In the summer of 1993, after graduating from Mount Allison University in Canada's Maritimes, three friends and I (with a little help from a few other fine folks) set out on a bold adventure when we decided to publish a literary and general interest magazine, and charge absolutely nothing for it.
In other words, we were doing the VICE Magazine thing a full year before that current global media empire's humble beginnings as the free Voice of Montreal (before Gavin and crew discovered the ambition-boosting power of pharmaceutical grade cocaine).
Peter, Erica, Nick and I gave our humble mag the fitting name of FREE Magazine, and set about writing, selling ads, illustrating, conducting interviews, editing, calling in favors, assembling, accounting, printing, mailing out subscription copies, and even physically delivering bundles to distrubutors all over New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Over the span of that summer, we worked our butts off. Unfortunately, in the end, we just couldn't make the math work out for us, and after putting out four issues that I, for one, thought we could be proud of, we decided to pack it in and go our separate ways.
In the years since, the Internet happened, and I guess I'd always assumed that one of us would eventually migrate our work over to an online archive of some sort. That never happened, so now, after more than 20 years, I've decided to be the one to do it. So keep your eyes on this space for full scans of every issue, starting with the first one this week, in all its primitive, low-resolution, PageMaker 2.0-style glory! I also hope that my compatriots Nick Lenco, Erica Butler, and Peter Morrison will chime in with remembrances of their own (fingers crossed).
As a bit of a teaser-taster to whet your appetite for this time traveller's treat, here is a covers gallery for you. Enjoy!