Last night I launched a crowdfunding effort to bring to life a quarterly gaming magazine called Yggdrasil. I am filled with excitement, and a bit of dread. Excited because I love creating things and sharing those things with others. Dread because of the vulnerability you expose to others when you share your self. So, par of the course for every creative person that I have ever met.
Magazines are special. Growing up, we got Highlights, with all of its fun little puzzles and short stories. As I got older, I found myself getting baseball magazines, computer magazines, and the venerable Nintendo Power, where I got to read about games I would never own and daydream. Eventually I discovered Dragon Magazine, which was my gateway drug into role playing games, and Realms of Fantasy, which introduced me to Neil Gaiman’s writing in a new way.
My love for magazines has never diminished. I still buy them, be they indie ‘zines or beautifully designed historical journals. Because the economics of the world have embraced the cheap and unconsidered, magazines have become one of the last places to see the power of design in action. That last gasp of a society that slowed to think about what it would say and how it would say it.
To me, magazines are the apotheosis of visual communication. At their best, they elevate human discourse, combining design, text, illustration, art, opinion, fact, and truth to convey the human condition. Having that in your hands elevates its message in ways no digital version ever can. The physical requires time and commitment that creates a permanence that resonates simply by existing.
More than once, I have been accused of nostalgia. Nostalgia is the gloss we paint over the past to ignore the bad parts. I’m not in search of that. If I am guilty of anything, it is trying to recapture the power of exploration. To find time to think and reflect. To listen to other voices, not wait to talk.
So that is why I am putting together my own magazine. Like my inspiration, it will be a hot mess of fiction, gaming material, opinion, and art. It will show up quarterly, roughly. It will suffer all the practical limits of a one person operation. But it will be earnest. It will be fun. It be exclusively in print. And who knows, it might even be good…