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Headmaster Magazine –Why Print Is Still The Best Medium For Its Concept – A Mr. Magazine™ Update With Matthew Lawrence & Jason Tranchida, Editors…

March 19, 2018

Headmaster editors Matthew Lawrence, left, and Jason Tranchida. Photo by Nelson Villarreal.

“We were very committed from the get-go to do a print publication. And for the artwork in it and the concept for the issue, print freezes something in time and it juxtaposes projects next to each other that we want next to each other for whatever reason. And I think doing something online with that wouldn’t work” Jason Tranchida…

“And we are talking about doing the gallery thing at some point down the road, but the difference is a gallery show comes and goes, it’s up in a month or two, or whenever, but the print is there forever. Our first issue came out in 2010 and we still have that to look at and refer back to and to show people.” Matthew Lawrence…

A Mr. Magazine™ Update…

On May 23, 2015, I published a Mr. Magazine™ interview with Matthew Lawrence and Jason Tranchida about Headmaster magazine. At that time Matthew described Headmaster as “a magazine with original projects and the concept behind it is that we find artists and writers that we like and we give them assignments to do those original projects for the magazine. So, everything between the pages is made for Headmaster.”

The self-described art magazine for man-lovers was born in 2010 by the original four “headmasters,” but over the years the four became two, Jason and Matthew. And then almost three years ago, the magazine stopped production. But today it’s back, in a refreshed and exciting way.

I recently spoke to Matthew and Jason again about the rebirth and this is a Mr. Magazine™ update on where Headmaster is today.

Samir Husni: So, almost three years later, you’ve brought Headmaster back. What happened in the meantime?

Jason Tranchida: Well, a bunch of things happened. We never consciously said we were going to stop doing it; we just had a lot going on. Matthew had started a different full-time job, and then once he settled in, my work got crazy, so we had some of these sits and stops in getting the new issue out. And we knew that we wanted to do some other bigger changes, this was sort of a concept issue. We added pages to it; we changed the paper; did some design rethinking, things like that. It just kind of happened.

And then finally we got enough momentum going, told ourselves we had three months to finish this bad boy and we were going to go to print. We committed to a launch in Chicago at a new art book fair there and so we’re back.

Samir Husni: Why do you believe in print? Why do you believe that for Headmaster to exist, it better be in print?

Jason Tranchida: We were very committed from the get-go to do a print publication. And for the artwork in it and the concept for the issue, print freezes something in time and it juxtaposes projects next to each other that we want next to each other for whatever reason. And I think doing something online with that wouldn’t work. The only other medium that I think might work for what we’re trying to do is if we did actual gallery shows, where we did almost the same assignment and then did an art show around it, which is kind of what we’re doing now. We curate each issue; we’re careful about who’s in the issue; when we’re choosing who we want to work with, there are certain people who we wouldn’t put in the same issue.

Matthew Lawrence: And we are talking about doing the gallery thing at some point down the road, but the difference is a gallery show comes and goes, it’s up in a month or two, or whenever, but the print is there forever. Our first issue came out in 2010 and we still have that to look at and refer back to and to show people. Although that one is sold out, so we don’t really show it to people anymore. (Laughs)

Jason Tranchida: But it is interesting, along the line of freezing in time, some of the projects and assignments were given pre-election and some were given post-election, so we had the projects for a long time before we actually went to print. And then a couple of the artists were of the mind that they might have done some things differently because the whole landscape had changed, and they wondered would there be a chance to revisit the project, or put a disclaimer on it. But we basically said no because that’s where we were and they were as an artist at that time. And we do put the date of the assignment in each issue, so it does have that context. But it really makes the “freezing in the moment of time” hit home.

And the fact that the issue did take a while to come out, there’s a breath of something going on that’s different from other issues that were maybe done in a more condensed time.

Samir Husni: When can we expect to see an issue nine? Will it take another almost three years before we see the next issue of Headmaster?

Jason Tranchida: I hope not. (Laughs)

Matthew Lawrence: I would say within the next year. We released number eight in November 2017. And I would not release an annual magazine in November again; it’s just really hard with the stores and holiday stuff, and art fairs. I think the timing needs to be early fall or early winter after the New Year.

Jason Tranchida: Yes, I would like to ideally have all of our work in by the end of the year for the next issue. And then, once we have all of the work it usually takes us about two months from final design to getting it printed and back to us.

Samir Husni: And the best way for people to get the current issue?

Matthew Lawrence: You can order it on our website and we’re in about two dozen stores, mostly in the U.S.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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