Paraphilia Magazine is one of those cool publications that you wished you’d stumble upon more often. A kind of art/avant/underground aggregator, published in a true magazine format, the mag is really coming into its own. I caught up with editors D.M. Mitchell and Dire McCain to get a bit more insight into the project:
1) Tell us how Paraphilia Magazine came into existence. Díre: We’ve recently come to realize that PARAPHILIA has been in the works for the duration of our lives, but it didn’t begin to materialize until late 2008, when Dave and I were simultaneously struck with the idea amid a conversation one day. It honestly started out as an impulsive leap that was driven by our deep dissatisfaction with the publishing industry. Once the idea was germinated, we set out to make it a reality, by bringing in several of the absolutely brilliant people we’re surrounded by, who were gracious enough to donate material for the first issue. And the rest, as “They” say, is history… 2) What’s the ‘mission statement’ of the site and magazine? Díre: It’s difficult to pin down or summarize, but basically, we want to provide people with a venue where they don’t have to check themselves, where they won’t be censured or unjustifiably censored, where the almighty dollar doesn’t call the shots, and where they can find other like-minded souls nestled within our pages.
3) Do you only publish online, or can we expect some hard copies of the mag?
Dave: Our original intention was to make the magazine a free publication. Only that way could we really stick to a non-elitist, non-stratified and uncensored programme. If we started making hard copies of it, we’d need to start charging for it simply to cover costs and that introduces all sorts of conditions that would totally change the direction. For starters, we would need to be more selective of the contents in terms of ‘salability’ and favour using more people who are already commercially established. We’d need to pay contributors and some contributors, being already professionals, would want more than others. At the moment, the magazine is like a playground for people where they can go crazy and do all the things that other publications might not let them do, in terms of style and content. We’ve toyed with the idea of making them retrospectively available as printed versions but have ditched that idea. Maybe we’ll do a sort of ‘Best Of’ at some point.
4) How have the ‘netizens’ (I hate that term, sorry) taken to the site and mag?
Díre: Well, it’s been ten months since we launched PARAPHILIA, and so far, the response – from both readers and contributors – has exceeded our expectations tenfold.
Dave: I think we’ve hit the right combination at the right time. It’s incredibly gratifying.
5) What inspired you to start selling books on the site? Are these your own releases?
Dave: We haven’t started publishing out own books as yet, but we will be doing in 2010. I’ve been involved in publishing since around 1991 doing work for Creation Books, Savoy Books and my own press for a while – Oneiros Books. People still want books and I believe a lot of them want something new and inspiring. I’m confident that they don’t want to keep reading just the same old stuff from JK Rowling and Dan Brown. Not that I’m knocking either of those authors, but it’s true that most authors taking their work to publishers are being asked to write ‘something like Harry Potter’ or ‘something like the Da Vinci Code’. Most books nowadays are churned out by big companies which are run by very unimaginative people who operate their businesses like sausage machines.
The ‘BOOKS’ page on our site at the moment is to promote books put out by independent presses, or simply individuals, stuff that is normally frowned on as ‘vanity publishing’ but which I see is the only area currently that is producing much that I’m interested in.
6) I see you recently had a conversation with James Williamson, can we expect more audio from you guys?
Díre: That particular audio was comprised of the unused portions from the extensive article on James Williamson that’s featured in PARAPHILIA V, which can be found here: http://www.paraphiliamagazine.com/magazine.html
We actually recorded two and a half hours of conversation that night, and rather than scrap the “leftovers” we decided to run it as a webcast. Dave and I thought it would be interesting, since the magazine and some of its players are a featured topic of discussion. The other motive was to give the fans a more complete picture of James – who really is a lovely, personable, easygoing soul – by giving them an opportunity to hear him rather than relying entirely upon the written.
There are currently a couple of tracks on the site that are related to material included in PARAPHILIA V. Once the new music quarterly is up and running, we hope to feature more. Not sure about more audio conversations, interviews, etc, but since we’re open to just about anything, the possibility definitely exists.
7) What’s the future of the project? What can we expect to see in the near future? Dave: Dave: More issues of the magazine (including a new quarterly publication devoted to music), a lot of books, maybe some graphic novels, some music, a lot of madness, and hopefully a lot of fun for everyone involved. We’re not into ‘Serious’ culture (with a capital ‘s’ and a big frown). We hope people simply enjoy what we’re doing as much as we are ourselves. If we stop enjoying it, then it’s time to rethink and maybe change direction.
Dire: And of course, we intend to maintain our kamikaze mindset and delusional optimism, both of which have guided us from the get-go.