Friday, December 12, 2008

什么?(Shen Me?)

If you told me in 2005 that in 3 years I would be typing a blog title i Chinese, I would have laughed in your face. And the fact that it has actually happened just blows my mind. You never know where life is going to take you. Guangzhou is teeming with numerous foreigners like me who have some out here in search of something new. Or maybe to escape something old. But whatever the cause, we are all in neck deep in China. Naturally, as most human beings do, we eventually begin to force evolution upon our surroundings. There is more English music being played in bars, there are more ads printed in English. There is an extremely popular magazine just for the homesick immigrants looking to experience familiar environments. Its loaded with great articles about alternative vacation spots in China, unique dining experiences in various cities, and loads of useful ads for businesses and services in the area. The articles are extremely well written too. I thought about approaching them with an article a few times but nothing about the magazine motivated me. 

I do post loads of irrelevant shit on my blog but the real reason I started writing was to explore my style, and maybe gain enough confidence to put my words out there. A couple months My buddy E told me about a few of her friends who were meeting up at Ping Pong to discuss a little magazine they wanted to put together. I tagged along with her over there for a beers and a peek at the scene. I knew one of the folks at the table, Dallas and a couple of  other people I had seen around the bars. I did not  get involved in their project but in the end I mentioned to the peditor, that I might send her something and if they like it they could use it. E had told me that this was going to be a really low budget publication and the magazine would probably only be printed in 2 color shades. This totally intrigued me. I imagined a subculture publication printed on an old school rotogravure in some dudes garage, so I wrote an article that I believed would gratify the magazines origin. It was to be dubbed  什么?(Shen Me?), which means 'WHAT?' in English. 

I was not really sure if the magazine would ever go to print so I sent my article in to the editor. I did not here anything about a launch for a while, then I did, then it got delayed... It turns out 什么?(Shen Me?) finally did get launched when I was away in Ghana. I just got back and saw the finished product... I Like!!!

One of the cool features of this magazine is that there are articles in both Mandarin and English. Some of the articles are printed in both languages too. I like that. 

This edition also included a fucking awesome comic called 'Zombie Hangover'. It is the introduction that is basically about some place in time where the civilian population just might be on the brink of a zombie invasion. It looks like it is going to be sick. 

I wrote a piece about street art called 'The Writing on the Wall'. It started off as more of a social thing but as I started to contemplate the relevance of my words printed on any publication in China might have, the article turned more journalistic. It was a semi-subconscious thing I guess. In to your life it will creep. 

I feel privileged to have my first published writing in 什么?Zine. I think the team is targeting a quarterly launch. I have not come up with anything yet and I don't want to use anything old either. and I got a serious back log at work right now too. Maybe I'll b motivated by something over Christmas. I hope the next issue is in 2 colors as well. The layout in this one is awesome, they used the colors really well. Loads of other wikid writing too. You can't really call them articles. All of them are really deep and intense. It's pretty exiting to be around such talented people. 

So get your hands on a copy if you have the chance. I don,t know where and I don't know how, but LOFT 345 would be a good place to start. I got an extra copy to mail out for the first person who asks for it. And check out this limited edition Shen Me? cap. Its so limited that I think I have the only one! HA HA! Holla at ya boy! 

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