• Zachary Petit

Putting Inque in Print

We don’t often find ourselves at a loss for written words, but we’re not entirely sure where to begin when discussing Inque.


There’s the concept: a print-only literary magazine—“a playground of ideas, stories and opinions”—with no digital counterpart (a wholly blasphemous concept on today’s media landscape) and no advertising (financial heresy!). From the outset, it has a preplanned life cycle: 10 issues in total, one per year until 2030, and then no more (a plan that would make many an investor recoil).

Mock-up Inque cover; photo by Jack Davison

Then there’s Inque’s contributors.


Herewith, a nonexhaustive list of the cross-disciplinary creatives taking part:

  • Joyce Carol Oates

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  • David Lynch

  • Paula Scher

  • Werner Herzog

  • Ben Lerner

  • Samuel L. Jackson

  • Peter Mendelsund

  • Kate Tempest

  • Tom Waits.


Then there’s this mission:


We love making magazines and hate being told what to include in them and love talking to writers about what they want to write about and hate the cost of distribution and love working with photographers and illustrators and hate having to rely on advertising and love the smell of paper and ink and seeing it all come together and hate having to publish something when it's not totally ready and love the collaboration, the sense of the new and the unfound, unseen and unpublished.


Then there’s the design of the large-format publication. To wit:

Mock-up Inque layout; photo by Jack Davison
Mock-up Inque layout; illustration by Amber Vittoria
Mock-up Inque layout; photo by Christopher Anderson
Mock-up Inque layout; illustration by Bill Bragg
Mock-up Inque layout
Mock-up Inque layout; photo by Rich Gilligan
Mock-up Inque layout; photo by Maria Spann
Mock-up Inque layout; illustration by Mike McQuade
Mock-up Inque layout; photo by Robbie Lawrence
Mock-up Inque layout; photo by Maria Spann
Mock-up Inque layout; photos by David La Spina/Esto
Mock-up Inque layout; photo by Agnes Lloyd-Platt
Mock-up Inque layout; photo by Christopher Anderson
Mock-up Inque layout; photo by Christopher Anderson

Then there’s all the rest, like how Jonathan Lethem will be writing a new novel over the course of the 10-issue run, or how the magazine will produce original pieces limited to 500 copies by leading artists and photographers, or how it will operate under an editorial board comprised of such names as Wesley Morris, Hanif Kureishi, Sharmaine Lovegrove and Simon Prosser.


Inque Kickstarter T-shirt (front), a collaboration with British clothing brand Sunspel
Inque Kickstarter T-shirt (back), a collaboration with British clothing brand Sunspel

Collectively, this is the vision of editor-in-chief Dan Crowe (publisher of Port and book editor at Granta) and art director Matt Willey (Pentagram partner and former art director of The New York Times Magazine). And what a vision.


At a time when we’ve been feeling glum about the future, this has vowed to make it infinitely more interesting. And if it seems as if we’re tripping over ourselves in praise of a publication we have not yet read, it’s because we are.


Back the Kickstarter here.


As the founders detail in their launch video (narrated by Cillian Murphy): “It’s the magazine we’ve always wanted to make, and with your help, we can.”


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