Monday, May 14, 2007


Via Pitchfork:

Just a few months after a tragic retirement from newsstands, it seems Arthur magazine is getting primed for a triumphant return. As reported in Los Angeles weekly CityBeat, editor and co-founder Jay Babcock (as Arthur Publishing Company) recently bought out publisher Laris Kreslins' 50% share in the bi-monthly rag, which Babcock has designs on resurrecting.

"I have now gained 100 percent control of Arthur," Babcock told CityBeat, "and I intend to resume publishing the magazine as soon as all the financing is in order."

To secure funds for the buy-out, Babcock turned to those he knew best. "When I reached out, it was to a close circle of family and...longtime friends," he told CityBeat, adding, "We probably will do a benefit or two or auction off one-of-a-kind items to help me pay back all the people who loaned me money."

Since establishing the periodical in 2002, the folks behind Arthur have published 25 issues devoted to music, art, and cultural and political criticism, and distributed them free of charge. The 26th issue, in process at the time of Arthur's premature demise in February 2007, will not see print, most of its content having already appeared in other publications or on the Arthur website.

Babcock hasn't forecasted precisely when Arthur will return to the press. "It's not time yet," he told CityBeat. "All the ducks are getting in order, and then we'll go for a swim."

It's also not clear at this time what this means for Arthur-sponsored festivals, nor the Arthur-spawned imprint Bastet.

Kreslins, meanwhile, confirmed the business transaction in a recent e-mail to Pitchfork. He also sought to clear up some of the confusion regarding his break with Arthur: "There's no 'one' version of what happened...There's a full scope and it's complicated and emotional. I had been openly planning my departure from the magazine for a long time and marked issue 25 as my last issue as publisher more than a year before it went to print," he wrote, adding, "I really am looking forward to the next issue of Arthur."

Kreslins will continue work "developing a concept for a Philadelphia-centric magazine and focusing my attention on projects I have going on locally." What's more, "I just found a litter of kittens who don't have a momma, so that's taking up a chunk of time, too."

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