Is it the economy? Or is the Internet generation completely moving away from items you can physically hold on to, pass on to younger generations etc.? SLAP Magazine made the move from print to digital just recently, Document Skateboard Magazine through in the towel and now I just heard from Concussion Magazine that the 40th issue is most likely the last print issue ever (out February 9th, 2009)! Now that sucks completely…let’s hear what they have to say themselves:
– Concussion Skateboard magazine website
I don’t really know what to say anymore. We’re 40 issues deep and I’m pretty much over the “I’m over doing this piece of shit mag, we’re going to quit” deal and have decided to stick it out, and then the economy takes a giant nose dive. Like straight into the ground. Advertisers are dropping out right and left and our whole deal has been a break even at best situation for the past few years, so when anybody cuts and runs it hurts, but when you lose two or three or four advertisers at a time it is pretty much puts your shit on life support. Sort of like what happened over at SLAP, except that was a planned out business decision, with a more positive attempt at spinning the “digital launch” rather than the “we’re shit canning the mag and the website will stick around,” but no less depressing. Now I haven’t seen SLAP on any newsstands in a while, but that is part in parcel because newsstands themselves have also been disppearing, which is also depressing. But SLAP was also a ‘zine that turned into a magazine, except the main difference was that it got bought by Fausto and really turned into a magazine instead of our situation where we’ve pretty much always been a ‘zine but pretended we had the power, influence and distribution of a magazine. So when SLAP goes you take notice, but I sort of thought it wouldn’t really affect us since it was an issue of too many magazines under one publisher or a Deluxe deal or some shit. Or maybe not.
So here we are, we’ve made it to Issue 40. It’s taken 13 or 14 years or so but we did it, and it’s somewhat of an important milestone but then again shitty economy or not, I’m not sure if we still have the stamina to make it two and a half years longer to Issue 50, which would have been a good way to shoot our load and call it a day.
So here we are. It’s not looking good for the skateboard industry or for print media in general. On one hand I’m tempted to pull the plug on the whole thing and take the weight off my shoulders and just go skate when I can, but at the same time the tax write-off from the annual loss is nice, and Concussion can be a good occasional excuse to fly to San Diego for the day and shoot photos of dudes skating vert, or write off a trip to Orcas Island Or Kauai. Or Costa Rica. One thing I have attempted to do which I feel mostly successful at is that I have tried to hoard as many decks, trucks, bearings, wheels and shoes as possible, so when the day comes that Concussion is no more, I will never have to set foot in a skate shop again. And on that scene I pretty much played my cards properly. I hoarded all of the 8″, 8.125″ and 8.25″ decks I could, have a roll of grip tape, a grocery bag full of Indy’s, 20+ sets of 58mm wheels and 40 sets of Bones Swiss. I might end up at the Vans outlet at some point but overall I haven’t done too bad, and more importantly I’m not still at the skatepark trying to sell camouflage Think logo boards to the kids. That shit is depressing. I saw some dude doing that at Potrero recently and said to myself “Thank god I’m not that guy anymore.”
I know some of you will say, “Oh well they always say they’re quitting and then they never do,” but this really looks like the end. And it makes me sad, but when it’s out of your control and you don’t really care that much about selling ads then there’s not really much you can do. We’ve fallen behind about $9,000 printing this mag in the past few years, and so every issue we pay for the next issue with the ad revenue from the last issue, but since we never really dig out of our debt hole, we’ll be stuck with a $10,000 bill. Especially since we added 16 pages back to this issue to go out with a bang and try and make it a good one.
In other words, all of you subscribers who are wondering if you’ll be getting your money back, the answer is no. We might be able to kick you a t-shirt or some back issues if you ask (nicely), but since we’re bankrupt we don’t have money for shipping either. Sorry. If Larry Flynt doesn’t give refunds, neither do we.
On a positive note (and an ironic one), we are putting the finishing touches on our third, still untitled DVD, so maybe you’ll get one of those. They’re certainly lighter and cheaper to ship than magazines. Or you can buy one to help us pay down our debt! Or maybe you can just download it, since the DVD market is in the toilet as well. Also, all of you collector types out there, we’ll be cleaning out the old storage shed and trying to unload all of our old back issues that have been taking up space, so if you want to score any of the earlier issues that you didn’t get, check our website out soon for fire sale deals.
Anyway it’s been fun, sorry to see it go. I could have used this area to talk shit and burn a bunch of bridges with some cocksuckers who deserve to be outed for being the chumps that they are, but fuck it, let’s try and keep it somewhat classy. Instead I’d like to thank all the people who have pulled for us and selflessly helped us out over the years. Most of you know who you are but special thanks go out to: Charlie Carpenter, Jan Pazdirek, Eric Stahl, Eric Bigler, Jason Murray, and all of our contributing staff over the years who gave us photos and articles without ever asking to be paid. To anyone who has ever advertised in Concussion, from the biggest corporation to the smallest guy with one employee: thank you. We’ll probably stick around in website form or something but we all know that without the printed magazine it will never be the same again. See you in the shallow end, fuckers.