The concept of The Handshake Media Project was originally born from my love for magazines that helped pioneer the trend of New Journalism back in the 1960s (magazines like The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Playboy, and Rolling Stone), and also from my obsession with more recent long-form interview magazines, like Stop Smiling, and journals like The Paris Review. I interviewed the founding editor of Stop Smiling, J.C. Gabel, back in February. We talked about the rise and fall of his magazine, about their transition into small press publishing, and about the new media project that J.C. has in the works. The man is a genius, really. A modern day H.W. Ross with less marital problems. Sitting there in the Monadnock Building in the South Loop, sipping on a cup of coffee and listening to him ramble on excitedly about the future of media in Chicago, I had a moment of what I guess you could call clarity of purpose. I leaned back in my rickety chair and said to myself, "I can do this. I have to do this. Now."
The Handshake will be simple. Each print issue will contain one conversation between two artists, writers, comedians, or musicians; one interview with a cultural icon of sorts; one experimental essay (in tribute to David Foster Wallace); one short story by either a well-established or emerging author; and one road trip in photographs (in a backwards tribute to Hunter Thompson). The Handshake Online will contain excerpts from all of the above, video interviews with random working class folks like you or I (in tribute to Studs Terkel), and blog posts by myself and my fellow editors, keeping the reader up-to-date on everything going on in our world and elsewhere. Everything will be easily navigable, nothing will be hoity-toity, and it will all look fantastic.
And that is where you come in. All money donated to The Handshake Media Project will go towards the first print run of the magazine, and towards getting us our own little space on the internet with which to present you with all of this content. After those two things are accomplished, I am confident that the magazine can work its way towards becoming a self-sustaining periodical.
Celebrity means nothing. Small talk is boring. Extend your hand.
- (60 days)