That Was Then, This is Now!
As I stood in that drafty dirty warehouse watching the huge rolls of white paper soak up the jet black ink thundering overhead, I felt my heart swell. "This must be what it's like to give birth" I thought. "I'm watching my baby, that I have sweated and labored over, being born!" I said as much to the men running the monstrous web press, and they laughed. "Yeah, a lot of people say that the first time they see their project being printed."
I worked on my first Kickstarter Campaign in 2015 to bring GEARHEAD back to life. Since all the original files and templates were missing, I had to recreate the whole thing from scratch. I labored over issue #19 for almost a year, partly because my knowledge about the mechanics of custom cars and hot rods was of being a fan, riding in other people cars, and attending car shows and drag races, and partly because I was trying to find my voice and was a little afraid of how old fans would react.
I was thrilled not only at the reception of the magazine by new and old fans alike, but to discover how much I loved the whole process of conceiving, writing and putting together a magazine from start to finish!
GEARHEAD is designed as a way to give a voice to those wrenching in their garages, the artists creating the unique artwork identified with this life style, or the bands recording the music that is the soundtrack to it all. As an observer and cultural curator, I learned my job was to listen, learn and let those who do the work tell their stories. GEARHEAD is the vehicle to move it all out into the world.
I loved feeling invigorated, excited and challenged by the creative process of making this magazine. When #19 finally hit the streets in January 2016, I was exhausted but exhilarated and knew I wanted to do it again.
About Issue #20
The renewed appreciation of hand-crafted products, everything from food to music to clothing is getting a a lot of attention these days. And print is no exception! GEARHEAD has always been crafted by hand with love and an eye towards an esthetic that can only be described as vintage.
GEARHEAD is intentionally created with the hope that customers will keep and share these creations much as they would a favorite book or record. Using thick book stock for the grayscale inner pages, and a heavier card stock for the color cover, GEARHEAD feels and looks like a slender book. The black and white printing used on the inside is intentional, giving a nod to automotive journalism from the past, when times were slower and everyone was DIY; If you wanted it, you made it. At the same time, the respect for this medium is the foundation for harnessing new technology (like crowd-funding) in order to keep moving forward.
Every story, every interview and every photograph is created with respect, excitement and appreciation. The stories and photos in these pages are not the run of the mill magazine grist: these are glimpses in to the lives of musicians, artists, builders and creatives that you won't see anywhere else. This too is purposeful. There are many wonderful inspiring stories out there to share of times past, and glimpses of what might be possible in the future. These stories are meant to inspire all who read them!
Today as I work on the momentous Issue No. 20 of GEARHEAD, I feel proud and excited to be honoring the past issues that were created with the same passion and love that I pour into the magazine today.
This issue will be printed here in California in the small industrial town of Tracy. I chose to use a small local printer for several reasons. Wesco Graphics is close to me, so I will be able to be there during the printing.
They are one of the few remaining web-presses in the state. Wesco Graphics is independently owned, so they answer only to their customers, not some big invisible governing board that only cares about profits. Finally, I really like working one on one with people, and using a small independent print company like Wesco allows me to have a personal relationship with the people working on the magazine. This way, I can be part of the process from start to finish, making sure I get exactly what I want.
Stories You'll Find in This New Issue
- World Famous DJ Rodney Bingenheimer and his GTO
- Dean Moon: Creator of Mooneyes Go With Moon!
- Cover artist and tattooist "Cuz'n" Bill Lorenz interview
- The Race of Gentlemen: Up Close and Personal
- Fantastic Fig and His Curious Cars
- Meet Ms. Gearhead
- Eva Von Slut Dishes on the San Francisco Music Scene
- Record Book and Music Reviews
A limited edition run of 2500 copies will be printed, and when they are sold out, they will be out of print. 84 pages, color cover and black and white guts, the magazine weighs in at almost a pound. As you flip through the pages, use your senses to appreciate this medium: notice the smell of the ink, the thick linen quality of the pages, the feel of the cover. Savor the experience as you would a delicious meal.
Printing a magazine is a costly undertaking, especially if you are doing it the old fashioned way with real ink, quality paper and a web press (the giant machines that most newspapers are printed on that you see in the video above).
As you can see, I am cutting it pretty close on the budget. I have raised some money for manufacturing by selling ads in the magazine (the traditional way of paying for production) but need quite a bit more to finish the job.The few advertisers who will be featured in this magazine are small independent businesses that are part of the Kustom Kulture world, so ad rates are very low because they are small businesses just like GEARHEAD.
I learned the hard way on my first Kickstarter campaign that being realistic about expenses is crucial. I neglected to figure in the cost of the fees, shipping and manufacturing rewards into my budget last time, so this time, I won't make that mistake! As you can see, I've set my goal lower than the needed funds. Why, you ask? Fear... The way Kickstarter works, if I don't hit my minimum goal, I don't receive any of the pledges. I guess you could say this is a calculated gamble on my part! I'd like to get MORE than I'm asking for, but per Kickstarter instructions, I'm asking for the minimum amount I still need to bring the magazine out.
SOME OF THE REWARDS
For $10, you'll get a copy of the new magazine (which includes some of the cost of shipping it!) You'll get to feel, and smell and touch and fondle a newly printed magazine and who knows, maybe you'll get as much of a rush with it as I do!
For $35 you can get a copy of the new issue of GEARHEAD MAGAZINE, as well as this killer t shirt, designed especially for Gearhead by Vigil Designs!
If you want to help, but don't have much to spend, for just $5 you can get this super cool Gearhead Shop Rag!
There's something for every budget! With your support, we can get this issue to press and out into the world.
Why Do This?
After getting issue #19 done, I was exhausted, pumped up, emotional and so proud of how great it turned out. And more importantly, I had made the amazing discovery just how much I loved the entire publishing process, from coming up with the story ideas, to researching and interviewing my subjects, to taking pictures and raising the funds needed to bring it into existence from nothingness.
I've always felt that way when something I've envisioned in my head is finally done so I can hold it in my hands. Digital products are important and necessary, but there is nothing like creating a real tangible thing that you can enjoy with all your senses. The magazine is that for me from start to finish. I look forward to sharing this experience with you like-minded souls out there and hope it brings to you the same wonderment and nostalgia!
LIVE FAST, BE WEIRD!
Misfit. Freak. Weirdo... When I was a kid, I marched to the beat of my own drummer and that has never changed. I just stopped trying to fit in, and instead embraced my differences. GEARHEAD celebrates all those creative misfits that make up the world of Kustom Kulture: the musicians, the builders, the people who figured out how to make things go faster....We love 'em all and hope you too will embrace your weird unique side and dig into the pages of GEARHEAD. Live Fast, Be Weird!
Risks and challenges
There are always risks and challenges with any creative process. The biggest challenge to date has been gathering pictures, conducting interviews and figuring out exactly what the "theme" of this issue will be.
Once the money is collected, things will move pretty fast. There is a layout artist standing by to start the process of putting the pages together.
Unlike a digital project, this one will be printed, so taking the right amount of time to double check everything is vitally important, because there is no going back to fix it once it is on the press.
Since I use a web press to print, files have to be output a certain way to work with the machines. The printer is standing by, and once I tell them we're ready, they will order the special papers we use for the cover and inside, so this will also add some time.
Every step of this magazine has been tackled one piece at a time. If delays come up, it will be handled with transparency, honest communication and lots of elbow grease! I treat my customers the way I want to be treated!
Thank you your pledge and support! Rock on!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)