Hello Mr issue 4
Delivered to Stack subscribers in Oct 2014
A magazine about men who date men, Hello Mr. leaves cliques and cliches behind to present a totally original, thoroughly modern and entirely accessible view of what it means to be gay today.
Keep reading for our interview with Ryan Fitzgibbon, founder, publisher, and creative director…
Founder, publisher, and creative director.
What is Hello Mr?
A bi-annual magazine for men who date men and the experiences that come with that territory.
What makes it different to the rest?
Hello Mr. is the product of a community that extends beyond a gay male demographic. Our content is reflective of a generation, sharing common experiences rather than prescribing a desired lifestyle, aspiration, or agenda. Each issue highlights universal themes that transcend place, time, age, and gender. What drives us, what mistakes have we made, what we have learned, etc.
Additionally, the quality of the bi-annual product makes it collectable, which is a new behaviour for a readership that has become accustomed to monthly, or weekly publications with content that quickly expires or can be found online. We’re collecting the voices of the everyday gay man and then making it something precious and lasting.
Who makes Hello Mr?
There’s an entire cast of contributors and volunteers behind each issue, some recurring, but the day-to-day operations are run by myself. As needed, I contract copyeditors and part-time staff when the going gets tough, and of course my many advisors and peers who give me constant support.
Who reads it?
More than just gay people, if you can imagine. Since our emergence last year, Hello Mr. has grabbed the attention of the design community, catering to lovers of a simplistic, understated aesthetic and beautiful illustrations. We’ve also got quite a following on social media, largely thanks to being deemed one of Instagram’s suggested users. As we develop the identity of the print mag, we’re using social media platforms to reach many different lifestyles — fashion, food, family, art, photography — so there’s a bit of something for everyone.
Why do you work in magazines?
The magazine is really just the vehicle. I work to inspire people and change perceptions. A younger version of me used to frequent the periodical section of booksellers looking for a sense of community so I could understand what it meant to be gay. Too often, the LGBT section was hidden in the far back corner, censored by black plastic shields. While their content was worthy and valid, their covers were too salacious for a boy to dare purchase or take home.
Apart from elevating the shelf placement for gay journalism, my goal for Hello Mr. is simple: create a brand that is accessible and realistic and that can make a difference. It’s a dream to be able to do that on paper in this day and age.
Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
Not much else in the last two years since getting Hello Mr. off the ground. My time away from Hello Mr. is usually spent thinking about how the brand expands outside of a publication through events and other extensions of the community. I’ve also become a bit obsessed with tennis as a way to relieve stress, but other than that there’s the occasional Tinder date, or last minute trips to escape the routine and recharge my batteries.
What would you change about Hello Mr. if you could?
There’s not one specific thing I would want to fundamentally change about the magazine, but regardless, Hello Mr. is making small changes constantly. Watching the magazine take its own form and evolve since it all started has been so rewarding. Whether that’s exploring new terrain in our editorial or partnering with other independent brands and publications to create new products or offerings, we’re still in a very early stage. And that’s a great thing. There’s a lot of potential left to be explored.
Where do you see Hello Mr. in five years?
Taking cues from where it all started, I want to continue expanding our community, creating connections amongst it that empowers more individuals to achieve their goals.
We have so many artists, writers, contributors and timely stories to draw from, which extend far beyond the print edition. It seems logical for Hello Mr. to host more events and experiences that bring the qualities of the publication to life in even more meaningful ways.
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