$20,023
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
287
backers
11days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, February 1 2019 5:01 AM UTC +00:00.

PopulaBy Popula
First created
PopulaBy Popula
First created
$20,023
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
287
backers
11days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, February 1 2019 5:01 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Popula is an online news, arts and culture magazine with a humanistic, global sensibility, and with nobody to answer to, except you. 

We started Popula to show that it's possible to create a first quality, ad-free publication that can support a small group of journalists and artists responsibly and sustainably. Since we don't (and we won't) take ads, we'll continue to rely on reader support as our main funding.

Popula launched in June 2018; we've built up to publishing four to six stories every day, from Sunday to Thursday of each week. We plan to adapt the profit-sharing model of New Directions, the publishing house founded in 1936 by James Laughlin, so that the publication's ownership is held in trust for the benefit of its employees. We have no investors, and we own the company ourselves; it's neither growth nor return on investment we're after: It's stability. 

You might not be interested in blockchain technology, and you needn't be in order to enjoy Popula. But in case you are, you'll be interested to know that Popula is, we believe, the first U.S. publication in history to archive full articles directly to the Ethereum blockchain, to ensure that our work can never be altered, censored or destroyed. In time, we plan to demonstrate a lot of different ways whereby blockchain technology can protect the quality and integrity of what you read.

Popula's alt-global sensibility is like nothing else on the internet. We've brought you stories about demanding in-laws in Lagos, visiting The Museum of J. Stalin’s Underground Printing Press, surreal election ad campaigns in Taipei, and the advisability of eating a mushroom growing in your yard in Richmond, Virginia. 

Popula stories come from everywhere, including Taipei, London, Lagos, and Richmond, Virginia.
Popula stories come from everywhere, including Taipei, London, Lagos, and Richmond, Virginia.

Trevor Alixopulos and Vanessa Davis, our art editors, brought exquisite comics from artists near and far including Priya Kuriyan, Mimi Pond, Tom Hart, Ahmed Hossam El-Din, Gabrielle Gamboa, Ulli Lust and Ron Regé, Jr.

Lucas Iberico Lozada wrote about the myth of the "good immigrant"; Shuja Haider called the music criticism establishment to account for its neglect of country music scholarship; Aaron Bady, who grew up in West Virginia, revealed the real and unpleasant truth about Joe Manchin. Sophie Haigney explained why crime stories shouldn't be the cop story. Growing up under Moi in Nairobi, Keguro Macharia experienced nationalism in a specifically disturbing way involving milk. 

Did you see the late Anthony Bourdain's last long interview? Popula's Maria Bustillos wrote that one, as well as an essay that got people super furious in various directions on the subject of Joan Didion.

Taken at the late Anthony Bourdain's place the evening of the Popula interview, "Bourdain Confidential."
Taken at the late Anthony Bourdain's place the evening of the Popula interview, "Bourdain Confidential."

"The Movie Assassin" by Popula's Sarah Miller made the entire internet sit up and ask itself what it thought of the 1996 film of The English Patient, movie criticism, and toadying to The Man.

Sarah Miller, editor at Popula and author of "The Movie Assassin"
Sarah Miller, editor at Popula and author of "The Movie Assassin"

Popula began with a generous grant from the Civil Media Co., but that money won't last forever... So to make sure we can stick around forever, we're asking for your help. And we're offering you many crazy and delightful rewards for doing so!! Please see the various gifts, listed on the right and described below, which you will receive as a thank you for your generous support of Popula.

Popula T-shirts come with Galaxy Brain Grand Vizier and BFF T-shirt Posse Levels! Fun and Flattering.
Popula T-shirts come with Galaxy Brain Grand Vizier and BFF T-shirt Posse Levels! Fun and Flattering.
See details at right for the Popula Virtual Writers' Retreat, and the Editors' Master Class!!
See details at right for the Popula Virtual Writers' Retreat, and the Editors' Master Class!!
$600 Popula Family Bonus: a signed print from "Everything is Free" from Ron Regé Jr.?!?! YES! OR:
$600 Popula Family Bonus: a signed print from "Everything is Free" from Ron Regé Jr.?!?! YES! OR:
$600 Popula Family Bonus: a signed print of "Blind Dates of the Future!" from Mimi Pond!!
$600 Popula Family Bonus: a signed print of "Blind Dates of the Future!" from Mimi Pond!!

Mainly, we plan to continue tell the truth and have fun. Thank you for helping us do that and please, tell your friends about Popula.

Risks and challenges

We are trying to stabilize and attract subscribers from our dedicated readership; we operate on a metered paywall, so readers can build up a loyalty to Popula and then subscribe at one of two levels. Our readership is growing, and we have prudent, experienced management and counsel, but our funds are very limited, and monthly income does not yet meet outflows. There is a risk that we may run out before we can reach a steady state.

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Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Popula Haiku Reward

    For just $5, a Popula editor will write you an original haiku of quality that we cannot guarantee!

    If you are lucky your haiku might be written by Trevor Alixopulos:

    Orange creamsicle
    Possible alien life
    Who's your oracle?

    Or you could score a jewel like this one, by Vanessa Davis (inspired by true life events)!

    Lady at the store
    Here for the big walnut sale
    Cutting me in line

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Super Friend of Popula

    Yoooo!! Yay! For twenty-five dollars you will receive:

    • Six Months' Reader Subscription to Popula, removing the paywall restriction of five articles/month

    • A Popula 2019 Bodega Calendar designed by Vanessa Davis!! This large, colorful vintage style calendar (15" x 9") features an image of butterflies tipped in over a decorative card base printed with room for important phone numbers and dates. A pad of monthly tear-off sheets features colorful images of each month's traditional gem and flower.

    PLUS you are supporting ad-free, responsibly archived independent journalism, essays and art!! YES IT'S TRUE

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Popula BFF, including The Popula Digest

    Thank you!! For $50 you will receive

    • A full year Popula Reader subscription (no paywall!)

    • The Popula 2019 Bodega Calendar, AND

    • The Popula Digest 2018 compilation zine, containing many favorite comics and articles from this year!!! WAT

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Popula BFF T-Shirt Posse

    Maybe you would just like a shirt with your Popula Reader subscription!! (NO PAYWALL for a whole year).

    And these T-shirts are certainly attractive!! They are all cotton. Choose from three designs:

    • QUiT FACEBOOK

    • #STILLMAD

    • Popula Logo T-shirt

    Choose your size, S-M-L-XL-XXL, and support permanently archived independent journalism at the same time?! YES

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Galaxy Brain Superfriend of Popula

    Thank you!! This generous gift means:

    • The 2019 Popula Bodega Calendar

    • Our very first Popula Digest 2018 compilation zine

    ANNNNND...

    • A fetching and useful Popula logo mug!!

    IN ADDITION TO:

    • Full Galaxy Brain access to Popula for one year!!

    Galaxy Brain membership means no paywall, PLUS additional Galaxy Brain gifts designed by Trevor Alixopulos and Vanessa Davis, our genius visuals team, throughout the year, with two more zines coming in 2019 PLUS access to members-only podcasts.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Galaxy Brain Popula Grand Vizier

    Thanks so much!! We need it. We will take it! For your remarkably generous gift of $250, because you just are cool with that, you will receive all the above gifts:

    • Galaxy Brain membership for one year

    • 2019 Popula Bodega Calendar

    • The inaugural Popula Digest 2018 Compilation

    • A Popula Mug

    • Access to Galaxy Brain members-only podcasts, plus zines and gifts in 2019

    And!!

    Please choose one of three beautiful and flattering t-shirts certain to appeal to all who behold you:

    • Quit Facebook
    • #StillMad
    • Popula Logo T-shirt

    Please specify size S-M-L-XL WOW

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Popula Family: Virtual Writers' Retreat!

    For your magnificent support of independent ad-free journalism you'll receive all Galaxy Brain gifts:

    • Galaxy Brain membership for one year (no paywall!)

    • 2019 Bodega Calendar

    • The inaugural Popula Digest 2018 zine

    • A Popula Mug

    • MORE Galaxy Brain members-only podcasts, zines and gifts to come in 2019

    • ONE T-shirt: Choose from Quit Facebook, #StillMad or Popula Logo all-cotton T-shirts (please specify S-M-L-XL-XXL

    AND!!! PLUS!!

    An invitation to the Popula Virtual Writers’ Retreat: Three 90-minute group meetings on Saturdays in February and March 2019, where Popula editors will join you to chat, do some writing exercises and have fun.

    Ask us whatever you want, about how we choose, edit and research our stories, if our Dad said that thing to us back in 1999. We will tell you the truth. Remember, we are INCORRUPTIBLE.

    Popula editors will read and briefly advise you on at least one piece you submit in these meetings.

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    Pledge US$ 600 or more About US$ 600

    Popula Family: Signed Mimi Pond print

    As a token of our gratitude for your unbelievable generosity and your support of independent journalism, please accept the full range of Galaxy Brain Grand Vizier gifts, which include:

    • Galaxy Brain membership for one year (no paywall!)

    • 2019 Bodega Calendar

    • The inaugural Popula Digest 2018 zine

    • A Popula Mug

    • MORE Galaxy Brain members-only podcasts, zines and gifts to come in 2019

    • ONE T-shirt: Choose from Quit Facebook, #StillMad or Popula Logo all-cotton T-shirts (please specify S-M-L-XL-XXL

    PLUS a signed print of the glorious "Blind Dates of the Near Future!" from Popula favorite artist Mimi Pond.

    This is an 11"x24" cold press digital print on fine art paper and hand-signed by the artist.

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    Pledge US$ 600 or more About US$ 600

    Popula Family: Signed Ron Regé print

    As a token of our gratitude for your unbelievable generosity and your support of independent journalism, please accept the full range of Galaxy Brain Grand Vizier gifts, which include:

    • Galaxy Brain membership for one year (no paywall!)

    • 2019 Bodega Calendar

    • The inaugural Popula Digest 2018 zine

    • A Popula Mug

    • MORE Galaxy Brain members-only podcasts, zines and gifts to come in 2019

    • ONE T-shirt: Choose from Quit Facebook, #StillMad or Popula Logo all-cotton T-shirts (please specify S-M-L-XL-XXL

    plus a gorgeous signed panel from "Everything Is Free!" from Popula favorite Ron Regé Jr.

    This is an 18"x24" hot press digital print on fine art paper and hand-signed by the artist.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Popula Writers' Retreat AND Master Class

    Thank you, thank you for your support of speech rights and the free independent press!! We are very grateful. At this level, you'll receive all the Popula Galaxy Brain Grand Vizier Gifts:

    • Galaxy Brain membership for one year (no paywall!)

    • 2019 Bodega Calendar

    • The inaugural Popula Digest 2018 zine

    • A Popula Mug

    • MORE Galaxy Brain members-only podcasts, zines and gifts to come in 2019

    • ONE T-shirt: Choose from Quit Facebook, #StillMad or Popula Logo all-cotton T-shirts (please specify S-M-L-XL-XXL

    PLUS! an invitation to the Popula Virtual Writers’ Retreat, with three ninety-minute group meetings on Saturdays in January and February 2019, where Popula editors and other writers will get together to chat, do some writing exercises with you and have fun.

    AAANNNNNNND,

    Popula Master Class: A Popula editor will read, edit and advise you one-on-one via email, for one week, on one piece you submit to us, of up to 2000 words.

    Thank you!!

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