Graydon Carter, George Kalogerakis and Kurt Andersen, “SPY: The Funny Years”

I found an old issue of this acerbic, New York-centric magazine for a dollar and fell in love with it. Got a good deal on this hardcover from Copacetic Comics in Pittsburgh!

THE LOWDOWN
Published: 2006, 304 pp.
Obtained via: Copacetic
Date started: 2.10.09
Date finished: 2.30.09

What I liked: The mid-’80s seem like such a heady time to start a magazine. The economy was good, and the technology was laughably low-tech. The founding editors, Graydon Carter and Kurt Andersen, are recognizable names now—Carter’s the editor of Vanity Fair, and Andersen is a novelist and the host of Studio 360. It seems like everybody who got in on the ground floor at SPY went on to do great things. Sounds like heaven.
I also loved the page scans of notorious articles, and the pranks the staff would pull using only a fax machine and moxie.
What I didn’t like: Once I finished reading, I remembered how dismal the current magazine industry is. Around 1993, the original staff had fled, and the last few years of the magazine were decidedly less funny, hence the title.
What I learned: Staying true to your ideals works for a while. But when the ride’s over, it doesn’t mean you stop moving.

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