Welcome to BOY CLUB Magazine

I started Kitsune Noir, what we know call The Fox Is Black, back in 2007 not knowing the path it would set me down. At the time, blogging was still sort of unknown. A few people were doing, some of them making a living off of it, yet there’s was still a wildness to it. Cut to now when anyone can create a digital presence with ease, be it Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. I think this is great btw, it’s easy to create a self-expression that fits you, the true you, despite the trappings of your physical situation.

That physicality though, and the constraints associated, are kind of awesome. We as designers do our best work when presented with limitations, they’re guard rails which focus and hone our ideas. So last November my partner Kyle Fitzpatrick and I started down a path to write and design a magazine called BOY CLUB, and as of today, we’re ready to show it to the world.

BOY CLUB Magazine - Cover Detail

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We consider BOY CLUB a magazine for people who like men. It leans toward the world of gay men, telling stories and highlighting situations that we find interesting, but we created this for people of all genders and sexualities. We intended this to be irreverent and slightly off-kilter, elements that feel completely missing in a world of minimal, Kinfolk-ian inspired publications.

While Kyle handled all of the editorial and writing for the entire magazine (he’s the Editor In Chief) I had the joy (and slight bit of horror) of designing the book, as well as photographing 95% of it. As a lot of you know, I’m a web designer by trade. My current creative director role at Disney has me overseeing the design of sites, apps, creating for social media, video branding, etc. Designing a magazine is something I’ve never done and it ended up being such a great challenge.

You can read Kyle’s thoughts on the development of the issue over on his site.

BOY CLUB Magazine - Cover DetailBOY CLUB Magazine - Interior

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To start, I knew in my gut that it needed to be colorful. Culturally gays are an expressive and vibrant group of people, I mean, look at Pride, the movie The Birdcage—hell, we have a rainbow pride flag! There’s nothing about us that isn’t a bit eccentric and over the top and I wanted to own every bit of that.

From a type perspective I chose a face called Noyh, which was created by Chatnarong Jingsuphatada, a Thai designer who’s based in Bangkok. The typeface comes in a regular, slim and rounded version, 72 fonts total, so there was a lot of flexibility for me to play with. I loved that it’s a quirky, odd little font. Again, my goal was to create something with a unique character, that would be stand apart at the newsstand.

BOY CLUB Magazine - Interior

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When I think of the layout of BOY CLUB, I remember changing everything about 100 times. Slightly hyperbolic but you get the idea: it’s never perfect right away. The first issue is 88 pages, so you can imagine the challenge of bringing cohesion page after page, ultimately telling a story from a single point of view. I love using big, full-width images to capture nuance or emotion with food or people. The hardest part to design was the recipe section which were also the pages I started with. Illustrating a step-by-step process is like dancing to a song you don’t know.

BOY CLUB Magazine - Interior

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The last big hurdle we faced was printing the magazine. Lots of challenges here were around price and quality. We obviously wanted this to be of the highest quality but we received quotes for 300 copies at around $9,000. No, thank you. Ultimately we printed the book offset on a thick matte paper with a nice glossy cover. Were we excited by the printed result? I would say I’m 95% happy with the final product, which isn’t too shabby for never having printed anything like this in my life. Plus the ink on the paper smells so damn good. Overall I think we’re 100% happy and 1000% proud of what we’ve accomplished. This is only the beginning, though. We’re already running with the production of the next issue and have concepts for the next 3 issues (and beyond), which will be published quarterly.

In order to continue, we’re looking for sponsors and advertisers to be involved. We self-financed the first issue because we truly believe in what we’ve created. Additional help from the design/art/creative community would be amazing. Collaborations in the future would be super fun as well. If you’re interested definitely email me at thefoxisblack@gmail.com.

Below is a list of links where you can purchase the first issue as well as follow us along on our journey, which we’ll be updating as stockists pop up.

• BUY ONLINE HERE
• Skylight Books, Los Feliz, Los Angeles
• & Pens, Los Angeles
• ReForm School, Silver Lake, Los Angeles
• Coming Soon: Needles & Pens, San Francisco
• Coming soon: BQDSD, NYC
• Coming soon: Shorthand, Highland Park, Los Angeles

A nerve-racking photo series by Aaron Tilley and Kyle Bean

How do you illustrate the feeling of anticipation? Perhaps sweaty palms or a perspiring brow? That’s not exactly the most… appealing, of imagery. Aaron Tilley and Kyle Bean though have come up with a refined, almost elegant way of portraying this haunting emotion for a recent issue of Kinfolk. They’ve put together a series of common objects and placed them in high-stress vignettes. You know what’s going to happen in each, the inevitability strikes you instantly.

You can see more images from the shoot and read the article by visiting Kinfolk here.

In Anxious Anticipation by Kyle Bean and Aaron Tilley

In Anxious Anticipation by Kyle Bean and Aaron Tilley

Kim Jones reveals brilliant camo pattern for Louis Vuitton

I’m by no means a fashion house groupie but there are certain designers I do admire, one being Kim Jones, who is the men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton. Yesterday he revealed a brand new pattern, a “damier camo” as he calls it, which blends LV’s iconic check pattern which is overlaid with a blood red and a sky blue camo. It’s a striking combination that reminds me of the energy and spirit that Marc Jacobs captured for Louis Vuitton with his Stephen Sprouse collection. I’m curious to see how this ends up looking in the larger collection.

Kim Michey is Seoul’s most charming tattoo artist

I always wish I had more tattoos but I’m never certain what to get. I mean, once you’ve started it’s not something you can easily stop. Kim Michey is a Seoul based tattoo artist who appropriates pop culture icons and draws them in one of the funniest, cutest ways I’ve ever seen. Her line work has such character to it, almost like old comic books, but there’s a silly edginess to it all which you can’t help but enjoy. Next time you’re in Korea you might want to give her a call.

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Kia LaBeija vogues through the streets of Bogotá

If you’ve never seen Paris is Burning (streaming on Netflix) do yourself a favor and put it on your to-do list. It’s a documentary about drag balls in Harlem in the 1980’s, a fantastic glimpse into a vibrant, unique subculture (one which Madonna “borrowed from” for her song, “Vogue”). One of the many drag houses you meet is the House of LaBeija, fronted by the house mother, Pepper LaBeija, who in her own right is a fantastic character.

The house LaBeija still lives on, thankfully, as evidenced by this music video for Pillar Point which features Kia LaBeija representing her House marvelously, dah’ling. Watching someone vogue is always entrancing. There’s such a fluidity and poise to the act, like a form of ballet that was born from a queer place. Setting this intriguing dance against the lush, color-filled streets of Bogotá and you’ve got a music video you can’t take your eyes off of. I’m so glad to see

Editor’s note: I do realize that my writing has been sporadic lately. I’m hoping to get back into it with more regularity.

This Old Website

I wouldn’t say I’m the type of person who watches a lot of TV though I feel like I am. When I get home from work my partner Kyle and I tend to put on one of a hand full of shows. We love Black-ish or Jessica Jones, some Adventure Time or Absolutely Fabulous. Afterwards we gravitate toward the type of show where someone talented needs to make something. Top Chef, Project Runway, The Mind of a Chef, A Chef’s Life… these are the kinds of shows we tend to get sucked into.

Enter our most recent fascination, the classic PBS television show This Old House. First airing back in 1979, it was one of, if not THE, original home improvement show, focusing on renovating older houses back to a pristine (albeit slightly updated) condition. Bob Vila used to host the show but lord knows what that guys up to these days.

Watching the show is interesting to me as a designer, particularly as a designer who works primarily digitally, because it raises a lot of conflicting feelings in myself. The work these guys do is precise, measured with lasers and chalk lines. At the same time it feels very loose. Mortar is effortlessly slashed across the top of a brick, roof shingles are nailed down in seemingly random places, a massive trench is dug with giant machine by a rather sloppy looking man named “Lenny.”

When I compare these renovations to my world of designing apps and websites and shareables and GIFs, my “craft” is more like applying wax to a Pysanky egg. But that’s not even it. It’s precise, it’s calculating, but I can Command + Z my way out of any mistakes. That and there’s nothing visceral about the work, nothing fulfilling about that custom Pinterest image, or sense of glee after you’ve applied that filter to the photo of the quiche you’re about to eat.

What I’m trying to get to is that it’s impressive to watch anyone who’s skills allow them to create something with a “permanence” in life, permanence meaning the thing made could at least last a few lifetimes. Your UI will be a fad, your UX will seem retro, and your IA will seem archaic. But that old house? It’s still going to be there.

Now to get back to that magazine I’m digitally designing…

‘Endless’, a hypnotic video of unending routines by Moli Studio

The mundaneness of repeating task is often tedious, but what if it was actually something beautiful? Perhaps this is Moli Studio’s take on the matter? Their video Endless takes a mono-colored world and adds in a series of machines which perform random tasks. In the context of the video though they’re oddly hypnotizing.

ENDLESS is a story about seeking and not finding.
It’s the mechanized routine.
It’s to get up, go to work, eat, fall in love, buy, throw, fall out of love, accept, sleep, wake up.
ENDLESS is a story about seeking and (not) finding.

Moli Studio - Endless video

Moli Studio - Endless video

Moli Studio - Endless video

David Bowie releases ‘Blackstar’ to celebrate his 69th birthday

David Bowie - 'Blackstar'

David Bowie enjoys giving presents on his birthday. Today he turns 69, and much like his 66th birthday, he’s released a new album titled Blackstar. Overall I enjoyed the album, especially stand outs like self-titled first track and the album closers “Dollar Days” and “I Can’t Give Everything Away”. You can listen to the full album in the player below.

Kodak resurrects the super 8 camera with help from Yves Behar

Kodak announced today they’d be releasing a new super 8 camera designed by Yves Behar. The camera has the ability to shoot in a digital format as well as traditional super 8 film cartridges which Kodak produces to this day. I feel like Behar has done it again, creating a stunning object that embodies the history of a super 8 camera while giving it a contemporary and perhaps timeless quality. Similarly there’s the K-01 which Marc Newson designed for Pentax which draws comments of admiration when used in public. They feel extremely similar to me, combining strong design with incredible functionality.

Not too be too much of a naysayer, I find it hard to believe that the product will revitalize the 8mm medium. They say the best camera you have is the one that’s always with you, and unfortunately I doubt this beautiful piece of design will be the one.

Kodak Super 8 camera, designed by Yves Behar

Kodak Super 8 camera, designed by Yves Behar

Kodak Super 8 camera, designed by Yves Behar

Kodak Super 8 camera, designed by Yves Behar

Kodak Super 8 camera, designed by Yves Behar

Abstract artist Ellsworth Kelly passes away at age 92

In sad news, artist Ellsworth Kelly has passed away. He was famous for his minimal works of art, lots of boldly colored shapes against barren gallery walls, which for me were extremely tough to understand. How I began to understand and appreciate his work, the way it was described to me, was that his pieces were created to transform spaces, their very existence change how you perceive a wall or a large space. With that in mind it helped me contextualize his work and appreciate it more.

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