Can I tell you a secret?
Magazines make me mad.
Let me explain. While I love reading them, thinking about them, collecting them, and most of all making them, the state of the publishing industry, and the general public’s lack of interest, gets me riled up. An example? I found out today that Mayfair News is shutting down. The beloved store at Granville and Broadway was a treasure trove of rare magazines, a haven for those looking for something unique to take home and ponder. Its closing is a loss for the city, but the folks walking along Broadway are probably too busy playing Pokémon Go to notice. Mayfair’s demise comes not so long after the Chapters across the street turned into an Indigo, and its massive second-floor magazine section became an American Girl (no, seriously).
SAD Mag is a tiny independent publication that works hard for every cent, using the money raised to put on more community events and print more volumes. This is our passion project, our side hustle; we do it because we love it, and yet sometimes in the thick of the daily grind I lose my way. But hearing about Mayfair actually renews my resolve—anger turns into stubbornness, into a screaming promise to keep making our weird little magazine (printed locally, by the way) and finding the few stores left willing to sell them, to champion them.
This issue, Secrets, is certainly worth championing: Meredyth Cole dissects The Secret; Helen Wong profiles some of Vancouver’s best-kept musical secrets; April Thompson talks with a secret society; Megan Jenkins interviews an artist who secretly hides pieces around town; and so much more. The work that our contributors and friends put into this thing reminds me that magazines are worth making, even as layoffs occur and stores close. I could go on about the beauty of the printed word and the cultural value of a publication such as ours. But really, that’s a secret only you can unlock.