16 hours ago
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Reasons To Buy The Free Press
There are quite a few good reasons to buy the recently-revamped Free Press weekly magazine, beyond the fact that VP Noli de Castro resembles a basset hound (aaaww) on the cover of this week's issue. (Spiffy cover redesign by Juan Caguicla, suckas!)
Reason #1 has to be that Erwin Romulo (former Features Editor of Rogue magazine), is now their new Associate Editor, which accounts for why the century-old publication is changing for the better, inside and out. Reasons #2 and up would be the creative people he's bringing on board -- photographers like Juan, writers like Yvette Tan, Lourd de Veyra, Alexis Tioseco, Tad Ermitano, Armi Millare, Adam David, Philbert Dy, and, ahem, myself, among others.
The new issue has my review/essay about Up Dharma Down in it. Last week's issue (Dec. 6 cover date, Alfonso Cusi on the front) has Adam's first book review for the FP, of Khavn's Ultraviolins -- and it is worth getting for that alone. It pulls no punches, and abounds in insights such as:
"It's an interesting phenomenon, these safe sanctioned transgressions, how we are "given" only a few things to complain about -- GMA, violence against women, corporate churchdom, globalization -- and how we are "given" only a few choice ways to complain about them. It's the height of absurdity, a simulacrum of a rebellion -- corporate punk."
Dig around more in the back issues and if you're lucky enough to find the recent one with the Bayani Fernando cover (mid-November, I believe), get it, because it has an amazing story by Yvette Tan called "Her Room Was Her Temple," another deft mind-mangling mashup of horror, sex and dark humor.
Erwin and I had some conversations about how to change the Free Press before his appointment as editor was confirmed. It's exciting to see these plans -- and more -- actually being implemented. (Everybody used to make jokes about how ugly the covers were -- well, now something has been done about that!) I used to buy the Free Press (and the Graphic) semi-regularly in the 90s, usually depending on who wrote the fiction feature for that week, but I stopped buying both almost a decade ago. So it's a thrill to be looking forward to finding the FP on the stands again these days.
And now I want you all to sing this song, to the tune of the chorus of "Reasons" by Earth Wind and Fire:
Free Press, the Free Press that we need
The Free Press that we read
To improve our thoughts -- and our deeds
Oooooh! And -- after a hundred years on the stands
All of the copies are now in demand
Because the Free Press is now in new hands
La la la la la, etc.