Magazines aren’t afforded the possibility of eternal life in the way movies, music, or television are—repackaged endlessly for the enjoyment of future generations. Old issues of magazines are out there to be found, but they’re neither purchased as readily as other forms of media nor as sought out. Their periodic nature dates poorly, rendering them little more than nostalgic curiosities when accidentally stumbled across. Some forward-thinking publishers, mainly in the United States, have begun making their archives available online, but these cases usually involve mass-market consumer titles. The sad fact is a small magazine such as Taddle Creek fades from memory rather quickly after the publication of its final number—which is exactly what the issue you’re holding happens to be.
The one thing a magazine is capable of doing on par with a long-running television show or movie series is ending with some flourish. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. In most cases, when a magazine title ends—something that has become more and more common in recent years—it does so with a whimper. Often, staff aren’t even told they’ve published their final issue until after the fact, or they’re forced by management to pretend the publication isn’t really ending, but rather moving to a brighter future online—a story on par with telling a child their pet has gone to live on a farm.
These sorts of endings are disrespectful to the people who work on a magazine, to the readers of that magazine, and to the legacy of the magazine itself. And it’s the type of thing Taddle Creek will have none of. Bucking industry wisdom one last time, this final issue of the magazine is double in size, and features not only new work by many of its regular contributors but also several pieces that celebrate and look back on Taddle Creek’s twenty-five-year history. It also contains a couple of budget-breaking inserts to ensure this is a final issue to remember. You’re welcome.
Not every magazine is designed to last forever. Some outlive their original function; others simply have their usefulness usurped by something new and more convenient. Taddle Creek does not need to end at this particular moment. Its page count and subscriber numbers are still strong, and there are probably some exciting new things it could yet do. But it knows it will have to end someday, and it would rather do so now, while still holding the vibrancy of semi-youth, rather than waiting until the inevitable day no one wants it anymore and it shrivels down to the size of a flyer before fading away with little to no fanfare.
Taddle Creek hopes you have enjoyed your time with it as much as it has enjoyed its time with you. The magazine thanks its readers, its contributors, and, of course, its staff, without whom Taddle Creek would be nothing.
Twenty-five years ago, Taddle Creek put forth a simple mandate, not for itself, but for its audience: to read. The magazine hopes it has given you some interesting stories with which to fulfill that simple request. And it wishes you a fond farewell.