Monday, December 5, 2011

Memewar: A Motley Crew of Contributors

While I usually love this page in a literary magazine, Memewar's is driving me up the wall!

First, let me provide examples of contributor pages that I enjoy. Mental _floss, which is essentially the most awesome trivia magazine you will ever get your paws on, provides three or four brief bios of major guest writers. All are written in a quirky or humorous tone and are as fun and weird as the rest of the magazine. The Sun, a literary magazine whose contributors seem to live with their minds wedged in the gutter (rare was the story not about sex (wait, was that why my aunt thought it'd be a good college subscription?)), had very uniform artist and contributor bios, succinct but interesting. Every artist and writer was covered.

Memewar, on the other hand...aiyah! There is no rhyme or reason whatsoever. Some bios are funny, some informative, some dry. Some are formal ("Y is a graduate of A now pursuing B") and one is extremely informal ("X's...poetry rocks."). Most are in the third person, one is in the first person, and one is written in poor verse ("I must write my life story! / But a bio won't quite fit my life. I'm so sorry").

I don't believe that these bios are representative of the artists' personalities, which is the only reason that I could imagine for the mishmash. Several are stiff and formal compared to the piece contributed, and I highly suspect that these bios are standard blurbs intended to fit "any" literary magazine (Memewar does seem quite quirky). What annoys me the most, though, is the complete lack of logic to which artists get bios. Not all four major contributors are represented. Some artists have bios but not others, and there doesn't seem to be any correlation between the amount, genre, length, style, or quality of the art and the artists who got blurbs.

Memewar, can I have a little consistency please?

--Sarah Lawrence

1 comment:

Popped said...

I'm surprised that they don't have some form of editing or guidelines for the bios. Is this the only section with this kind of problem or have you noticed editing/consistency problems elsewhere in the magazine? While it might be a minor part of the whole work, it's a pretty bad reflection on their part if they don't take the time to organize the information about their contributing authors.
----Jen G.