Thirty-six years ago this month we published the first issue of Newcity. All these years later, we’re still learning, still working every day toward an idea of magazine greatness, with goals that continuously move upward.
This anniversary issue is one more step forward, containing most of the parts of what we envision an edition of Newcity should contain: fascinating, unpredictable stories, like Dave Hoekstra’s exploration of the once-famous eco-saboteur called The Fox. Powerful photographic essays, like our collection of John Simmons’ sixties photos. Graphic storytelling, like this issue’s bio-comic about the activist and writer Mike Ervin by Nick Merlock Jackson. Comprehensive coverage of culture.
And original poetry. We were ecstatic and humbled when our last-minute call for poems was answered by the new poet laureate of the State of Illinois, Angela Jackson, who wrote something specifically for this issue.
We took the occasion of our anniversary to articulate our current vision for the magazine, and this manifesto is below.
Newcity magazine is the foundation of what we do. We’ve evolved many times since our inception, but what we’ve become today as a monthly magazine is our most exciting incarnation yet and we are still a long way from where we want to be. Philosophically, we are grounded in the idea that Chicago is the center of our universe, and that a great city, a great cultural capital, deserves a magazine that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with anything published anywhere. By extension, we are interested in the entire Midwest region, where so many of our arts leaders get their start, but where also so much excellent cultural production takes place, often under the radar.
So what does a magazine like this consist of? We’re committed to excellent journalism and great storytelling, often at a length and a depth increasingly rare in contemporary magazines. We believe in graphic storytelling (i.e. comics) as a singular medium for fiction and memoir alike, and aim to publish original stories each month. And arts and culture remain the centerpiece of all that we do, with feature stories and reviews spanning art, dance, design, film, food & drink, lit, music and theater/performance every month.
We believe a magazine should be a beautiful object in its own right, from the paper it is printed on to the design and photography that fills its pages.
We’re in the process of evolving from strictly complimentary drop-offs around town into a hybrid membership model that will allow us to become sustainable regardless of advertising. And we would love you to give us a try by subscribing. We have very flexible plans—full year or month-to-month commitments—and we crave your feedback on how we are doing. Go to NewcityShop.com to sign up.
Look for Newcity’s February 2022 print edition at over 300 Chicago-area locations this week or subscribe to the print edition at Newcityshop.com.
IN THIS ISSUE
Closing the Gap
How Black-owned art galleries are shifting the market
The Fox and Friends
Mild-mannered biology teacher by day, superhero eco-saboteur by night
To Make the Camera See What I See
The sixties Chicago photos of John Simmons
Small Acts of Defiance
An oral history of Mike Ervin, in comics
And so much more…