They keep telling us that print is dead, yet all these great magazines keep popping up. Maybe publications on paper aren’t actually passing on, maybe they’re just getting even better. The publishers and editors behind these magazines are taking more time to perfect what they’re putting out, narrowing their focus in order to put something out that is readable, interesting, and good looking. Forget what you heard about big magazines cutting back their number of issues or changing the color of their paper: this was a great year for print, and here are ten reasons why.
Generation Locally Grown and Organic needed a magazine to help them better understand how things are grown and raised, as well as how they themselves could do it. And while some may scoff at the idea of a magazine called Modern Farmer as just some punchline from a Portlandia sketch, the magazine is an engrossing read that has something for everybody from the big cities to the heartland. And as if being the best magazine to launch in 2013 wasn’t enough to make us subscribe, they also have a GoatCam on their website.
You might think that a leftie magazine that celebrated its 50th birthday this year might seem a little out of place on a list of print publications that make us think the future looks bright, but Dissent had something of a rebirth this year, thanks in large part to doing something other institutions like it haven’t been so keen on trying: letting younger people write for them. A perfect case in point would be Katie J.M. Baker’s “Cockblocked by Redistribution: A Pick-up Artist in Denmark,” which made waves on the internet, but probably also convinced a few people to fill out subscription cards.
Yes, the world needs another food magazine. It especially needs a food magazine that is as sleek as Cherry Bombe, a publication that highlights women and food in a stylish way that bigger glossies with celebrity chefs on the covers don’t.
Some people will tell you that Americans only get into soccer every four years when the World Cup rolls around. Hopefully that isn’t really the case, but if it is, and some fans want to keep getting excited about the sport long after America makes its inevitable exit from the sport’s biggest tournament, Howler will keep you excited about the sport the rest of the world calls football. With a handsome layout and great contributors, Howler is the sort of magazine you want to pick up even if you don’t know any good soccer chants.
Why would the most important music website around decide to spend the cash to put out a print magazine four times a year? It might have some scratching their heads, but even the almighty maker of music careers loves to read something that you can hold and feel in your hands. But more than that, it gives the Pitchfork staff (plus J.C. Gabel of Stop Smiling and The Chicagoan edits it) a chance to expand where the internet might contain them. With longreads and beautiful photography, The Pitchfork Review is the type of thing you can only experience on paper.
Two Dollar Radio, publishers of some of our favorite fiction over the last few years, got into the biannual journal game last year with Frequencies, and they’ve been putting out some of the smartest essays since. Great looking, and a fantastic read from cover to cover, the world needs more endeavors like this.
Billed as “a magazine about men who date men,” Hello Mr. is a magazine for gay men that covers everyday modern life from a variety of perspectives in personal essays, short stories, and interviews.
With its fifth issue, Gigantic is pretty much at the vanguard of the independent literary journal pack, showcasing not just a knack for picking great writers as contributors and interview subjects, but also always looking so damn good issue after issue.
There are so many fashion magazines out there that thrive on making you feel bad about how you look or how much money you don’t have. This Canadian fashion journal is the total opposite of that, looking at fashion more from the cultural side of things while still remaining fashionable. They put out their 17th issue this year, and as long as they keep going, we’re going to include them on lists like these.
Inventory has become a bible for fans of well-made menswear, featuring great photography, and articles that all the people who spend lots of money on waxed hunting jackets and Red Wing boots making sure they tuck away twenty bucks from their clothes budget to get their copy when it comes out.