Longshot Magazine: Made in 48 Hours, Made at GOOD

A few months ago, we reported on 48 Hour Magazine, a project conceived by three San Francisco writers in which writers, editors, illustrators and designers would produce an entire magazine in 48 hours. In May, with a team working out of the Mother Jones office in San Francisco, and 1500 submissions from around the world, Issue 0 was written, edited, designed, and shipped in just two days. A few months and a few legal problems later—cough, CBS, cough48 Hour became Longshot and was looking for a place to produce Issue 1. Knowing how challenging—and exciting—it can be to push a print publication out into the world these days, GOOD offered up our headquarters.

For the entirety of last weekend, GOOD functioned much the way it always does, but the pace was just a bit, um, accelerated. On Friday afternoon dozens of writers and editors (many of whom work at or with Wired) arrived at GOOD's office in Los Angeles, armed with sleeping bags, MacBooks and cases of beer. The theme—announced at noon on Friday—was Comeback, and by the time the edit team had arrived, submissions had already started to stream in (using the very agile and easy-to-use submission management system Submishmash).

Over the next 24 hours (some of which were spent napping on couches and air mattresses) the team read every single one of the 503 submissions and plucked out pieces that would be published in the magazine, as well as on a website that would launch simultaneously.

At the halfway mark, several folks from our GOOD design team began assembling the magazine. The creative team was headed by Keith Scharwath (the art director for our Neighborhoods Issue), and included Atley Kasky, Dylan C. Lathrop, and Will Etling, along with Tim Leong, an art director from Wired. With the help of Casey Caplowe and Alissa Walker (serving as art interns) the team also created several original photo illustrations, including subjects ranging from Hulk Hogan to a jar of bacon to a flying dog. You'll have to buy the magazine to find out why.

Longshot even had its own in-house illustrator, Wendy MacNaughton, who not only illustrated images for magazine stories, she even had time to illustrate a visual recap of the weekend, including a rather sharp rendering of GOOD editor-in-chief Zach Frechette, who served as one of Longshot's senior editors.

That second night, hardly anyone slept, and if they did, not for long, as copy was edited and fact-checked, and art was finalized and positioned in InDesign documents. Coolhaus, GOOD's favorite architecturally-significant ice cream truck, dropped by around midnight with some much-appreciated ice cream sandwiches. The beverage of choice switched from beer to coffee (really excellent hand-ground coffee, provided by new L.A. cafe Paper Or Plastik).

As the sun came up, editors fine-tuned headlines and designers coaxed final copy into the grid. Somehow in the midst of everything, we also managed to design a Longshot t-shirt through Woot! And at the stroke of noon on Sunday, August 29, we not only had a magazine, we had 50 new friends and collaborators. We do hope you'll check it out.

Thank you to Longshot's founders—Mat Honan, Alexis Madrigal, and Sarah Rich—for asking us to be a part of it, and to the entire team for making the experience so fun and festive. In all honesty, it felt a lot more like summer camp than it felt like making a magazine. It gave us great faith in what we're doing here at GOOD, and reminded us why compressing the work of hundreds of people into 60 beautiful, intelligent pages is always, always worth it.

Now head over to MagCloud and buy a copy of Longshot Issue 1. It's being printed on demand so you could have your issue by the end of the week. In the meantime, you can check out some of the pieces online.

Photos, in order, by Molly Wright Steenson, Adam Hemphill, and Cara Rose DeFabio.

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