Void Mag Issue #1 has been sitting on my desk here at Void HQ for some time now; the elements of its cover—sky blue backdrop; transparent OG-Void logo; copious, vague text (“Local Music & Art”), and, most especially, the off-center silhouette of Ryan Briggs—seeping into my subconscious, all the while.
On or around January 1, Issue #99 joined it and they’ve been cohabiting since. Aside from a similar blue-sky backdrop, the differences between the two covers are striking, superficially speaking. The updated logo is subtle, almost hidden, banished to the top corner. Unlike #1, there’s no textual heave, as the only other words to be found (the phrase “Rad Pads”) are confined to the bottom left. There’s complexity in #99’s cover, though, as the eye is drawn to the clean lines of the angled structure covering about a third of the page, as well as the natural abstract markings on the wood slats within that congruous shape.
I won’t say one is better than the other, though. Doing so would ignore important context. Issue #1 dropped in May of 2010—and design-wise, it’s certainly of that time. Beyond that, the contents were shot, edited, designed, and sold (not necessarily in that order) by a passionate, yet naive team of publishing newbies—more on that inside issue #100 (“Locals Only” p. 14).
Yet, despite their apparent differences, the similarities between the contents within issue #1 and #99 are perhaps more striking. In tone, both issues are unabashedly positive. Both feature conversations with local artists (Kendrick Kidd and Levi Ratliff in issue #1, Jeff Whipple and Liz Gibson in issue #99) and musicians (Darkhorse Saloon in issue #1 and Darkhorse Saloon, again, in issue #99). There’s surfing in both. Skating too. Most importantly, the contents of both address what it means to be in North Florida; to really live here. They are of different times, sure. But both are undeniably of the same place.
We recently dropped Void Mag, Issue #100. To understand why that’s a big deal requires a whole mess of context—some of which we’ve attempted to unpack in the 100 pages or our latest issue. We’ve used some of those pages to look inward, reflecting on and celebrating the absurdity of starting a magazine in the midst of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, and the unlikeliness of the success of such an endeavor. We’ve also dedicated some space to the region—its special people, places, and businesses—that has literally and figuratively filled the void (“We All Shine On” p. 34).
Another thing that has become abundantly clear over the last few weeks spent mining through archival photos and flipping through old issues: making this magazine is and always has been a freaking blast. A labor of love, sure. But something each and every person who’s come through these doors has seemingly taken on because they love the mission of the mag, which has been from day one, to showcase what makes our region just so damn lovable.
“We definitely felt like something was missing… and felt that we could bring something that felt more real and more connected with the community than anyone else could,” says Void founding partner and publisher Tye Wallace about the mag’s beginnings. “Plain and simple, we were stubborn enough to try whether it succeeded or not.”
It’s impossible to say what our cover will look like in roughly eight years and three months, when we drop issue #200. We do know what will be reflected in its contents. It’ll be of a different time, sure. But our love for this place—this region and its people—will endure. Thanks for being stubborn enough to stick with us for 100 issues.