City Paper is not for tourists
You may have seen the bright yellow boxes around town: Bash, a new alternative-comics monthly, will debut Friday. “We’re in the air, dropping,” says Publisher John B. Van Meter.
The D.C. publication’s Web site has information for potential advertisers, a PDF of its prototype issue, and, somewhat less expectedly, a mailing address in Lexington, Ky., a city roughly 500 miles from the neighborhoods Van Meter says he’s targeting first: Adams Morgan, Georgetown, Bethesda.
Van Meter divides his time between Georgetown (he has family in this area) and Lexington, where he was an investor in Nougat, an arts monthly that folded in June. “You lose money in one magazine, you’ll jump into another,” says Van Meter.
Bash has a Lexington address, Van Meter says, because its “computer guy” (Managing Editor Jonathan T. Hampton) is there, but notes that Bash’s sales staff is “all Washington.”
“Last month I was in D.C. for three months,” says Van Meter. He says he’s been “up and down Connecticut knocking on doors” trying to sell ads, which he says is “one of the toughest things in advertising for a magazine that’s never been put out.”
Bash‘s prototype features strips such as “Tiny Sepuku” and Van Meter’s own “Womb Wompers,” which stars talking fetuses. Van Meter was a cartoonist for Nougat before he put money into it. He says, laughing: “I’m not a businessman, I’m a cartoonist. Likely, that’s starting to show.”