Rachel Drinkard is a self-professed magazine addict. With about 20 subscriptions to everything from the homey Real Simple to the hard-hitting Vice, Drinkard keeps every issue. Currently, her attic contains enough glossy paper to keep a fire going for a week.
So it follows that the 22-year-old blogger would eventually turn her online music journal into a tangible print format. In February, Drinkard will launch the magazine version of PulpFaction.org, a local blog that acts as an outlet for Drinkard to recommend rock shows or muse about her day-to-day experiences (worrying about getting older, buying a gold grill for her teeth, etc.).
Like her blog, the print version (also called Pulp Faction) will focus on the local music scene, but it will also feature articles on fashion, arts, dining, and culture in general.
"There was all this talk about how blogging and citizen journalism was going to completely replace traditional print news, but I think people are seeing that quality in that blogging atmosphere is not always there," says Drinkard. "I think there will eventually be a return to the more tactile feel of print media."
Not that she's dissing blogging. Drinkard simply has dreams of reaching more people. She wants to give them something to put their hands on or store in their attic.
"It's so much more gratifying to put a long, well-researched story into print form so that you have a record of it. You have something to hold on to," says Drinkard.
So far, it's not been easy. The launch date was pushed back after she realized she needed more advertisers. The first issue, originally scheduled for December release, is online now as a preview issue, which allows possible advertisers to see what they'll be investing in. A fresh issue will be on the stands in February.
The magazine will be printed on glossy or matte magazine-weight paper, though it will be a smaller "digest" size. Drinkard estimates it'll have about 50 to 80 pages of content. Pulp Faction will be free at Midtown and downtown coffee shops and bookstores. Though she doesn't have a distribution list yet, Drinkard says she'll post the locations on her Web site as the launch date draws nearer.
"I'm going to stay in Midtown and downtown because that's where the people are doing the things we're going to be writing about," says Drinkard. "Should the need arise, we might expand distribution."
She's hoping the magazine will appeal to the 18- to 35-year-old student/hip professional set. Some sample content sections include "ReVamp" (stories focusing on anything old made new again, such as buildings or clothes), "Barstool Illuminati" (reviews of bars and drink specials), and "Obsessions" (Q&A's with public figures listing their favorite things of the moment).
"There are going to be artist and musician profiles, reviews of products made in Memphis, and interesting things that aren't always covered in traditional media," says Drinkard. "It'll span everything but politics. We're going to leave the serious stuff to the experts."
Pulp Faction's music section will not only feature show reviews but will direct readers to Drinkard's blog where they can download music and hear it for themselves.
Possible content additions will also include cartoons, Memphis pop-culture crossword puzzles, and stories about weekend road trips.
Though this will be Drinkard's first solo print project, she gained some industry insight by working with local magazine editor J. Mignonne Wright on Chicken Soup for the Soul Magazine, a Memphis-produced, nationally distributed publication based on the books of the same name.
"I learned a lot from working in that office. The style was different from my personal style, but the basics were there," says Drinkard. "I hope that my experiences have prepared me for this."
These days, Drinkard spends her days working for an eBay store, where she's responsible for researching the value of items people bring in to auction on the Web site. Her experiences are often documented on her blog. For example, one post references her newfound love for photography after a guy brought in some old cameras.
Drinkard will continue to maintain PulpFaction.org, tailoring it to complement its printed sister publication.
"We'll be closely tied to our online presence," says Drinkard. "Practically everything that's in the print version will have additional content online. We'll have music, podcasts, and interviews. It'll be very much a multimedia kind of thing." ●