Picture it: Late January, 2004. I arrive to work one morning, quite possibly hung over and reeking of cigarette smoke ( aren't you glad bars went non-smoking? ) to find out that Sukie de la Croix, former editor of Nightspots, has decided to leave his post to pursue other interests. It was abrupt, a huge shock, and it changed my life forever.
I had already been working on the magazine, handling most of the bars as accounts and I had been establishing myself as THE nightlife photog, daring to cover the seediest of the seedy bars far and wide. Well, it was about to get farther and wider. Because on that hung over morning, I was handed the reins to Nightspots Magazine and I've been on this fucking bucking bronco ever since. Yes, my butt's a little sore from the experience, but I can take it like a cowboy!
Seriously though, last night it hit me that it had been a full decade since I took over as editor and I posted a quick self-acknowledgement to Facebook at 12 midnight. By 3 am, the post had garnered about 60 likes and, at present writing, that number has surged to over 200, in addition to about 70 well-wishes and hearty congratulations from people I have touched ( emotionally ... and some penis-ally ) over my tenure. I may have ( definitely ) teared up a bit.
Week to week, it can be a bit of a drain to put this magazine out. Very often, I think to myself that if I have to see one more drag show, I will gouge my own eyes out with a stiletto heel. But when I have the time and perspective to look back at all the work I've done, all the wonderful creative souls I have grown close to, all the honors and privileges that have come along with my role as editor of Nightspots, I could not be more proud and more connected to the spirit of Chicago's LGBT community. You have made me what I am, and I you. It's been a wild, bucking ride and I can think of no finer folks with whom to have shared it. Thank you. Thank all of you.
So look at pages 20-21 for a brief smattering of some of my favorite covers that I have done for the magazine. Trust me, it's a mere sampling. Who knows, if I'm still feeling all nostalgic next issue ( and chances are fairly good ), I may do a part two.
Your fearless editor,
MAIN COVER IMAGE
Viviana Mendez as Madonna and Mr. Marcus as Prince squaring off in a game of checkers for some reason. Original cover of the July 27, 2005, issue of Nightspots.
Photo by Kirk
Please download the pdf for the full current issue of Nightspots. All images online later today.