When is a magazine not a magazine? For me it was when I was on vacation. It was family movie night. We were in Boston during the opening run of Fahrenheit 9/11 at the Loews theater in Boston Common: hundreds of people, shows every hour all day long, lines snaking out the door. There was rock concert energy, a political Woodstock kind of a scene–except for one thing.

Right next to the ticket windows was a giant display of mark, an Avon’s self-titled “magalog” of makeup. A magalog in conjunction with a Michael Moore event? Weird.

We got home, picked up the mail, and found Limited Too’s latest big book of style in blazing red and yellow colors, welcoming us to their new self-titled “catazine”–credit card required.

And finally, later that week, I received an e-mail with the subject line “Introducing PayPal’s New Periodical.” Please, this is virtual promo, not a “periodical.”

Leaving magalogs and catazines in the recycling bins, here are some real magazines and periodicals– print media at its best, credit card not required.

Brian Greene has been editing and publishing his own magazines for 10 years, first in D.C., now out of Chapel Hill. The Pistol, his latest effort, is only three issues old. “The kind of pistol I had in mind when naming the mag is the type of person–a hotshot with a big mouth–someone my mom would call a ‘hot ticket,’ someone who would yell out a made-up name at a bunch of strangers on a city bus in a foreign country.”

Two bucks an issue gets you fiction, interviews, a memoir, a ton of music and book reviews, and even a page or two of found art.

University of New Jersey at North Carolina graduate Christopher Phillips just moved his magazine, Backstreets, to Carrboro. We’re hoping the Patron Saint of the Garden State drops by Carr Mill Mall for an interview real soon.

Celebrating their 25th year (hey, bottoms up!), the nation’s best beverage magazine, All About Beer, is planning their annual World Beer Festival at historic Durham Athletic Park on September 25. Their latest issue features a great travel piece on ballpark beer (drinking beer at the park is an older tradition than the World Series!) and enough colorful beer labels and coaster graphics to recover your fridge.

Ready to do some writing? A “Calling all writers!” e-mail went out last week across the Triangle for Scott Still’s new magazine, Street Live, which will cover the local live music/nightclub/ restaurant scene. He’s asked Martin Smith and John Pence of The Blotter to handle the publishing. Send them your pitches and queries–the first issue’s due out in October.

  • brianthepistol@hotmail.com
  • www.allaboutbeer.com
  • editor@blotterrag.com, m_k_smith@yahoo.com

    Contributing writer John Valentine can be reached at ajcg@acpub.duke.edu