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The Stacks

Our latest premiere

07.19.07 | 1 Comment

wigwagradar.jpg

I’ve long enjoyed browsing the Premiere Issue Project, but it raises an interesting question—what exactly is a premiere issue? Before and during a launch publishers might do limited-run issues to garner interest from readers and advertisers, and once the issue is actually in production they may slap the word “premier” on not just one but the first few covers based on the theory that they can get away with it—potential readers will be seeing it for the first time for a while.

Take Radar, I have an issue that says “premiere,” but really what I have is only the first nationally-available Radar, it came after at least one (and I think two) New York-only releases, the first of which that can be seen on PIP. With WigWag, the reverse is true. Above is my copy of the preview issue from the summer before WigWag started up for real, wonderfully illustrated by “Jack Survives” author Jerry Moriarty and rescued here from obscurity.

Perhaps inevitably, neither the Radar nor the WigWig above give much sense of what the magazines were to be—but that’s part of what makes first issues interesting. In WigWig’s case the New Yorkerish cover and rough-and-tumble interior only hinted at the remarkable publication WigWig would (briefly) become. The Radar on the other hand, intended as a Spy for the post 9/11 generation—promised more than could be sustained in subsequent issues.

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