Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I’ll be traveling in Australia for 16 days beginning tomorrow. Filling in at the news desk while I work on my knifey-spoony skills will be Jon Kennedy, an eager and talented graduate of the print journalism program at Sheridan College.

There’s a file of starts, stops and changes stories waiting for Jon when he arrives here Monday morning and I’m sure there will be plenty of live action for him to cover over the next couple of weeks. Of course, Corinna, Kat and Stacey will continue to offer their expert opinions, wisdom and tips while I’m away. And you can do your part by keeping those reader comments flowing—they’ve become such an integral and important part of the MastheadOnline brand.

While I have the opportunity, I’d thank all of you for reading. Masthead’s transition to an online magazine has gone exceptionally well so far and we hope to continue improving and expanding our coverage of this small but mighty industry over the coming months.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Starcom Mediavest Group, the marketing agency behind ads for Tassimo and Swiffer that blurred the line between advertising and editorial in Style at Home and Canadian House & Home magazines, was recently named Media Innovation Agency of 2008 at the Internationalist magazine's Awards for Innovation in Media.

Friday, March 20, 2009
So says Concrete Wave publisher Michael Brooke in an extended interview from, a website with a section dedicated to independent magazine publishing. Brooke, who moderated an independent publishing forum for MastheadOnline last year, is also writing a series on surviving as an independent publisher in hard economic times for the site that's definitely worth a look, especially if you're one of the many magaziners flying solo.

Michael Brooke with Concrete Wave mascot Spike.
Michael Brooke is a True Believer in the medium of magazines, the kind of guy who talks about "the power of print" with the evangelical zeal of a Southern preacher while brimming with enthusiastic about the brand-building opportunities the Web offers. He's also a damn hard worker (handling all Concrete Wave subscription inquires himself, for example) and a relentless a self-promoter (I got the link to PublishingCentral from an e-mail Brooke sent to fellow members of the Independent Publishers Association of Ontario).

Brooke would be the first to admit that his publishing philosophies aren't for everyone, but no can deny the passion and dedication he brings to Concrete Wave. As long as there are guys like him around, magazines have a bright future.  
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
We weren’t planning on it. When I heard that the Cultural Human Resources Council and Magazines Canada were funding a new compensation study for the industry, I figured our role in this area had been usurped.

Which was all well and good—Masthead has always had to rely on individual readers to volunteer information that was hopefully not fabricated, while this new study was based on official records from 29 publishing companies representing 113 publications.

But here’s the thing: The results, released last week, were kind of disappointing, at least for the plebes (like me), since all we got to see were the “topline scores.”

We didn’t get to see the high-end and low-end salary extremes for each postion; we weren't told how many of those 113 publications were consumer and how many were trade; we didn’t even really get to see what “special interest” publication means. 

Wasn’t that information collected, you ask? Of course it was. But it’s proprietary to the companies that participated in the study.

If Masthead conducts another Salary Survey (Bill Shields oversaw the last one, in 2006), our information would definitely not be as deep as what the CHRC got. But we would, of course, share everything we gather.

So, what do you think? Is it worth the time and energy? I'm particularly interested to hear from publishers/owners/management. Is there value in the survey beyond satiating everyone's curiosity? E-mail me


Tuesday, March 03, 2009
For the last year or so, I’ve wanted to create a video that compiles every Simpsons clip that makes reference to magazines in one way or another. Three things have held me back:

1) Lack of skill;
2) Lack of time;
3) Copyright concerns.

Nevertheless, the project popped into my head again today, so I decided to search Google for Glass Eater magazine (a personal Simpsons favourite), which led me to The Duff Brewery, a site that claims to have the “biggest Simpsons dictionary on the World Wide Web.”

Using my trusty Find, Copy and Paste tools, I went ahead and used the dictionary to create a list of (mostly) fake magazines that have appeared on The Simpsons. The Duff Brewery doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2006, so I can’t call this a complete list, but it's close.

Once you've read it and laughed, go ahead post your favourite fake magazines from any show, film or song in the comments section.

[Update] Our friend Elvedin points us to The Simpsons Archive, which has an even more extensive list of Simpsons magazines than the one below. No point in re-printing the whole thing here, but click through to check out more classics, including Blue Pants Weekly, Oatmeal Enthusiast, Ballpoint Pen Digest, Gravy Aficionado and Men's Fatness.[/Update]

AMERICAN BREAST ENTHUSIAST - One of the many magazines that can be found at the Springfield Air Force Base.

ART IN AMERICA - Magazine read by Homer when he was an artist.

BAD BOYS LIFE - Magazine read by Bart.

BAR AND STOOL MAGAZINE - Magazine enjoyed by Moe.

BEAR BAITER - Magazine on sale in Springfield.

BETTER HOMES THAN YOURS - Springfield's household magazine. $3 if you're interested.

BILLIONAIRE BEAT - Magazine read by Mr Burns, although he's still not among the top 100.

CHEEK WEEK - One of the many magazines that can be found at the Springfield Air Force Base.

CLIFF BIKER - Magazine on sale in Springfield.

COIN LAUNDRY NEWS - Magazine which the Simpsons appeared on the cover of in Behind The Laughter.

DANGER LIKER - Magazine on sale in Springfield.

FUN - Magazine on sale at the Kwik-E-Mart.

GLASS EATER - Magazine on sale in Springfield.

GLUTIUS MAXIMISER - Magazine found in the Simpsons' attic.

GRANNY FANNY - One of the many magazines that can be found at the Springfield Air Force Base.

IDLE CHATTER - Magazine enjoyed by Marge, Patty and Selma.

JUNIOR SKEPTIC - Magazine read by Lisa. According to Junior
Skeptic, the chances of another form of life coming into contact with us is 175,000,000 to 1.

MARTIN SHEEN'S TEEN SCENE - Magazine sold at Around The World News.

MEDDLING TODAY - Magazine read by Marge.

MODERN BRIDE - Magazine that Grampa once wrote to complain about the way old people are depicted on TV.

MODERN PRINCIPAL - Magazine read by Principal Skinner.

MOM MONTHLY - Magazine that Marge reads in the opening credits.

MONDO FROWNO - Magazine read by the staff in the Suicide Notes musical store.

MOSH PITTER - Magazine on sale in Springfield.

MS MAGAZINE - Magazine enjoyed by Marge, in the 70's anyway.

NATIONAL INFORMER - Magazine that ran lots of articles about Homer being Bigfoot.

NEWSWEEKLY - Magazine which Krusty once appeared on the cover of.

NEWSWEEQUE - French magazine that featured Bart on the front cover after he revealed the whole anti-freeze in the wine fiasco.

NON-THREATENING BOYS - Magazine read by Lisa.

OBSESSIVE BRIDE - Magazine that Marge and Becky read together.

OUTLAW BIKER - Magazine that published pictures of Marge in her nightwear.

PEEPHOLE - Magazine enjoyed by Marge, Patty and Selma.

PETS - Magazine on sale at the Kwik-E-Mart.

POPULAR SECRETARY - Magazine read by Lionel Hutz's secretary, Della.

PRINCIPAL'S WORLD - Magazine enjoyed by Principal Skinner.

ROCK JUMPER - "The magazine for people who like to jump from rock to rock".

SELF TEST MONTHLY - Magazine which told Homer he'd only live to be 42, sending him into a spiral of depression.

SHORT HAIR IDEAS - Magazine which the Simpsons appeared on the cover of in Behind The Laughter.

SOLDIER OF FORTUNE - Magazine read by Abe Simpson, stocked in Herman's Military Antiques.

SPONGE AND VACUUM - Magazine read by Marge.

SWANK - Magazine enjoyed by Armin Tanzarian and Homer.

TEEN - Magazine on sale at the Kwik-E-Mart.

TEEN DREAM - Magazine that Lisa read when she had the mumps.

TEEN TEAM - Magazine sold at Around The World News.

TEEN SCHEME - Magazine that Lisa read when she had the mumps.

TEEN SCREAM - Magazine that Lisa read when she had the mumps.

THE SPRINGFIELD REVIEW OF BOOKS - Magazine which Sideshow Bob was reading when he robbed the Kwik-E-Mart.

TIMELY MAGAZINE - Once featured Krusty on the front cover, with the caption "Krusty - Krook of the Year".

TODAY'S GUNS - Magazine which Apu once appeared on the cover of.

All magazine titles and definitions were taken from The Duff Brewery website.
About Me
Marco Ursi
Marco is the editor of MastheadOnline. His blog offers a mix of commentary, service and ideas related to Canadian magazines.


Twitter: @MarcoUrsi

Most Recent Blog Comment
Jen says:
Masthead, why don't you do this anymore?...
Blog Archive
2009 (40)