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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

McSweeney's, the Future of Print, and a Free Book.

Posted by Alison Hallett on Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 4:42 PM

The Mercury's annual charity auction is just around the corner, and one item that's always up for bid is a subscription to the literary journal McSweeney's. If you wait until the auction to pick up a subscription, though, you might miss out on the fall issue, which is unusual even by McSweeneys' quirk-embracing tendencies: It's an homage to print media that simultaneously explores new funding models.

Issue 33 of McSweeney’s Quarterly will be a one-time-only, Sunday-edition sized newspaper—the San Francisco Panorama. It'll have news (actual news, tied to the day it comes out) and sports and arts coverage, and comics (sixteen pages of glorious, full-color comics, from Chris Ware and Dan Clowes and Art Spiegelman and many others besides) and a magazine and a weekend guide, and will basically be an attempt to demonstrate all the great things print journalism can (still) do, with as much first-rate writing and reportage and design (and posters and games and on-location Antarctic travelogues) as we can get in there.

The issue will feature a piece of long-form investigative reporting (as far as I know, the magazine's first): a report on the history and current status of the Oakland Bay Bridge, co-written by Pulitzer Prize-winning Bob Porterfield and "structural-engineer-turned-reporter" Patricia Decker. The piece is being funded through donations to Spot.Us, which allows readers to contribute money to support worthy pitches. I like the concept of the whole issue, and it's available for pre-order here.

And... speaking of McSweeney's, I just so happen to have an extra copy of The Wild Things, Dave Eggers' novelization of Where the Wild Things Are, still in its original shrinkwrap and everything (which is probably for the best, since it's a pretty book and my desk could charitably be described as "totally fucking disgusting"). Email me with Wild Things in the subject line by 3 pm tomorrow for a shot at winning it—I'll pick a winner at random.

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