Catherine Neill Juchheim, my art director at Southern Breeze, the REAL magazine I edit, says that it is essentially up to the A.D. to ride herd over the material as well as the editors and sales people. “Whether it is a duel with the editor (no, 1,000 words of copy will NOT fit there!) or a fight with the sales guys over those last minute ads (and money always wins), it is up to the intrepid art director to make it work.”Anthony Picco, who served as my art director for four years at a not-for-profit, completely understood and agreed with my comments because we respected each other’s profession as well as each other as people. “My job is to make the information in the magazine attractive, readable, and enjoyable,” Tony says. “I fully understand that there are times that business politics dictate cover choices or lead articles. I have no problem accommodating that. In a healthy working relationship, I am happy to listen to editors’ suggestions.”However Tony admits that he prefers less specific comments from his editors (“The cover looks too busy,” or “This article has to look spectacular”). He adds that nothing annoys him more than when an editor tries to do HIS job with the “Make that type red” or “I want the type justified, not flush right.” Or as he puts it: “Nothing drives an art director crazier than an editor who is a frustrated art director.”Another former cohort, Samuel Fontanez, who worked as a staff artist and is now art director of a magazine I used to oversee, took exception to my seemingly iron-fisted management mantra. “While I agree it’s the editor’s job to reel in the A.D. into reality when he thinks they’ve gone too far, [the editor] is not the only person on staff privy to the magazine’s audience,” he says. “Any art director who doesn’t know the audience or industry he or she is doing layouts for is basically a temp who has overstayed his or her welcome. So I think we deserve a little more credit in that area.”John Scott, another former colleague who worked on two monthly publications where I was the managing editor, feels a lot of the issues between editors and their art doyennes are simply due to ego. “I think all editors and art directors have big egos, whether or not they admit it, so naturally there will always be clashes,” John wrote in his response to my initial post. “However, it is the ones on both sides that know how to control their ego and not let it get in the way that are the most successful. It is a team effort and there must be mutual respect and a bit of humility.” John adds that if those egos get out of control, the end product will suffer and the work situation will be miserable. “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? That’s always gotten me through plenty of situations.” Many of the initial blog responders took issue to the “art director is always the wife” statement comparing the editor/A.D. relationship to a marriage. Sam was no exception. To wit, he says that if art directors are the wife, “then I suggest we make Lorena Bobbit our patron saint!” (Anyone who doesn’t remember Lorena, Google her. And by the way, Sam … ouch!)Catherine was also not a fan of the husband and wife mentality and stresses equality among the players. “It’s the 21st century now, people; how many wives out there are truly subservient to their husbands?” she ponders. “It’s an equal partnership or else it ends in divorce.”John admitted that the “editor has final say,” but added that doesn’t necessarily mean they are always right. I agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly. In one of my blog comments, I talked about how my art director and I were seemingly up against the editor-in-chief (who had been in that specific industry for over 15 years) and a mousey associate editor regarding a particular cover design. Jonathan, the A.D., created a stunning, emotional visual from an idea I had. Instead, the EIC opted for tired stock art that did nothing for the magazine. [PS: The magazine folded five months later and Jonathan and I are the only ones still working in the magazine industry.]Unlike John, Tony acquiesced: “The editor is always right, in theory,” he says, “but there are ‘Editors from Hell’ and I have worked for some of them. What does an art director do when an editor has no taste whatsoever—not even bad taste—and yet that editor wants to interfere? What do you do with a micromanager editor who believes you can only do your job properly if your hand is held every step of the way, from concept to completion? Ultimately, I have been fortunate—only about 70% of the editors I worked for were insane.”Whether or not an editor is always right, Catherine agrees that it is the editor—not the art director—who has the first and last word with a magazine. “It is the editor who writes or assigns the stories that sets the tone for the art director to follow,” she says. “It is the art director’s vision that brings those stories to life across the pages, but it is the editor’s determination as to whether the art director’s vision is in keeping with the spirit of the editorial written.”Art directors lucky enough to have good editors basically have free reign with the look and feel of a magazine, which comes from mutual respect, according to Catherine. “It’s also an open communication atmosphere where the editor and art director freely share ideas and perhaps even cross the lines of responsibility at times. Mark listens to any story ideas that I might have for Southern Breeze and I listen to him when he has an idea for an image to go along with something he has written. We also tell each other pretty candidly when we think something isn’t going to work, and why. That way, both parties are invested in all aspects of the magazine, and both are driven to produce the best issue they can, time and time again. That is the only way to a successful magazine.”However, an atmosphere where the editor and art director are constantly at odds will only result in a second-rate magazine and a very tense environment. “There is just no way a publication can succeed if the two ‘parents’ are constantly fighting,” Catherine says. “That will just produce a take-side atmosphere and pretty soon the whole office is in an us-versus-them uproar and nothing good will come from that.”And the final word has to go to Catherine: “To the editor who may consider his or her art director a freak or diva: it takes one to know one. And I think Mark would agree!!”Boy do I! Apparently my last blog post—Editors vs. Art Directors—really struck a nerve, judging by the number of responses (22 by my last count). When the attacks got personal (name calling, questioning the legitimacy of my own magazine, etc.) it made me realize that there are some pretty deep-seeded feelings on this issue.The overall point of the last blog was that while the editor and art director are partners, the burden of responsibility always falls onto the editor. I’ve seen a lot more editors than art directors lose their jobs due to a magazine’s poor performance in my career. However, I have routinely seen art directors get the majority—if not all—of the praise for how great a magazine has turned around while the efforts of the editorial staff go totally unnoticed. That said, many of the art directors whom I sent the blog link to agreed with my comments. Maybe it helped that we worked (or still work) together in some capacity, or that they understood, not only where I was coming from, but my healthy attitude toward art directors.
12 3:05 Comments Now playing: Watch this: Turned On Tags My conversation with Harmony the sexbot Warning: This post contains descriptions unsuitable for young readers. Let’s begin by picturing a Venn diagram. On one side, you’ve got people who enjoy recording video of themselves having sex. On the other, you’ve got people who wear silicone rings around their penis to help maintain an erection. Julz Folks in the middle of that Venn diagram might be especially interested in the “Cock Cam” from UK company Julz.”Capture your climax,” reads the company’s website as it welcomes you to “the world’s first cock ring with a camera,” available now for $160.”Yes,” the copy adds, “it’s exactly what it sounds like!”Points for truth in advertising, I suppose. The site even lets you watch an NSFW sample video recorded by a base jumper wearing a prosthetic, strap-on appendage over the top of his jumpsuit as he parachutes down a mountain (you know, like so many of us do). The first-person view is admittedly quite scenic, though the effect is somewhat spoiled by the large rubber dildo flopping wildly in the foreground.Weighing in at less than an ounce, the camera in Julz’s “stretchy yet tight” wearable ring records up to 90 minutes of 1080p, H.264 video in MP4 format. It features night vision, too, as well as a rechargeable lithium battery.”When filming for long periods of time the camera runs warm,” Julz cautions. “The product is safe to use. If the Cock Cam becomes uncomfortable please stop using and contact our team.”Along with heat buildup, there’s Wi-Fi to worry about in this thing too, complete with a companion app that lets users view their videos or share them with a partner. If you think that sounds ill-advised in today’s connected age, you aren’t alone — and neither is the Cock Cam. Sex Tech 49 Photos Behind the scenes at a sex robot factory Alongside names like Lovense and OhMiBod, the Cock Cam is one of a growing field of internet-connected sex toys, and perhaps the most concerning one yet given that we aren’t just talking about remote controls or usage statistics, but video. You know, complete with foreground floppage.Click for more on the intersection of technology and sex. To that end, Julz says your videos are never transmitted to the cloud, but are instead stored locally on your phone. In other words, hackers wouldn’t be able to access your footage by breaching a central server at Julz HQ. They’d need access to your phone itself.Still, we’ve seen other internet-connected sex toys come up well short of their privacy obligations — most notably We-Vibe, which settled a $3.75 million class action lawsuit in 2017 after uploading user statistics to the cloud without consent.”We are very aware that the privacy of our customers is paramount,” Julz director and co-founder Charlie Hudson told me via email. “We are taking all necessary precautions to keep our product as safe and secure as possible.”Hudson adds that the company is currently working to update the app to allow for FaceTime-style live streaming, “with complete confidence that the user’s data and privacy is safe.”Just what the internet needs. More dicks. Share your voice Culture Video Cameras
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) submitted memorandums to deputy commissioners (DCs) across the country, including Dhaka, on Thursday, demanding its chairperson Khaleda Zia’s proper medical treatment and her release from jail before Eid-ul-Fitr.In Dhaka, several hundred BNP leaders and activists gathered near the Dhaka DC’s office around 10:30am and chanted various slogans, demanding Khaleda’s release.Later, a delegation of BNP, led by Dhaka district BNP assistant organising secretary Abdus Salam Azad, submitted a memorandum to Dhaka DC Abu Saleh Mohammad Ferdous Khan.Talking to reporters, Salam said the government has kept their ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia in jail without providing her proper treatment.”We submitted a memorandum to the DC demanding her release and proper treatment at the United Hospital,” he said.Salam warned that the government will have to shoulder all the responsibilities if anything bad happens to Khaleda.He said all other district units of the party also submitted memorandums to their respective DC offices to push for the same demand.On 8 February, Khaleda was sent to jail after a special court sentenced her to five years’ rigorous imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Sri Lankan Muslims attend a prayer at the Jumha mosque after a mob attack, in Minuwangoda on 15 May. Photo: AFPSri Lanka’s minority Muslims attended Friday prayers as heavily armed troops and police guarded all mosques, including those badly vandalised in riots in the wake of the Easter terror attacks.Police said security would remain tight over the weekend for a major Buddhist festival as well as the 10th anniversary of the ending of the country’s decades-long Tamil separatist war.Clerics said some of the damaged mosques cleared out glass shards and other debris and conducted services with attendance at a high level.”We had about 450 to 500 people,” M. I. M. Siddeeque, the trustee of the riot-hit Kinyama mosque in the worst affected North-Western Province told AFP by telephone.”There were six soldiers outside the mosques and many more police at the top of the road.”Siddeeque said his mosque was cleared of the debris, but windows, furniture and the public address system were yet to be replaced.In the town of Minuwangoda, the faithful packed the first floor of the two-storeyed Hujjaj mosque to pray even though repairs were yet to begin.Local residents said Buddhists and Catholic priests were also present as a sign of solidarity with Muslims community.Police said there were no major incidents although sporadic clashes were reported from a handful of places.”Police are firmly in control and the situation is fast returning to normality,” a senior police official told AFP. A nationwide night curfew was lifted Thursday.The riots came three weeks after suicide bomb attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo, killing 258 people. The April 21 attacks were blamed on a local jihadi group.This weekend Sri Lanka celebrates Vesak which marks the birth, enlightenment and the passing of the Buddha over 2,500 years ago on Saturday and Sunday.The most important Buddhist celebration coincides this year with the country marking a decade since ending a 37-year-separatist by annihilating the entire leadership of Tamil Tiger guerrillas.The head of the Tamil Tigers, Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed 10 years ago Saturday while the government declared an end to the war a day later.President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are due to attend several ceremonies in and around Colombo on Sunday to pay tribute to over 28,000 security personnel who died during the nearly four-decade-long war.The minority Tamil community too is expected on Saturday to pay tribute to their war dead, including Tiger rebels at low-key ceremonies in the northeastern district of Mullaittivu where the final battles were fought.Army chief Mahesh Senanayake said security forces will not obstruct any war remembrance by the Tamils. Under the previous regime, any war remembrance by Tamils was outlawed.
By Hamil R. Harris, Special to the AFROTraveling along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and I-270 could come with a toll if President Donald Trump and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan have their way.The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Governor have signed an agreement to consider transferring ownership of the BW-Parkway from Uncle Sam to the state of Maryland or install toll lanes but such an agreement would have to be approved by Congress.A photo for the exit to the Baltimore Washington Parkway. (Courtesy Photo)Completed in 1954, the 29-mile federal highway is a road, park and monument all in one. The parkway, which is lined with trees and prohibits big trucks, is dedicated to former Prince George’s County lawmaker and Congresswoman Gladys Noon Spellman and it ferries thousands of cars between Washington D.C. and Baltimore daily. But in recent years, the aging roadway is better known for its many accidents and interminable backups.Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke signed the agreement earlier this month to consider the transfer to Maryland. Governor Hogan signed the document June 22 that calls for a study to determine if installing tolls or transferring the roadway would be “an appropriate use of this Federal resource.”While Hogan has enjoyed support from Democrats, this move couldn’t have come at a worst time. He is certain to be challenged on the proposal by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). The Hogan administration has promised to work with Maryland’s Congressional delegation on a bill that would transfer control of the parkway to the state either as part of a sale or trade of property to the Maryland Transportation Authority.The Baltimore-Washington Parkway is part of a $9 billion effort proposed by Governor Hogan to install toll lanes around the state. He also wants to install tolls on the Capital Beltway in Maryland and on Interstate 270 up to Gaithersburg. The tolls would pay for the multi-billion dollar expansion.In what could be a traffic nightmare on a corridor often plagued by accidents, Hogan also wants to widen the road with additional lanes in each direction. Maryland officials have crafted plans to add privately operated toll lanes on the parkway and 270.The public has several opportunities to weigh in on the BW Parkway and I-270 proposals:July 17Eleanor Roosevelt High School.7601 Hanover ParkwayGreenbelt, MD 20770.*************************************************July 24Central High School200 Cabin Branch RoadCapitol Heights, MD 20743.*************************************************July 25Thomas W. Pyle Middle School6311 Wilson LaneBethesda, MD 20817