers are women. Of the twenty contributers--writers and photographers--five are men. Wendy Carlson contributed an “Adventures in the Saddle” article with her own photography--and most of her subjects are women. Equine artist Victoria Von Kap-Herr has a clever article on outfitting the horse and rider, all with paper doll illustrations.

Discover Horses
1995, Volume 1
ISSN (na)
Subject: Horses
Publication schedule not announced
American Horse Shows Association
220 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
Fleet Street Publishing Corporation
656 Quince Orchard Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
President (AHSA): Jane Forbes Clark
Executive Editor: Mary Kay Kinnish
Publisher president: Ami Shinitzky

13 Who Owns What

I have in my hand a journal for children about horses, Discover Horses, Volume 1, 1995. The problem is, I can’t be sure it is a first issue of an on going magazine, or just a guide or a special issue. The colophon says Fleet Street Publishing Corporation, publisher of Equus and Dressage Today, both known to me from my days as a librarian in veterinary medicine. So I google. Primedia comes up with a equine series by that name.

Does Primedia own everything, I wonder? Not exactly, but a lot. Check out Who Owns What at the Columbia Journalism Review. Type Equus or Dressage Today in the search window and up comes Primedia. Or on the main page, click on Primedia for a huge list of special interest magazines, automotive, sports, crafts, outdoors, equine, history, and even Primedia also owns Folio, the magazine about magazines.

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12 Reality Check

I have the first issues of some of the most successful magazines on the newstands today, all published within the last few years--O [Oprah], Real Simple and Lucky. Publishers are always looking for that new idea to replace the ones that are failing, and they look at the other media--like reality TV. So I think I‘ll add this one in while the topic is hot--by next year it may be gone (we should be so lucky).

This week I purchased the premiere issue, Winter 2004, of Reality Check published by Primedia. I never watch reality TV, but I’d have to be in a coma not to know how popular it is. The cover story is “The real Clay Aiken,” and the cover is removable to become a poster of Clay.

Only time will tell if this is a stand alone magazine or just a special edition of Soap Opera Digest. It has almost no ads and contains no editorial comment about the intention, so I looked at Primedia’s Circulation Management, March 16, 2004, and found

The premiere issue of Reality Check was launched as a single-copy stand-alone by Primedia in mid January 2004. 371,000 copies were distributed to supermarkets, specialty stores and mass-market retail stores in the US and Canada. If successful, another issue will follow soon.
From that story I learned that reality TV has been getting a lot of coverage in Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly, which of course, I wouldn’t have known. Editorial staff for Reality Check is from those Primedia publications.

Reality Check
Winter 2004, Premier Issue
ISSN (na)
Subject: Reality TV
Primedia Inc.
249 W. 17th Street
New York, NY 10011
Editorial Director: Lynn Leahey
Editor in Chief: Robert Schork
Publisher: Linda Vaughan

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11 Midwest World Magazine

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea--putting the Tryon Palace Gardens of New Bern, NC on the cover of a new magazine called Midwest World Magazine. Volume 1, Number 1, is dated May 1973, and the editorial offices were in Bexley, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. If it is one thing I’ve learned in over thirty years of collecting premiere issues, it is that you need to have a clear focus. Were there no pretty parks in Indianapolis or Chicago or Cincinnati?

The editor, John W. Hansford, wrote in “Notes on creating a magazine” that
“We set out to publish a magazine about Ohio and its closest neighbors. . . [second thoughts] Why not the whole Middle West? And why not add part of Canada and the Middle Atlantic states and a few of the border states? . . . The Midwest is a state of mind.”
It appears I picked this magazine up at a library sale, because two photographs have been sliced out--maybe for a school project by a child. The photos really aren’t very good, another problem with focus of another type. Ulrich’s shows no listing for this title, however, Bowling Green University did catalog it and shows a volume 2 with a cease date of 1974 with a question mark.

However, considering that I selected two journals at random from my shelf, this one and #10 The Great Lakes Outdoors, we think it is fate that we Bruces must visit the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, because both premiere issues wrote about it. Great Lakes Outdoors featured the wild orchids of the Bruce Peninsula, a long finger of land that points northwest toward Manitoulin Island and separates Lake Huron from the waters of Georgian Bay, and Midwest World included an article on The Bruce Trail, a scenic 435 mile hiker’s haven stretching from the U.S. border at Queenston Heights to Tobermory on the Georgian Bay.

Midwest World Magazine
May 1973, Volume 1, Number 1
Status: ceased 1974
ISSN (na)
Subject: Midwestern United States (loosely defined)
Publication schedule, monthly
Midwest World Publications
2606 Fair Avenue
Box 6644
Bexley, Ohio 43209
Printed by West-Camp Press, Inc. Westerville, Ohio
$1.00; $6 a year; $11.75 2 years; $17.50 3 years.
Publisher: K. F. Bredenbeck
Editor: John W. Hansford

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10 The Great Lakes Outdoors

One of the fun things about looking at old “new” magazines is trying to determine 1) are they still alive and 2) what happened to the people who had the idea to launch them. So it was with some surprise I discovered that the associate editor of The Great Lakes Outdoors, Elaine S. Buck, is a family lawyer whose office is about a mile from my home.

The Premier Issue, 1991, of The Great Lakes Outdoors reflects some lofty goals beginning with the cover. It is not a photo of a dead deer with two smiling hunters in camouflage. The featured cover story written by Elaine Buck is about the art and nature of artist John A. Ruthven, who at that time was 67 and living in Brown County, Ohio, and the owner of the boyhood home of Ulysses S. Grant. Buck points out that Ruthven is so respectful of life that he collected roadside kills and has mounted approximately 2,000 bird skin specimens for a museum.

The editor, David J. Buck, writes in “A Great Lakes Perspective” that

“There is a story to be told here, a complex story replete with heroes and scoundrels, successes and blunders, incredible beauty and total devastation. But most of all, the story includes some very basic misconceptions. [Lists environmental disasters of the area and the corresponding problems of environmental hysteria and promises readers an unbiased, unemotional approach.] We want to provide you, our reader, with this insight. We will explore the wildlife, natural resources, and natural history of the region through editorial that is both informative and visually exciting. We think it is vital that this complex system be understood and demystified, appreciated and enjoyed.”
Unfortunately, this journal ceased after the first year according to Ulrich’s. I’m going to stop by Ms. Buck’s office and see if there is a second issue of this truly lovely magazine.

The Great Lakes Outdoors
1991, Premier Issue, Voume 1, number 1
Status: Ceased after vol.1
ISSN: (na)
Subject: Environmental studies, Conservation
Publication schedule, 6 times a year
Great Lakes Outdoors
1580 Fishinger Road
PO Box 21285
Columbus, OH 43221-0285
$20 per year
Editors: David J Buck, Elaine S. Buck

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Saturday, March 27, 2004

9 Counter

We know what the future of the book is--you’re staring at it on your screen. The past, however, will forever be much more fascinating. I have Number One of Counter published by the University of Iowa Center for the Book. In fact, if I were to buy numbers 7-11, I’d own the complete run, because it ended publication in 2001. Just six issues is like having a full course in matters of the book, and enough to make the non-specialist like myself weep.

My first issue is an octavo, six-page tri-fold with photographic portraits and a tipped-in paper sample. The major article is a discussion of commonplace books and the role of book studies in the English course, an interview with Professor Max Thomas by Susanna Ashton. I probably received my first issue because I was a member of SHARP, Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing. The second issue went to 12 pages.

The first page message to the reader explains the title

A counter, as most printers know, is the white space within a piece of type, the center of the letter “O” for instance. . . It is a recalcitrant and multi-faceted word, one whose many definitions reflect, we hope, the mix of materials & attitudes that will appear in this newsletter. ”
According to its web page, "Centers" at Iowa are concepts rather than locations, and The University of Iowa Center for the Book is only in part an exception. It oversees a number of facilities and produces tangible products, but primarily it represents a community of faculty, staff, students, and local book specialists with diverse interests in all facets of book production, distribution, and use.

Fall 1994, Number I
Status: ceased after no. 11, 2001
ISSN (na)
Publication schedule, quarterly, but vol. 1 had 5 issues
Subject: History of the Book
The University of Iowa Center for the Book
154 English-Philosophy Building
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1408
free to Friends of the Center
Director: Kim Merker

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8 Journal of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project

When the staff of the SCP sent their newsletter to the typesetter back in the Spring of 1977, they had too much material for their usual format, so made the switch to a journal. I was on the mailing list so I have Vol. 1, No.1, "Thanatology: Death and Dying." I apparently didn't see this journal as part of my collection, and it is terribly marked up with green and blue ink, red pencil, and coffee stains. I did not keep it with my collection, but found it on my reference shelf.

If you were around in the 70s, you may remember that "life-after-death," without real death and out of body experiences were huge topics for best sellers and guests on talk shows. The writings of Elizabeth Kubler Ross, Edgar Cayce, and Raymond Moody (Life After Life) were giving a lot of people hope, not offered by Jesus, for an afterlife.

Authors Mark Albrecht and Brooks Alexander conclude the special topic on death with

"[M]an is saved only in being raised from the dead by the power of Christ to overcome death. Not a natural immortality of the soul, but resurrection from the grave is the message of Jesus and the Bible. It is only the death of Christ, the second Adam, that could transform death itself--the very penalty for sin--into a means of deliverance from its guilt, finality and power."
The web page provides this history
"Since 1973, the Spiritual Counterfeits Project [SCP] has been a frontline ministry confronting the occult, the cults, and the New Age movement and explaining why they are making an impact on our society. SCP was born from the counterculture of the turbulent '60's, as the first wave of Christian conversion hit those who had left Christianity for Eastern mysticism. Those who shaped SCP came to faith in the heat of that battle; they knew that this prized and costly new faith carried spiritual responsibilities. The battle facing the Church was the very thing from which those in SCP had escaped--the mystical worldview. SCP was created as the vehicle for bringing that message to a wider audience. "
Having changed its name almost immediately, the SCP Journal it is still publishing well researched articles in a handsome, glossy format with excellent graphics and writing four times a year. The latest themed issue featured on the web page is "The Two Jerusalems, A Biblical Look at the Modern State of Israel, Judaism and the Church" By Alan Morrison.

I've never seen this publication on the news stand, but it deserves a place in larger, evangelical church libraries. The SCP Newsletter is published 4 times a year.

Journal of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project
April 1977, Vol.1, no.1
ISSN (na)
Subject: Christianity
Publication schedule, alternates with newsletter
Spiritual Counterfeits Project
Box 4308
Berkeley, CA 94704
free; donation of $5 requested for annual subscription (in 1978)
Editor: Brooks Alexander

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Friday, March 26, 2004

7 Animals Agenda

I'm not sure what caused the demise of Animals Agenda in 2002, but its last cover superimposed a photo of a "final solution" concentration camp with a chicken farm. Probably the not so subtle anti-semitism of it sent them to the chopping block, if they weren't already floundering.

I have the Volume 1, Number 1, Winter 1979/80 of Agenda, its original title. It is a typewritten, duplicated 16 page little thing that begins

We are trying to start a publication that will serve as a forum for discussion of problems and issues facing the animal liberation movement. [inserts some history of the movement] Meanwhile, our movement is still in disarray. We should be doing much more to pull together toward formation of a cohesive, international political force. . . Every movement worth its salt has had at least one theoretical journal for the exchange of ideas among its advocates.
Jim Mason is the name behind the publication and he says 4 friends are helping him as an editorial board. Together they came up with the $65 to write, print and mail this first issue. It was mailed from Westport, CT.

Ulrich's International classifies this as "Animal Welfare," which is a big no-no in the biz. In fact, the first article in the first issue written by Mason is about what is wrong with the animal welfare organizations (AWO), which militant animal rights organizations believe exploit animals.

But Mason's dream of a quality journal was fulfilled and it ended a 22 years run as a refereed, indexed, academic journal with a respectable circulation of 30,000. Not bad considering its typewritten first issue.

Agenda [became Animals Agenda]
Winter 1979/80, Volume 1, Number 1
Status: Ceased March/April 2002
ISSN: (na)
Animals Agenda ISSN: 0892-8819
Subject: Animal rights, Animal welfare
Publication schedule (na)
James Mason
P.O. Box 5224
Westport, CT 06880
free to mailing list; subscription plans in the future
Publisher and editor: James Mason

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6 Builders Exchange-The Magazine

Now for a change of pace. This is one of those magazines I mentioned didn't come from a news stand--it came through our mail slot because my husband is an architect. I've checked on-line to see if Builders Exchange (the organization) is national, but I've only been able to find regional groups, and the Northeast Ohio BX created this very good looking "Premier issue" for December 2002.

Regardless of region, BX brings together segments of the construction industry to discuss problems and exchange ideas. Gregg Mazurek, the Executive Director of Northwest Ohio writes:
"Within these pages, we will explore all facets of the construction process including pre-design, the bidding phase, construction and finishing. Project profiles will showcase the talents of both the design community and the craftsmen, themselves. Along the way we will meet the people who create our monuments, present the new ideas that feed this industry and discuss the issues that affect all of us. . ."
The handsome journal actually has two "covers." The first enfolds the entire physical piece and is a reproduction of the beautiful penmanship from the Director's Meeting, December 7, 1887, lightly screened over a photo of the doors of the BX building in Cleveland built in 1915. The words "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" bleed through the penmanship.

The cover story written by Christy Paxton, Editor-in-Chief, on p. 33 is a look at the organization's 115 years history (beginning under a different name). She looks for ideas that tie the 21st century with the 19th and finds it here in the archives:

"Marconi is perfecting his wireless telegraphy; Dr. Crile has discovered a means of 'Raising the Dead;' a New York physician has found something that will cure blood poisoning; the Monroe Doctrine still stands, and it would appear from late advices from Colombia that we are to have a canal at last. Now, if someone will only step forward and explain how to exist with 1903 prices on an 1893 salary, we shall feel greatly indebted."
Another interesting historical article is about The Dunham Tavern at 6709 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, by Richard Tibbs, staff writer. The Dunham Tavern is believed to be the oldest building in Cleveland still standing on its original foundation. Because this is a builder's magazine, the article includes side bars of drawings for remodeling over the years and details of the various groups and individuals that have saved the building during its 180 year history, and a brief history of lath and plaster, something you won't find just any place.

Builders Exchange-The Magazine
December 2002, Premier issue, Vol.1/Issue 1
ISSN (na)
Subject: Trade/membership
Publication schedule monthly
Sabre Publishing Group
3 Berea Commons, Suite One
Berea, OH 44017
Builders Exchange Inc.
981 Keynote Circle, Suite One
Cleveland, OH 44131 (then)
$7.50 single: $40 annual with membership; $60 annual non-member
Executive Director: Gregg Mazurek
Publisher: Keith Dunbar
Editor-in-Chief: Christy Paxton

Thursday, March 25, 2004

5 Why magazines matter

Frank Luther Mott, the guru of American magazines, wrote in his incredible History of American Magazines, (1930) that magazine history is important because
  • they provide a democratic literature. . .that must catch the slightest nuances of popular taste
  • they play an important part in the economics of literature by inculcating reading habits, and
  • they furnish an invaluable contemporaneous history of their times.
  • The first two American magazines were issued within three days of one another, according to Mott. Benjamin Franklin’s plan was anticipated by Andrew Bradford who issued his American Magazine before Franklin’s General Magazine, both published with the date January 1741.

    Similar, less erudite, things happen today--four men’s magazines featuring “shopping for guys with fear of picking the wrong product” are emerging within months of each other, Best, Cargo, Sync and Vitals. They are known as “catamags” or “magalogs,” and are similar to Lucky, for the female shopper/reader. We’ll see if I can snag them for my collection.

    Wednesday, March 24, 2004

    4 LowCarb Living

    LowCarb Living--Smart Choices for Living Well, according to its website, was available on news stands on January 15, 2004. It also claims to be the #1 low carb lifestyle magazine--a bit pushy for a first issue claim--unless it is the only one in that category!

    The President/Publisher, James Capparell writes
    Our magazine's goal is to inform, support, and point the way. In every issue you'll read the latest news and research on topics of health, weight loss, aging, and longevity.
    Capparell and his associate publisher, Susan Ford, started the magazine because they had success losing weight on a low carb plan. The Editor, Catherine LaCroix, mentions that 37 million Americans are on low-carb diets, and that is clear from the 20 full page ads, plus many smaller ads in 80 pages.

    The premiere issue has a comparison of the South Beach and Atkins diets, both popular low carb diets with books, and spin-offs. Low carb isn’t new. When I lost 25 pounds in 6 months in 1960, I cut out all bread, desserts, second helpings, candy, ice cream and milk. That’s a lot of carbs, and all I had to do was “just say no.” I estimate now that I probably cut my daily calories in half, but I never gave up fruits and vegetables I liked.

    The author, Michael Fitzgerald, provides a little history, a sketchy outline of the phases of each diet, and compares results. He touches on The Zone, Sugar Busters and Weight Watchers, but basically stays with South Beach and Atkins.

    My own research turned up a recent conference on obesity (February 2004). The session "Special Diets in Weight Management: Do They Work?" examined key concepts of the Atkins diet, South Beach diet, and Mediterranean diet. According to Lisa Sanders, MD, Yale University, an estimated 40 million Americans have tried a low-carbohydrate diet, and 10-20 million are currently on a low-carb diet. Medscape Public Health and Prevention, Vol. 2 (1), 2004.

    “Rigorous, long-term studies of low-carb diets have been published only recently, noted Dr. Sanders. . . [She] summarized the findings with respect to claims of the Atkins diet. In the 6-month studies, the low-carb dieters lost more weight than the low-fat dieters; however, at 1 year, weight lost was the same because the low-carb dieters had regained the weight they lost in the early part of the diet. In the 6-month studies, the low-carb dieters were able to limit their caloric intake to the same level as those on a low-calorie diet. The dropout rates were the same for participants in the low-carb and low-fat diet groups.”

    My own experience (2 weeks) of trying a popular low-carb diet, is that I will kill for a cracker after just a few days and I‘m not safe to be around, so I don’t think it is for me.

    LowCarb Living
    January/February 2004, Premiere Issue, Vol.1, no.1
    ISSN (na)
    Subject: Healthy Eating
    Publication schedule bi-monthly
    Capp Media Inc.
    Editorial offices:
    1563 Solano Avenue, PMB 379
    Berkeley, CA 94707
    $3.99 single; $17.97 6 issues [also says $27.97
    James Capparell, President
    Editor: Catherine LaCroix

    3 Maxim Fashion

    Greg Williams, in his “Editor’s Note” in the Premiere Issue, Spring 2001, reports that
    “You’re not an average man. You know the difference between right and wrong. You know about quality, taste, and style. . . .To make your life better you’ve purchased this magazine. We’re happy about that. . . Clothes are a good thing and a fine subject for a magazine. When you wear nice things you feel happy and when you’re happy you’re a better person.”
    As new journal announcements go, it is pretty tame and not too promising with a whistling in the dark through the grave yard attitude--he mentions the chilling economy (planned in 2000, birthed in Spring 2001). But the journal succeeded and is in its fourth year.

    The issue features a cover article on Christian Bale, who performs in high-concept film roles, “America’s most stylish man,” (he’s Welsh) who appears here in a $1500 suit, a $500 shirt and $400 shoes. There is an article that dresses up the We-G-Boyz in outrageous clothing, which I would have guessed came from a dumpster--but in reading the small print I see that the cowskin suit was $7,000 and the python shoes about $700. An article about surfer/beach boys in Hawaii has them all attired in $100 floral shirts. But not to worry. The photography is so odd, murky and dark, you can’t see most of the clothes anyway.

    The current web site claims “. . . Maxim Fashion is the leading men’s magazine in America dedicated to style and the very best in men’s fashion across the globe. Sophisticated, glamorous, smart, and authoritative, Maxim Fashion is published in a luxury format that reflects its dedication to beautiful photography, sophisticated design, and high-end living.”

    I think this journal is “queer eye for the not-so-straight guys.” Even in New York and LA, I seriously doubt there are straight men who would dress like this. In Columbus, Ohio they’d be laughed out of town.

    Maxim Fashion
    Spring 2001, Premiere Issue, Vol.1,no.1
    ISSN 1474-5755 [supplied]
    Subject: Clothing--Men’s
    Publication schedule twice a year
    Dennis Publishing
    1040 Avenue of the Americas
    14th Floor
    New York, NY 10018
    $4.99 single:
    Editor in chief: Greg Williams
    Chairman: Felix Dennis

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    Monday, March 22, 2004

    2 Men's Life

    Barry Golson, the editor of Men's Life wrote in the premiere issue, October/November 1990, that the aim "is to put out a good all-around magazine for men in their 30s and beyond. . .We don't have a readership yet, though we know there are a lot of like-minded readers out there." Apparently, there never was a readership for this type of generalist men's interest magazine (adventure, career, women, kids, sports, ideas, humor), because this was the first and last issue.

    In writing about the contributors, the editor offered a diverse range of voices--humorists, investigative journalists, financial writers and babe watchers. One writer, listed as contributing editor, was Mike Kelly, who I am guessing is the same who soon after this issue appeared began his travels in the Middle East and wrote "Martyrs' Day; Chronicle of a Small War" (1993) and was killed in Iraq in 2003.

    Like Martha's pull out stencil card, this magazine has pull out "handy wallet guides" to tipping, dining at reasonable rates, and the parts of a chicken. The health article is on needing bifocals, the entertainment story is about Michael and Kirk Douglas, and the fashion break through is "The great American tie quiz" and a blazer buying guide.

    I suspect this magazine had no focus, no pizazz, no punch and no audience. I'm not surprised issue two never made it to the news stands or mailboxes of America.

    Men's Life
    October/November 1990, Premiere Issue, Vol.I, no.1
    Status: Ceased after first issue
    ISSN 1051-8029
    Subject: Men's Interests
    publication schedule bi-monthly
    Murdoch Magazines
    News America Publishing
    1211 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, NY 10036
    $2.95 single; $8.99 6 issues
    Editor in Chief/Publication Director: Barry Golson
    Publisher: Leo Scullin

    Sunday, March 21, 2004

    1 American Thunder

    The special premiere issue of American Thunder;, March 2004, welcomes readers with an unsigned article that concludes, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" It gets the number one slot here because I just bought it a few days ago, and it was the inspiration to start this blog.

    It seems, at first glance and read, to be about stock cars, the drivers and the fans. However, because it is a March issue, there is an article titled, "Into the madness" with a photo of basketball players in a small window on the cover.
    "American Thunder is for you: the man who is as devoted to your way of life as you are to racing. Covering everything from hunting and fishing to music and the military, American Thunder helps you make the most of your weekend."
    They also throw in family time, latest tools, backyard accessories, home-entertainment systems, camping, technology, and homeowner instruction projects. See? It is Martha in drag car racing. You almost get weepy and want to salute the flag as the editor concludes:
    You work hard to support your family and take pride in your work, just as your father did before you and NASCAR drivers do today. Your loyalty--to your driver, your church, your family and your friends--is unshakable. Your values have a nation in America and a magazine in American Thunder.
    The focus is definitely the NASCAR fan, but with token articles on home repair, basketball, motorcycles, and raising up boys, it broadens the base just a bit.

    American Thunder
    March 2004, Special Premiere Issue, Vol.1,no.1
    ISSN 1548-1816
    Subject: Men's Interests
    publication schedule 10 times a year
    American Content LLC
    555 California St.,
    San Francisco, CA 94104
    $4.99 single; $27.97 one year
    Editor in Chief: Lucas Mast
    President and Publisher: Val Landi

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    You collect what?

    I collect first and premiere issues of magazines and journals. If you want to know if there is confidence in the economy, just take a look at what is appearing on the news stands in 2004. I've purchased about seven new magazines since December, and that's without trying. That means venture capital. That means investors. That means advertisers. That means jobs. That means consumers willing to buy. That means a crazy exuberance and hope in the future. And that's what I love about a new journal.

    I probably started this hobby with a spin-off in the 1970s of Library Journal, but my collection isn't exactly tidy and is double stacked in limited space, so when I find it I'll let you know. Previews?

    I have certain "rules" for collecting, which I often violate. I mean, who cares? I'm the team, the coach and the audience. But for the most part I collect what is available on news stands--available to the general public. I don't seek them out in yard sales, attics, or used-book stores. Having said that, I did find a bound volume one of Atlantic Monthly at a yard sale for $2.00 and couldn't resist.

    It breaks my heart to find a Vol.1 no.2 on a news stand, but only once have I written to request a first issue (and never heard from the publisher). I don't collect "Special Issues," even though occasionally a publisher will develop one that is successful into a regular magazine. I don't collect porn, and tend to avoid those that appear to be just catalogs with occasional articles, even though I know that is a fine line, with advertising being the reason magazines exist.

    The reasons people give for starting a new journal are wonderful, and that will probably end up being my focus, rather than ISSN or editor or publisher or cost. For instance, I have the "Preview Issue" of Martha Stewart Living, Winter 1990, published in the fall of 1989 for the coming holiday season. She quotes Samuel Johnson, the famous 18th century writer:
    For at the end of the day, no matter who we are or what we do, we want to go home. Our philosophy was nicely stated by Samuel Johnson a couple of hundred years ago: "To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition."
    The issue is filled with wonderful recipes, projects, and decorating ideas. I don't think she ever changed her plan (I also don't think she is guilty, but that's another blog). The pages are drying out a bit, so I have to be careful when I open to the stencils of stars and moon to be carefully removed to spray paint a table cloth. I smile when I see the photo of the golden threads of spun sugar on cups made of brandy snaps holding black currant icecream topped with caramel syrup. Ah, Martha, nobody does it like you!