MagSampler

These are "Reports from the Newsstand," my comments on the publications in our catalogue at MagSampler.com. We offer sample copies of our publications, not subscriptions. Each sample copy costs $2.59, well below newsstand cover prices (if the publication is available on your newsstand at all). A $2.00 shipping charge is added to each order. Publishers use MagSampler.com to get their publications into the hands of potential subscribers.

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Ed Rust, proprietor of MagSampler.com, has worked in publishing in a variety of capacities for decades. He started as U.S. circulation director of the Financial Times "way back when they flew the papers into Kennedy Airport from London a day late." He most recently was managing editor of publications at the General Society, Sons of the Revolution.

Friday, December 23, 2005

DAILY BREAD INLINE SKATE MAGAZINE: Also a Culture


Street rollerblading is a culture even more than a sporting activity, according to Daily Bread Inline Skate Magazine, today's newbie in the MagSampler.com catalogue. It's not an activity/culture that I know anything about, so I have to rely on Daily Bread, which has been around since 1993, for a take on what's happening. While we in the New York area have been seeing rollerblading on the six o'clock news as a novel way to commute in the absence of subways and buses, the major use of rollerblades by the young men who are subjects and fans of the magazine seems to be descending rather steep outdoor stairways via their railings, with serious physical penalties to be paid for leaving those railings too early (check out the cover). From the articles in the November 2005 issue―titled "The Anger Issue"―it's obvious that rollerblading, at least in terms of media coverage, has been in serious decline in recent years. There's an illuminating interview on the subject with Mark Shays, founder and president of an organization called ASA Events (its original name was the Aggressive Skaters Association). He recalls how ASA was founded in 1994 to promote rollerblading, aided financially by the makers of skates and ancillary equipment. Through the rest of the decade it created all sorts of rollerblading events and bargained successfully with the likes of ESPN to get them on television. But by 2001 ASA saw the handwriting on the wall and diversified to skateboarding and BMX racing, for which the cable sports networks still have a voracious appetite. Though Shays continues to work to include inline rollerblading stunts in his organization's shows, he admits it hurts: "It is impossible to calculate just how many dollars have been lost due to our insistence on keeping rollerblading involved." Shays blames the media's loss of interest in rollerblading on factors such as resentment from skateboarders to inline skating's meteoric but brief rise and, perhaps more tellingly, "many of the top [rollerblading] guys who used to go to the first multi-sport events acted like immature kids and the other sports' top pros began to stereotype all skaters as punks who never had to pay their dues." The issue also has a somewhat bitter interview with rollerblading pro Eric Schrijn, who at 25 is considered one of the grand old men of the sport (he's the guy pictured on the cover). Asked what he wants out of skating, he replies: "I guess I already got it; I'm an icon in this sport, I'm healthy, I've got some good homeboys, but I would like to actually be a part of this movement with mainstream TV and magazines… That's what I want from skating, for this shit to get respect and blow up, so we can get paid respectably. I make $600.00 a month from skating―it sucks―it feels like we are starving artists.” Daily Bread, published in San Diego, features lots of pictures of guys caught in the act of going down those frightening stairways all over the country. The magazine also uses extremely small type, so rollerblading, like carrots, must be good for the eyesight. Daily Bread is a wee bit defensive about the diminishing popularity of the rollerblading lifestyle and culture. From editor Justin Eisinger's opening editorial: "People everywhere fail to see the value of rollerbladers, at least here in America; which is the most f**ked up part of all… If you quit skating because someone told you it wasn't cool, f**k you. If you quit skating because you got a girlfriend, or went to school, or got a job or blah, blah, blah―F**K YOU." After all, it is the Anger Issue. Surprisingly, the ** are theirs, not ours. An annual subscription (12 issues) to Daily Bread Inline Skate Magazine is $21.95 from the publishers, and they'll throw in a "get blades" shirt; you can get a sample copy from us for $2.59 (no shirt).

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