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    • CommentAuthorchris g
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
     (7593.21)
    Nadya, sorry to hear about your friend Nyx. I peeked at the pic for one second and my mind just started racing and thinking about Blade Runner, etc. Anyway, I am grateful you ladies are around to introduce someone boring like me to this whole new world of awesome.
  1.  (7593.22)
    What was the conceptual genesis behind issue 4?
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      CommentAuthorZoetica
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010 edited
     (7593.23)
    So, what I'm wondering is: in your opinion, when did alt culture fade into oblivion? What's replacing it?

    This is addressed beautifully and succinctly by Joshua Ellis, in his Issue 04 piece "Children by the Millions Wait for Alex Chilton: A Fractured Memoir of the Counterculture", and summed up in these quotes:

    In a monoculture, it’s impossible to create any subculture that stands in opposition to the mainstream …because the mainstream simply appropriates it.

    and

    I realized that my revolution was long over … not because we’d lost, but because we’d won.

    Counterculture didn't exactly die - it became pop culture. Right now, Lady Gaga is featuring Manuel Albarran's masks in her Bad Romance video. The same Manuel Albarran whose work is on the cover of Coilhouse, Issue 3. To boot, I heard she just worked with Paddy Hartley - one of our early blog features. The process of appropriation Joshua references was gradual. I bet many of us can remember their own private moment of realization, the instance, or instances, when we felt the concept of alt culture fading. For me, it was seeing this Janet Jackson and Busta Rhymes duet. Giddy as I was to see Janet in head-to-toe latex, and Busta turn into a chrome Abyss creature, I knew.

    And why do you think this bygone creature needs a love letter?

    Though I shan't speak for my co-editors, my love letter is to the feeling of the era before the fusion. The sense of mystery and discovery. And camaraderie, the one ingredient pop culture has not been able to reproduce.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
     (7593.24)
    So when are we going to get the Coilhouse Word Tour? By World I of course mean Seattle. Not for my benefit, you see. It's Nathaniel; he misses y'all. He doesn't say it with words, or even the chirping noises he usually communicates with, but sometimes I catch him looking off into the distance and sighing wistfully.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcelan
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
     (7593.25)
    Great...further proof of why Whitechapel is bad for my bank account. At least I know where it's going...
    I just figured out that Meredith "knows" (at least in that tenuous facebook-y way) the accordion player in my polka band.
    Small world. Seems the alt-culture world often knits itself more closely...keep up the delicious eye-torture, ye sirens of coilhouse.
    •  
      CommentAuthornadya
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010 edited
     (7593.26)
    My tired eyes just aren't able to read what I'm guessing is the 'Letter from the Editor' at the front of the issue - the faded typewriter font on the beige background just... fades. Is there a high-contrast or text only version of the [Issue 04 letter from the Editors] somewhere?

    jcfiala, whoops! We agree that it turned out a little bit too faded for our liking on the printed page. Here is our Issue 04 Letter from the Editors in plain text form.
    Who is the crew's number one dream interview subject?

    Personally, I'd love to sit down with Elizabeth Fraser, though she's notoriously opaque in interviews. David Lynch, Kathleen Hanna, China Miéville, Thierry Mugler, Chris Cunningham, Stelarc, Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Those are the ones that float to the top... today.
    I'm an aspiring opinion columnist currently in both journalism school and a tailspin in terms of finding a way to get better (and get paid!). One may be related to another. Suggestions? I'm currently writing my ass off via blogs, but I'm wondering what you would look for in an opinion columnist.

    When I was in journalism school, even our professors had this attitude of "this industry is dying, good luck finding a job!" And that was '01-05, when things were looking much better for print. I didn't even try to get a job with my journalism degree, so I don't know how qualified I am to give advice to an aspiring journalist. I can only tell you what's been working for me, so far.

    The key seems to be taking matters into your own hands. I like the idea of micropatronage, the way that Joshua Ellis financed his brilliant article, Dark Miracle, which appeared in Issue 02. Yesterday, I pledged a couple of bucks towards Melissa Gira Grant and Meaghan O'Connell's book, Coming & Crying, which I read about on Warren's blog. Warren seems to be a great champion of this model. If all of us who believe someone's project can pitch in just a little, that's how things can get done. I believe that this works, because that's how Coilhouse keeps going, for now - issues only get printed because enough people bought the last one. On the flip side, in order for this to work, you must at first have a following. You can't create that following artificially - though there are a million "1000 twitter followers in $24.97" scams out there. We got lucky because in addition to the collective audience we brought together on the day of our launch (fans of my photography, Zo's art/modeling, and Mer's music/writing), Warren (who himself "wasn’t born with a book deal in one hand and an exclusive comics contract wrapped around [his] other flipper") gave us a huge boost by telling all you guys about it. So my advice would be: do what you love, for as many hours per day as you can. Publish your work online. Collaborate with others. Support other creative people. In the meantime, support yourself with a job that may not be your passion. A lot of creative people consider that some sort of defeat, but it's not. James Cameron worked as a truck driver. William Burroughs famously worked as an exterminator. When I was younger, I imagined success to be something like this quote from William Gibson, which always stayed with me: "facing first-time parenthood and an absolute lack of enthusiasm for anything like 'career,' I found myself dusting off my twelve-year-old's interest in science fiction." I thought that, after that, he just wrote Neuromancer, and that was it. But it's not like that. You have odd, shitty jobs. And maybe he did too, but they're lost to time now, and all we remember is the success story of Neuromancer. So you just keep going with what you love. Just because you didn't "make it" by a certain age, it doesn't matter. And maybe eventually, if you're lucky, you'll succeed. We're still working at it ourselves. We're not there yet. But even if we never make it in the financial sense, at least we'll have some great memories and say to ourselves, "we did our best." On the flip side, promoting yourself is going to get more and more tricky as time goes by. I've been imagining what it's like to live in a world (or at least, an Internet) where everyone's hip to the micropatronage model, and I was struck by this quote from a NYT article that I recently saw on Siege's Tumblr: “the basic idea... is that authors, journalists, musicians and artists are encouraged to treat the fruits of their intellects and imaginations as fragments to be given without pay to the hive mind. Reciprocity takes the form of self-promotion. Culture is to become precisely nothing but advertising." That's the scary opposite end of the spectrum, a space where no communication is genuine.
    • CommentAuthorjzellis
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
     (7593.27)
    Did I see my name mentioned? ;-)
    •  
      CommentAuthorZoetica
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
     (7593.28)
    Did I see my name mentioned? ;-)

    Twice, at that.
    Who is the crew's number one dream interview subject?

    I'd love to chew the brains of Neal Stephenson, Haruki Murakami, Leonardo Da Vinci, Tilda Swinton, Darren Aronofsky, Gareth Pugh, Jorge Luis Borges, Mr. Pearl, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Robert Anton Wilson, to start.
    So when are we going to get the Coilhouse World Tour? By World I of course mean Seattle.

    While we have no immediate plane of a world tour, there is preliminary talk of an East Coast event sometime in 2010. Stay tuned!
  2.  (7593.29)
    Oh, this makes me so happy!

    Love to see you fab ladies here!

    First off, the illustration? Are there going to be prints sold of it/or there are prints available? Because I want it, yes, we wants it, precious! That is just glorious.

    Second, what do you find to be the biggest challenge in being a publisher today? I'm finding that the landscape is constantly changing, at least in regards to my micropress.
  3.  (7593.30)
    @Zoe - A Coilhouse interview with Murakami is possibly the most wonderful thing I could ever conceive of. The Issue 04 Jodorowsky and Morrison interviews were fantastic and, frankly, a little surprising.
    •  
      CommentAuthorTheremina
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010 edited
     (7593.31)
    I just figured out that Meredith "knows" (at least in that tenuous facebook-y way) the accordion player in my polka band.

    Ooo, neat! What band/accordion player are we talking about? I know lots of accordion players.

    ...Mikhail Bulgakov, and Robert Anton Wilson, to start.

    Z, I don't think any of our necromancing skills are quite up to reanimating the dead for interviews... Yet.
    BUT I WANT TO BELIEVE. Here's a shovel and some holy water. GO! I'll be along in a minute to try and resurrect Jack Parsons and Aleister Crowley. (I couldn't possibly be the first to try.) Hey, when you're done interviewing R.A.W., can I borrow him? I've always wanted to take him to a piano bar and sing Irish Joyce-era pub songs...
    Mmmm. Tilda or Mr. Pearl would make for excellent cover material.

    Nadya, you HAVE to interview Kathleen Hanna. How boss would that be?! And while we're at it... Sarah Moon? But I called dibs on China three years ago! Hee.

    OH! Another Never Gonna Happen But I Can Dream interview subject who wouldn't actually require 245 Trioxin to talk to... BILL WATTERSON.

    my love letter is to the feeling of the era before the fusion. The sense of mystery and discovery. And camaraderie, the one ingredient pop culture has not been able to reproduce.


    Well said, Z, and I'm in complete agreement.
    Also? I have to believe that no matter how jaded, cynical or entitled we grow as a species --whether it's because we've got a telegraph machine, or MTV, or the internet, or Hot Topic-- there will always still be plenty of room for wonderment, awe, enthusiasm! There are as many ways that we can nurture those senses as there are sentient human beings. I think that's why I'm involved with a so-called love letter to alternative culture. I'd rather foster and emphasize the need for DIY community and exploration, than just sit on the sofa saying "god I'm old and tired" and lamenting how the mainstream appropriated everything cool from my best years. I'm just not ready to fuse with my couch in a puddle of regret and bitterness and Velveeta sauce. There are still SO many amazing things to experience and learn and discuss.

    Besides, that "alt culture doesn't exist" part is sort of tongue in cheek, and up for debate. There are still a million wee unpublicized, un-hyped niches left to shine a (furtive, protective) light on, and a million more discarded but still deeply relevant moments from the past that shouldn't be forgotten. There will always be an underground. Our kind is always digging.

    Speaking of digging, Zo, let's hit Oscar Wilde's crypt tonight. I want to ask him about cummerbunds.
    •  
      CommentAuthorTheremina
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
     (7593.32)
    What was the conceptual genesis behind issue 4?


    Ooo, this is a big, strange one. Give me a sec, Warren, I gotta go find the emails from back when things first got spooky... I'll be right back to answer that.
    •  
      CommentAuthorTheremina
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010 edited
     (7593.33)
    PS:

    vampirevaginacookie

    *cackle*
    •  
      CommentAuthorTheremina
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
     (7593.34)
    First off, the illustration? Are there going to be prints sold of it/or there are prints available? Because I want it, yes, we wants it, precious! That is just glorious.


    Yeah, Kurt Komoda rocked it.

    Hmm. We hadn't discussed turning it into a print, but hey, if enough of you would actually buy something like that... We are in the midst of brainstorming a bunch of new merch ideas to try and raise more funds to help keep the whole Coilhouse enterprise chugging along.
  4.  (7593.35)
    Ladies and gentlemen, Mer Yayanos picking up boys:

    •  
      CommentAuthorTheremina
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
     (7593.36)
    I HATE YOU WARREN
    •  
      CommentAuthorTheremina
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
     (7593.37)
    (I totally licked that guy's shoulder by accident. Blasted recoil unit!)
    •  
      CommentAuthornadya
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
     (7593.38)
    What was the conceptual genesis behind issue 4?

    Mer's going to answer this one in a minute when she's done raping our subconscious with terrible pictures from That Night. I'll just say that once the concept fell into place, weird shit started happening almost immediately. For example, one of the photographs we ran got corrupted on the FTP... I thought that the strange pixelation was a design flourish on Courtney's part, and when I told her that, she had no idea what I was talking about. Turns out that there was error that resulted in the file rearranging itself in a strange way that just worked perfectly for our design. It's Chad's image on page 87. Still gives me the willies.

    How do you go about publishing the magazine?

    POD is wonderful. It's a great way to experiment without sinking a whole ton of money into the whole endeavor. We considered doing Issue 01 on a site like Lulu (I'm not sure if MagCloud was around back then). I've seen their books, the quality is superb. We went with traditional offset printing for two reasons: 1) it allowed us to get the magazine into bookstores, because you can't really POD your way into Barnes & Noble and 2) you have more options (embossing, die cutting, metallic inks, etc). The whole POD vs. Offset Printing thing is a whole separate discussion, though. I'll try to stick to your question. How did we go about it? We took a semi-traditional route. First, we launched the blog, so that by the time Issue 01 arrived, we'd have people to sell it to. Then, we printed our first issue - 5,500 copies for Issue 01. While we were working on Issue 01, we got picked up for distribution. Our distributor is RCS, and they've been wonderful to work with. How did we hook up with them? We basically just emailed them and asked them if they'd distribute our magazine. They wrote back and said "if your magazine is anything like your blog, we'd love to!" So - again - having something to show to people before your magazine launches is very important. After exchanging some emails, we met with RCS and showed them proofs of Issue 01, so that they'd know we were serious. A couple months later, Issue 01 went to print (for more about the design/production of Issue 01, see this post). Actually, before we got Issue 01 from the offset printer, we had to make 10 digital copies of it at a local print shop, to send to Borders/Barnes & Noble. Basically, your distributor has to "audition" your magazine to get into big stores. And if your magazine gets rejected by them - for whatever reason - you have to wait another year before you can send it to them again for approval, because tons of magazines are vying for limited shelf space. Luckily, both the big chains accepted us. That was huge, because it enabled us to court advertisers. If you tell a big advertiser, "our magazine can be found at Borders," they know that people see it on a large scale - otherwise, they just assume it's a little zine that's only seen by you and your friends. ANYWAY, it can be simplified down to the following, if you're going the semi-traditional offset/bookstore route: fundraise, promote, get a distributor, print. We're happy to go into specific parts of the process.

    If you're serious about publishing magazines, whether you're going the offset-printing or the POD route, there are a couple of books I recommend. The first is How to Start a Magazine by James Kobak. A lot of facts and figures in this book may be outdated, as the magazine industry he's talking about has been crippled by the Internet (he foresees this happening, and tells you to focus on theory). But yeah, he's talking about budgeting hundreds of thousands, which will make your head spin. All the other advice in this book is timeless. First, he spends a couple of chapters trying to talk you out of publishing. "Are you sure that the communication is needed? Are you sure that a print magazine is the right type of medium for your project?" Those are very important questions to ask yourself, especially if large gobs of money are involved. Then, if you're still reading, he opens up all the secrets. Fundraising, editing, coming up with a name, writing a business plan, all sorts of stuff. I'll excerpt some good sections later if people are interested. The other great book I recommend is How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time by Kara Jesellla and Marisa Melzer. This book is where we get the "love letter" from. It's just a book about the energy that makes a magazine work: the fragile relationship between writers, editors and readers. It's a non-fiction chronicle of how Sassy Magazine gained its huge cult following, and how both internal conflicts and external financial pressures tore it apart. To get the short version of the story, read the 2004 article "The Secret History of Sassy" by Molly Simms. It's a fun read, even if you've never read a teen-girl magazine in your life.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcelan
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2010
     (7593.39)
    @Theremina
    My friend and bandmate goes by the name JD Limelight. He used to run an art gallery in Oakland (I'm pretty sure).
    [The band is called Brothers Horse. A faux-Russian punk polka spectacle with it's own built-in Punch n' Judy show.]
  5.  (7593.40)
    @Theremina

    DUDE. I would buy a print of that illustration in a hot second. OMG, YES.