The Flyfish Journal : First Impressions

August 31, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

ffj_cover.jpgOn Saturday I received volume I number I of the new The Flyfish Journal. I expected that a publication whose editorial was overseen by Andrew Steketee and photo-edited by Tim Romano would be of more than average interest, but I’ll also admit to a certain persistent fatigue about new media (even new old media), most of which has seemed perfectly designed to hold my attention for a nano-second.
The first issue is what publisher Jeff Galbraith said it would be: a collectible archive of worth-seeing content. It’s not completely fresh, but most of it is. More important: they’ve managed not to slide into editorial snarkiness and seem focused instead on the continuing story. Great work here by Kirk Deeter, Greg Keeler, Dylan Tomine, Steketee, and others. Print does imagery better than a plasma screen (still), and remarkable photos by Copi Vojta, Mike Greener, Don Roberts, Brian Grossenbacher and many others are given their due. The magazine cleverly stacks captions — all of them well written — in the margins, where they don’t distract. The design and format emphasize the stories — some clever font work, but no cagey design tricks. (OK, I’m not inspired by the logo, which seems oddly out of sync.)
Fish porn this is not. Just good writers, edited very well. They’ve put out a first issue that makes me want to get the next, and probably the next. I could hear myself 15 or 20 years from now saying to my grown son, “That’s what we thought about then” and not be embarrassed that some current trend was enshrined as The Moment.
Print, apparently, lives.