A new issue of Gym Class is always exciting news for we magaholics. Launched in 2009, issue by issue Gym Class has honed its remit until recent issues have dropped non-magazine content in favour of magazines, magazines and magazines. Founder/editor Steven Gregor has impeccable taste and has featured many of the best art directors and editors as well as addressing key issues around the industry.
This new issue is the first one Steven has brought in a designer to work alongside him, so I caught up with him to chat about that and hear why he has decided – gulp! – tohis issue will be the final one.
Why did you decide to collaborate with a designer?
For the most part, Gym Class been a pretty solitary affair. I’ve heard many people say that magazines are better when they are products of collaboration., so I decided to give it a shot. I put a call out on twitter and Alex Vissaridis got in contact. Alex has been super helpful with the commissioning. He’s introduced new illustrators, photographers—and even a new writer—to the mix.
While I have the mic, I’d also like to give a shout out to my long suffering husband/chief sub, Dan Bryant. Seems obvious, but… great magazines need a great sub-editor. It’s a discipline regularly overlooked when people talk about making indie mags.
Why have you decided to stop making Gym Class?
Gym Class is super expensive to make and it’s doesn’t break even (It doesn’t come close.) As a side project, it’s been getting harder and harder to justify. I believe the new issue is the best yet… but it has also been the most expensive issue to produce. I’ve written about the hyper-gentrification of the indie mag scene in my ed’s letter. It’s a very important issue for mag makers and their paying readers.
Tell us about the issue
There’s plenty of mag-themed ace in it: we debunk the conventions of cover design; we debate graphic design vs. magazine cover design; and we poke fun at (err… celebrate!) Tatler’s totes bonkers cover lines.
The cover story is an epic 18-page look at the work of award-winning Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson. Rebecca McClelland spoke with Chris and peeps from New York, The New York Times Magazine, and Tank for the retrospective. Rebecca aced it.
There’s also an all-new beefed-up back of book section. It’s probably my fave part of the issue… lots of bants with mag folk not talking about mags. Oh… and a comic, and word searches, and a crossword. Fun!
So what’s next?
I love magazines, and I love making them. I’m launching a new title (with a larger potential readership) next year. It’s too early to chat about specifics, but I’m super excited about it. In fact, I have my first distributor meeting next week. It’s happening!
In the meantime, I hope peeps snap up this last issue of Gym Class. Like I said, it’s the best one yet. Also, it’s super limited edition. It’ll only be available in real-world stores. 250 copies are being distributed in the UK, 500 copies are headed to the States (they’ll be available in Barnes & Noble), and about 200 copies are Europe-bound. If your readers see a copy, I recommend they snap it up. Natch.