I’m proud to announce that our website www.revistaspanglish.com is now live, and better than ever! It took a lot more time than I expected, as is usually the case when a non-expert sets his sights on any ambitious project, but what a better way to learn than to jump in feet first. If you know me, you’ll recognize the art style as uniquely mine, and you may even see some familiar drawings decorating the page. As we continue to develop and grow, so will the website, so check often. You can also subscribe to our Facebook group and be kept up to date that way. But that doesn’t mean that our print edition is obsolete. Instead, we will strive to provide original content in both formats, which is also an opportunity for members of this community to use Spanglish as a forum .
What is the relevance of a hard copy magazine in an age where anything and everything is available on a screen? This was a question we attempted to answer earlier this year, as we laid plans for our future. Surprisingly, after our research, I was more convinced than ever to promote physical copies of our work.
The coolest thing abut print is that it’s really hard to censor. That’s my favourite thing about it anyway. Our little magazine that could has been providing diverse, sometimes opposing, viewpoints on politics, religion, the arts, and humour, for twenty years now, but because we’re mostly a local phenomenon, we fly under the radar. While there are fears of net neutrality becoming a thing of the past, and while government agencies like the NSA control all our online communications, once we publish a “Spanglish” it’s out there for good. Put it in an album and twenty years from now you’ll be able to see what we thought was truly important in 2017. No amount of tampering with digital media will ever rewrite our pages, and so on that score, analogue beats digital.
We also miss the intimacy of the page. I recently found myself at the library looking through books as part of research, and had the strangest experience. I was looking at a beautiful picture of architecture, running my fingers along the page, moving my head closer to make out the finer detail, engaging one to one with an actual thing in front of me, realizing that, once, this was the most natural thing in the world, but now I felt like an archaeologist with a precious artefact. It took me back to being a child, leafing through the pages of an enormous atlas dreaming of what lay in these foreign lands meekly described as scraggly lines and titles. It’s one of the ways I learned to draw, in fact. I would set my pen to paper, and attempt to create the coastlines of a continent without interrupting the line I had started. I became pretty good at freehanding the World, and I remember being in Guatemala tracing out the borders of Canada, first with my finger, and then with pen, once I knew we were moving. Maybe it was my juvenile attempt to contain such a vast and unexplored territory, a way to bring the ineffable into my hands. Anyway, try tracing continents with your finger on an iPad, and you’ll end up dragging and dropping, zooming in and out, changing settings, anything but critically engaging with the image and what it represents.
In the end, I know that digital media is no substitute for print, but a new experience that merely adds dimensions to our understanding. It is with this understanding that we wish to offer our print copies to the World through our website. If you like our magazine, and you know people from elsewhere in the World, tell them that they can buy a yearly subscription and hold this cultural artifact in their very hands. It’s time people learned about Latino-Canadians and our culture.
Antes de despedirme quisiera agradecer muy sinceramente a toda la gente que ha donado para que nuestra editora, mi mamá, Maria Margoth Ayala, pueda recuperarse de su stroke que pasó hace unos meses. Gracias de mi parte, de parte de toda la familia Ayala, y de la comunidad que se conecta a través de esta revista. Si no lo ha hecho, todavía necesitamos ayuda para llegar a nuestra meta.
And a very generous anonymous donor