The Daily Heller: A New Print-Only Magazine Gambles on its Readers’ Patience

Posted inThe Daily Heller

The new print-only magazine INQUE—founded by Dan Crowe, editor of Port, and Matt Willey, magazine designer-exquisite and Pentagram partner—is not threatened for survival just because of its founders’ devotion to a medium with very little future. In fact, INQUE is so richly packed with editorial and pictorial content, you’ll never relegate it to the periodical kindling pile (if you have a fireplace or bonfire). Issue No.1 promises to live forever, barring natural disasters. I promise you’ll never part with it. And if you have patience enough to wait until next Fall, you’ll be able to savor Issue No. 2.

INQUE (pronounced “ink”) is not the first ad-less wonder to look like a million bucks and read like it too, but it is the most stunning of its genre. Its hefty dimensions afford not only air for content to breathe, but it has white space aplenty. The feature “The Mirror of Nature” boasts a beautifully strange crystal-clear eight-page double-truck detailed enlargement of a stag beetle and assorted other shiny black-and-white prints of monstrous, alien insects. These blowups are made for the page.

Every nuanced detail, from the the tight letterspacing of the condensed gothic headlines to the lineup of the captions and body text with images and heads, is beautiful and meticulously handled. It is a pleasure to hold, page through and stop for a contemplative hour or more on each feature.

The contributors, including Margaret Atwood, Edmund de Waal, Tom Waits, Hanif Kureishi and Jonathan Lethem, among other fine writers, bring exclusivity to this venture. Only with INQUE can you read Lethem’s unpublished novel, for example. Owning this magazine is like being a member of an exclusive society.

I am very proud to be included in the mix. Not only because it’s my first time in a print (only) magazine for the first time in ages, but because my article is about my friend Seymour Chwast’s ongoing series of paintings of Luche Libre masked Mexican wrestlers.

Willey’s design has equal space for photos, paintings, drawings and collage. And type, of course, as Willey is a master of typographic layout.

There is so much to enjoy and be inspired by in INQUE, not only for the conceit of it being print-only in a digital world, but because it feels like it will take the better part of a year to tap into its annual-ness. Print and printing has never looked or felt so good.

One final note: The feature “Otherwise Known as the Morgue,” about The New York Times‘ picture file and its heroic keeper, Jeff Roth, is not to be missed.