Monday, August 20, 2012

Sassy Mag Lives

Back in the late 80s, a friend lent me her copy of a yet-unheard-of-by-me teen magazine called Sassy. As I flipped through it's glossy, colourful pages I could almost feel my 13-year-old mind collapsing under the weight of all of my subverted expectation.

Sassy, for those who've never read it (and it's long defunct), was like a big, bad, sarcastic older sister to all the other goody-goody teen mags (Seventeen, I'm looking at you). Sassy introduced me to bands and musicians  like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Juliana Hatfield, and Liz Phair, and frequently published candid articles about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.

But the very thing that made Sassy so great, eventually led to the magazine's demise. A group of angry mothers killed Sassy. Not happy with the magazine's content ("How dare you try and inspire our daughters to be independent-minded, informed young women!"), the mothers started an advertising boycott. They wrote to all of Sassy's major advertising clients and asked them to boycott the publication. And, as you can imagine, it didn't take long for things to go south.

Sassy folded in 1996, and, since then, my heart has longed for another magazine to come along and fill it's stylish combat boots. Bust has been a worthy seatwarmer for a few years now, but it's more of a young women's (20+) Sassy and lacks some of the tongue-in-cheek charm of it's predecessor, though it definitely is a topnotch magazine.

Anyway, let's skip to the happy ending. Through a recent article in Bust magazine, I discovered that 16-year -old fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson, with the help of a few others including Jane Pratt (!) and Ira Glass (!), have created an online magazine called Rookie that effectively blows my mind. It's everything Sassy was and more. Tavi, thanks for loving Sassy even though you were not born before the last issue rolled. You have made my world a better place.

And...just to send me right over the edge of happiness, Rookie has a book coming out this fall. It's a collection of the best of the magazine's first year.


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