One of the Alibi’s earliest editors remembers the olden days.
The early days of The Alibi, then known as NuCity (before a Chicago publication with a phonetically identical name threatened to rip out all of our editorial teeth), were the types of days that every flash-of-genius writer chortles over when he's being interviewed by Oprah about his sizzling debut novel, or every tech guru recalls as she laughingly characterizes her time spent paying her dues before the Big Brilliant Idea that Changed Technology ForEver. They were days of subsisting on Fred's bagels (since we mostly got paid in "bagel bucks" instead of cash); working (sometimes even crashing) in a hot office box with Department of Health condemnable carpet; and simply assuming, with the nearly impervious certainty of youth, that everything would get better, and that we'd have fun in the meantime.
But since I was a bit older (a UNM grad student) than the whippersnappers (freshly minted University of Wisconsin alumni who'd graduated at age 14 after starting the now-famous Onion and who then bounded over to Albuquerque to launch NuCity), maybe my perviousness was perviouser because a couple of symbolic events shook my sense of admittedly weak professionalism.
One came in the form of the "serious" debut of our politics issue. We'd worked hard on the format and content: local pols running for office had been profiled; corresponding election season events had been catalogued; illustrations had been applied to cleverly embellish the stories. I, as the Managing Editor/Editor, along with our Copy Editor at the time, had the last look through before giving the final approval. Perfect! So proud! So political! So grown up! Too bad about the blaring, mega-point headline that spelled the word "candidate"
The second event actually came before the first one chronologically, but it had bigger ramifications at the time. We were applying for membership in AAN, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, and a group of us (Chris Johnson, Dan Scott, Landry? Dabney? O'Leary? Jonesy? Petersen?) had flown over to California with our precious offering–an issue that featured a solid, well-researched story by the inimitable Tim McGivern, illustrated by the swashbuckling Jason Waskey. We actually had to appear before a panel of AAN judges in an American Idol meets the North Korean Ministry of People's Security moment. And we were eviscerated. Bomblets like "juvenile" and "unprofessional
They were right. We eventually did make it into AAN, now operating under the expanded 21st identity of Association of Alternative Newsmedia. "Canidates,&quo