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Behind the Scenes
At 1099 Magazine

Click to find out more about our
Editorial & Art Staff:

Lawrence San, Editor in Chief & Creative Director

Gary Callahan, Managing Editor

Ken Gordon, Associate Editor

Katy Demcak, Assistant Editor

David Mogolov, Editorial Assistant

Fletcher Moore, Technical Director

Click to find out more about our
Business Staff:

John H. Chuang, Chief Executive Officer

Mia Wenjen, Publisher

Jenny Norwood, Marketing Director

Lori Abe, Publicity Manager

    Much as we'd like the origin of this magazine to appear mysterious and unfathomable... or at least devious and manipulative... the truth is that this zinething (that's technical publishing lingo) is the hard work of lots of dedicated and talented people, plus a few people like us.

Where We're At

1099 Magazine (both print and Web incarnations) is housed in Copley Square, the most beautiful part of downtown Boston, in the world headquarters of our parent company, Aquent. Nobody at Aquent HQ (no matter how High & Exalted) has a separate office, nor even a Dilbertesque cubicle -- and the 1099 staff is no exception. The magazine occupies a corner of a floor where a handful of wisecracking editors and artsy-geeky-Macintosh types hurl irony and English usage guides at each other, all the while coordinating the activities of the veritable plethora (if you like that phrase, you can't work here) of IPs who do most of the writing and illustration.

On Press With 1099

Pictures! We Got Pictures!

In addition to brainstorming article topics and then hiring freelance writers to research and write them, our editorial staff concocts title/photo/illustration ideas for those same articles. Then we hire freelance photographers and models, whom we art-direct on "shoots" either in a photographer's studio or on location. ("On location" is photographer talk for what everybody else calls "outside," but we don't know why.) We mostly use illustration in the webzine, as it usually works better for technical reasons, but there's a lot of photography in the print magazine. Although most of the photos are shot conventionally on medium-format film by professional photographers, and then scanned into digital form, we do some of the photography ourselves on a Nikon CoolPix 990 digital camera, which then gets dumped directly into our Macs. Whenever possible, we avoid hiring professional models by kidnapping people who work in the same office building with us, and tickling their toes with various objects until they make the appropriate facial expressions. This seems to work well.

Son of Webzine

By the way, this webzine was the parent, but its offspring, the printzine, is now the Big Enchilada. Or so the publisher tells us. Both webzine and printzine are edited, designed, and produced internally; but we have a partnership with Ziff Davis Media to help with some aspects of the print magazine, such as circulation, ad sales, manufacturing, and mailing.

Skip This If You're Not Geeky

Like the vast majority of magazines, we have an all-Macintosh workflow, except for a PC we use to check the webzine (since the majority of our readers browse the Web on PCs). The webzine is produced in Dreamweaver and BBEdit, the print magazine in QuarkXPress, both with liberal doses of Photoshop and an occasional sprinkle of Illustrator. Our production Macs are dual-processor, 500 MHz machines running MacOS 9, each with 512 Megabytes of RAM, multiple storage drives, and Sony 21" or Mitsubishi 22" main monitors, plus auxiliary 17" monitors. We also have a fileserver to share files between the staff, separate Web servers for prototyping and going live, an ancient color copier, a lightbox, and a drawer-full of Exacto knives and other dangerous implements.

Give Me Proof

We do three levels of proofing: design printouts on our in-house networked Epson 5000 (a six-color inkjet) with super-tabloid and letter-sized paper trays; imposition proofs on our commercial printer's Iris inkjet; and contract color proofs on their Kodak Approvals (yes, the mammoth $4 million jobs). The print magazine is printed "CTP" (direct-to-plate from a computer, no film) on a high-speed web (roll-fed) press at Quebecor/World/Acme in the Boston area, under the close supervision of the 1099 staff and a freelance consultant who specializes in press checks. It's printed on 80 lb. matte-coated text and cover stock, and then perfect bound.

Pity the Poor Editors

Actually, if you've never worked on a magazine, all this wisecracking and techie description wouldn't give you a clue what it feels like. It's fun but also relentless, with terrifying schedules and an impossible number of details to juggle. Then, when the magazine comes out (Web and print), everybody in the whole world criticizes everything (and we mean everything), and you give a fake smile and start all over again on the next issue. It's great fun but it helps if you're a masochist with no need for sleep. Still, we like working here, and we hope you like the magazine.

Love and Kisses (well, Hugs and Good Luck, Anyway),

The Editors




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