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Archive for the ‘magazine’


Ralph Ginzburg: My mentors (?)

September 14th, 2009

Ralph Ginzburg, Moneysworth Magazine
Click here to read this ad larger.

It’s hard to actually call Ralph Ginzburg a mentor of mine. I’m not sure he talked to me more than once, and after a few months on the night shift at his magazine Moneysworth, he had me fired. But a mentor to me he indeed was. Without either of us knowing it, the path I started at Ralph’s would continue for 15 years.

By the time I went to work for his publication in the summer of 1976, Ralph was on his last publication. He was notorious for being convicted and jailed for obscenity relating to his hard cover magazine Eros (though there were some who said he was less obscene than just completely annoying). Moneysworth was to be his last hurrah.

I worked in the production department. Ralph was around often, talking loudly and smartly about everything from design to circulation to advertising. All I had to do was absorb it all. It was the place I saw first hand and up close how design, language, marketing, and promotion worked in the real world.

Ralph showed me (inadvertently) the practical meaning of graphic design (the only things I knew were from reading my girlfriend’s book about Milton Glaser); he talked so much, and so eloquently about Herb Lubalin, I felt like I’d actually worked with him myself. And watching him lay out his trademark full page New York Times ads (like the ones above and below) was an education by itself, about design and typography.

But, it was really in the area of writing, strategy, and direct selling that I got my Ginzburgian education. I won’t belabor the details [Read more…]

Lost Manhattan Music Venues, by Andy Schwarz

October 1st, 2008

The Tin Palace

As I was writing about my early experiences in the 1970s New York jazz scene yesterday, our friend Andy Schwartz was emailing me about his pieces about one of the great city music clubs, Tin Palace. Check them out in the online music mag Perfect Sound Forever.

Think about subscribing to ASIFA Magazine.

July 2nd, 2008

ASIFA Magazine cover

I just got my copy of the newly indepdendent ASIFA Magazine, and I wanted to remind you all to think about subscribing. (They make it kind of hard when you get to the ASIFA website, but don’t be discouraged.)

ASIFA serves the whole wide world of animation, so it’s a bit less cartoony than my personal taste (and maybe yours too), but it a great reminder (along with Channel Frederator) just what a big world we’re all part of, with animation being a persuasive medium to tell all of humankind’s stories.

Support the magazine, support ASIFA. I’m proud to part of this artform, and I know you are too.

“What I create is the atmosphere.”

May 25th, 2008

The MAD World of William M. Gaines

I’ve been in a MAD frame of mind recently because of our friend, producer David Levin, who introduced us all to the magazine’s inner workings on Pulp Secret last year, and brought by a couple of his MADdest friends (editors actually) to talk a few weeks ago. Meeting them put me into the frame of mind to read David Hadju’s The Ten-Cent Plague about the repressive moment in the 1950s when states across America actually tried to censor books (in this case, comic books).
The Ten-Cent Plague
So much of it revolved around the mythology of EC comics’ and MAD’s publisher William Gaines that I started routing around for something to read on the history of MAD. Unfortunately no one’s seen fit to research anything resembling an objective view, so I settled for this 1972 virtually authorized biography. Which made me try and find one of his obituaries that so influenced me on the eve of my joining Hanna-Barbera and the cartoon business full time in June 1992.

Why such an influence? I was new to the cartoon business, never having had anything to do with making anything with characters or stories (I’d produced quite a few animated commercials), and I was scared to death because I had no idea what to do. Then I read one of Gaines’ mythologizing quotes and I started to feel like, even if I couldn’t begin to be the kind of eccentric character he was, maybe I’d have a chance.

“My staff and contributors create the magazine,” Gaines said. “What I create is the atmosphere.”