Friday, April 27, 2012

Twin Cities Reader lives again

I wish this had been the last issue, but it
was the second to last issue. Of course, Carl
ultimately got Minnesota to build a stadium
for his Twins baseball team.

Artwork by the great Jack Mhyervold.
He sent this in unsolicited. Depicting Carl Pohlad as
The Godfather, it was a perfect illustration
for John Yewell's Twins stadium story.

How is it possible that it's been 15 years since the last issue of the Twin Cities Reader was published? 

I was the art director of the TCReader when it went out of business in March of 1997. I'd been there for a little over two years. It was a fun job. I had the trust of the editor and could pretty much do what I wanted. I was able to hire great artists and photographers. And then it was gone.

Burl Gilyard, a writer for the Reader, emailed former staffers noting 15th anniversary of the dissolution on March 12, 1997. This sent me to Google to snoop around to see if there was any electronic evidence of the Reader. I was mostly looking for older versions of the paper -- before my time -- but there was almost nothing in image search. I found only one version of the logo from the '90s. But not a single cover.

And then I got an email out of the blue from another former coworker, Jesper Goransson, who was a Reader production intern, wondering why there weren't any Reader visuals on the Internet. Probably the reason is that the Reader went out of business before the Internet revved up.

So, I'm going to post some Twin Cities Reader covers here. And why not! 

The last issue. Photo by Jeffrey Rabkin.
My first issue. White space!
I changed the logo after a couple months.
Stunning John Noltner photo.

A sweet Merle Nacht illustration.

The first appearance of my
TC Reader logo in December 1995
Photo by Ann Marsden.

The Winter Guide, 1996.
Photo by Robyn McDaniels and Gordon Stettinius,
model: Penny Reinwand, stylist: Ellen French.
Robyn and Gordon shared a weekly
photo feature in the Reader.

I redrew the classic Reader logo for the
big 20th anniversary issue. The original
artwork was long gone.

My direct inspiration
for the upside down
20th anniversary cover.
A 1988 Village Voice
cover designed by
Michael Grossman.
Prince and [symbol] through the years.
Fantastic art by Erik Johnson
made this cover idea work.
And the flip side.

Note: The Twin Cities Reader is now owned by City Pages (or Village Voice Media, if you want to be technical) in Minneapolis and they use the name every once in a while for stuff. It was on a book section in City Pages for a few years. And it was also used for a City Pages news aggregator that ran for a short time. I imagine the name will turn up again.