About this project
IMPORTANT UPDATE: All pledges of $25 and above will receive both print and digital editions of the first issue! More details coming soon.
Hello Mr. is a magazine about men who date men. It’s the overdue response to the unending clichés that surround current gay lifestyle publications. Rather than pushing agendas or perfecting appearances, it’s about relevant material for a misrepresented generation with an evolved range of interests. A chronicle of everyday life, and the narratives which define it.
Published twice a year in both print and digital editions, each issue will contain written and visual contributions from discerning individuals around the globe. Hello Mr. is much more than a magazine. It's the start of a conversation that extends beyond the images that come to mind when you think of the way gay men are portrayed in media today. It's a chance to expose our vulnerabilities and redefine our identities.
What you won't find here are articles tagged with recycled stock imagery of multicolored flags waving in pride, hand-painted demands for equal rights, or idolized midsections of seemingly flawless men. If that's your thing, there is a sea of glossy mags filled with those images readily available at your local newsstand. We believe that Hello Mr. can address the need, felt by the modern majority, to rebrand 'gay' and move beyond any unrepresentative depictions defined by our past.
If you find yourself nodding along in agreement, then we'd love to have your support! Additionally, your opinions on this shift in relevance may be exactly what we're looking for to fill the pages of our first issue, or even to prompt our thinking for future issues. Please send your ideas for contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All other inquires can be directed to email@example.com or just say 'hello' with a simple tweet at @hellomrmag. You can also like us on Facebook and expand our network by sharing this Kickstarter campaign with your friends and family.
With your help, we hope to introduce issue #1 to the world by early 2013, and begin this journey of rebranding the image of all men who date men.
Our brand attributes
"Hello Mr. is a fantastic idea and is coming at the right time to redefine what it means to be a gay man today." Stevie, 25 NYC
"A publication of this kind is sorely needed and definitely well overdue. I wonder why there isn't a gay publication that reflects the depth and diversity of gay men. Thankfully you not only wondered the same thing, but took action as well. Bloody marvelous!" Mike, 32 Melbourne
"Most of the mainstream magazines are too slick for my liking, and is pretty uniform in its male aesthetic (i.e. muscled dudes with either absent or perfectly groomed body hair) and the types of articles — oscillating between standard gay rights pieces, to what underwear you can buy. This is exactly the type of read I've been waiting for." Benjamin, 29 Brisbane
We are so excited to show you the rewards we've planned for you. Refer to the column on the right for details about the various pledge levels and what's included with what.
The sock collaboration: We teamed up with Paisley Sockwear in LA to design a limited edition design by Hello Mr. The image above is one of their existing designs, but the image below is a preview of what we're producing especially for you. We really hope you'll like them!
So why a bi-annual magazine?
Just like the movement to go local – from big business to boutique – we believe that consumers want the experiences they have and the brands they choose to be infused with purpose. We are increasingly choosing quality over quantity, so reducing the frequency to twice a year allows us time to produce a content rich experience in both print and digital eiditions. By excluding timely content (i.e. book reviews, current events, etc) and traditional advertisements from the 166 pages, Hello Mr. retains its relevance as a chronicle of narratives for much longer than traditional periodicals.
And remember, this is just the beginning of a larger conversation that we hope will develop into other offerings and services that we've only just started thinking about. As many of you have confirmed, the name 'Hello Mr.' is ripe with possibility, and we intend on making the most of it.
Risks and challenges
We're confident that we can create a content-rich and entertaining publication that you'll enjoy, but the biggest concern on our minds is how to get the printed version in your hands without losing money. Something that Hello Mr. and Kickstarter have in common is a global community to support us. But being based in Australia, where Kickstarter doesn't have as much activity as it does in the US, means that international shipping is inevitable for the majority of our orders. Even though we're printing Hello Mr. at a reputable printer in Singapore to save costs, we are keenly aware of the costs to ship our magazine and rewards around the world to you. Shipping ain't cheap, but with the inclusion of a digital edition, we hope to reach more people in more parts of the world.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Setting the funding goal for this Kickstarter project was, to my surprise, one of the most arduous decisions of the entire process. Before our campaign launched, I personally invested just over $4,000 USD to build the Hello Mr. brand. This figure is comprised of the development and hosting of our website, the application to become a registered trademark (which was approved for publication on the day of the launch!), the production of the video, and other promotional print and e-newsletter media.
All of these things I gladly contributed along with my time because I truly believe in what this brand will evolve into. What became difficult was having to gather estimates from potential vendors, based on early product specifications and projected quantities. But like a good boy, I did my homework and adjusted my expectations based on the following numbers. For a print run of 3,000 magazines the cost is approximately $12,000 USD. Then there are the rewards that come with backing the first issue. A total of $1,460 for a projected 300 tote bags, $900 to produce 200 custom socks by Paisley Sockwear, and $1,200 for 600 letterpress postcards.
That's $19,560 USD so far, and we haven't even discussed the cost to ship it all to you. Being a global brand, launching on a global platform such as Kickstarter, we are aware that many of our shipments will require fees of $10 or more. But rest assured, your pledge includes the cost to ship, so you won't have to pay any additional amount.
Like I said, it's all been carefully calculated, and I feel confident with the decision to set the goal at $20,000. Any funds that exceed that goal will seed the creation of our second issue and will be distributed amongst our invaluable contributors who, thus far, have volunteered their time and talents to us because each one of them also believes in the brand just as I do, and hopefully now, as do you.
Yes, international shipping fees are inclusive in the pledge you make to Hello Mr.
The issue of diversity is an important one. If we want to live up to our claims of being inclusive, realistic, and of a new generation, then we must do a better job of representing more men of various sizes and ethnicities. Your feedback has been heard, but let's also remember that the qualities that make us diverse are more than what is physically apparent. We hope to shed light on this subject in much more depth, with the narratives that will be told by the many unheard voices in our first issue. It's been refreshing just to hear how Hello Mr. resonates with so many people around the world so far, and we can't wait to share some of their diverse stories with you.
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