"What, no more boobies?" A tribute to Jane
The beginning and the end. Courtesy of the Drew Barrymore Collective and Searching Bones
So it turns out that Jane didn't cancel my subscription after all. I knew they wouldn't let me down. Phew! Buuuut then there's the bad news. According to Radar, Gawker and just about every other blog on the planet, it seems as though the whole magazine is kaput. Downer.
Jane Pratt first demonstrated her awesomness with the even more amazing (yet unfortunately titled) Sassy magazine. It was like an editorial version of Angela Chase but, well, dare I say, sassier (coincidentally the only remnants of my former Sassy collection is a cover with Claire Danes. Aw.) Sassy folded and Ms. Pratt launched her namesake mag in 1997, the same impressionable year that I entered high school. I didn't think much of the first issue but after about a year I became sucked in. The fucked-up-chic layout and snarky disposition genuinely made me look forward to my 20s. Yes, I'm serious.
Jane always seemed to position itself as the anti Cosmo, with Jane herself even once proudly proclaiming to Ms. Magazine that her future venture would be an "ethnically, culturally and sexually -- as in orientation -- diverse ... bridge between the old Sassy (radical, chic, funny) and Ms. (intelligent, feminist)." Weeeeelll, not so much. From the very beginning, Jane quite consistently fell short of it's ideals. Was it Ms. or Sassy? Hells no. But it still maintained a certain level of cool that made it a refreshing alternative to most other ladies mags.
There was a dark dark (DARK!) era that I will not fail to mention. It was an strange period where suddenly Pamela Anderson had a monthly column, and if I'm not mistaken, ended up on the cover twice in one year. There were many additional grievances, too many to mention. Suddenly the mag had forgotten whatever roots it did have. This is also around the time that I interned for Jane's editorial office...for a week...and then quit. After Jane Pratt herself peaced out on her own creation, the format got really schizo. I nearly canceled my subscription on several occasions...but was too lazy to pick up the phone and do so.
The recent nabbing of Kusum Lynn as fashion director (from Nylon, another one of my former free labor gigs) helped Jane move in a more promising direction. It sort of became Nylon + Jane in a blender (with a dash of Bust) and actually worked out beautifully. If you could ignore lame cover girls like Avril Lavigne and a selection of awkward article missteps it was still a really good read. But alas, Conde Nast/Fairchild Publications only saw the loss of $$$$ so there wasn't much else to do. I understand that it's run it's course but at the end of the day, I still hate to see a decent mag die.
So on that note, I bid Jane a fine and somewhat respectful farewell. In the future I look forward to reading More Magazine, taking up wine tasting, and dedicating myself to cougarism. Good night.
[Reuters] Conde nast cosing down Jane magazine
[Gawker] Rumor: 'Jane' Magazine Folds
Sassy, sassy reactions:
[NY Mag Online] ‘Sassy’ Girls on ‘Jane’ Closure: People Don't Care About Mags Anymore
[Feministing] Jane is dead
[Confessions of a Casting Director] Jane Magazine RIP
[Mag.nificent] THIS JUST IN: Jane Magazine Folds
[Missbehave] Holy Crap
I feel you, I do:
[Salon.com] Jane's Affliction
[Bitch Magazine Online] 10 Things to Hate About Jane