The Ephemera

Goings on at the magazine.

Summer, 2018 / No. 41
Illustration by Hartley Lin
Hartley Lin

Chris Kuriata, in response to Taddle Creek No. 40, wrote, “I wish more magazines would print notes from readers (following the example of Geist or Mad).” Taddle Creek hates to disappoint a reader and contributor as loyal and well-read as Chris, but the magazine’s slightly new format has settled, and a regular letters page, unfortunately, did not make the cut. Reader comments will, however, appear on this page from time to time, alongside house business and such. The magazine hopes this compromise will appease you to some degree, Chris.

“I have fond memories of the Atlantic National Exhibition,” the long-time Taddle Creek contributor and one-time resident of Saint John, New Brunswick, R. M. Vaughan wrote the magazine recently, in regards to Conan Tobias’s historical memoir in issue No. 39. “I saw Charley Pride there, and Carroll Baker—‘Canada’s Dolly Parton.’ She was very busty and I remember the men bringing binoculars to catch glimpses of her breasts when she dipped to hit a high note. Ah, the innocence.”

“I first heard of you—and subscribed—about a year or so ago, when I got a letter in the mail advertising your magazine,” Lynn Jatania, one of the many converts the magazine picked up via its infamous 2017 junk-mail campaign, wrote Taddle Creek. “I remember it was so funny and charming and meandering, in a good way. I’ve since sung your praises to everyone I know.” Lynn is in for an even bigger treat when her subscription runs out next year: an entirely new set of renewal letters, which Taddle Creek began sending out this spring. They’re entertaining but have less of a narrative structure than the old set. The magazine has it on good authority that many readers delayed sending Taddle Creek money so they could read the next instalment.

Stuart Ross is filling in as Taddle Creek’s copy editor this issue, and his presence reminded the magazine of his one-time playful-yet-stinging jab that Taddle Creek is slow to keep up with changing trends in the English language. What better time, then, to announce two changes to the magazine’s editorial style. Years after being left as literally the only outlet fighting the good fight for a properly capitalized “E-mail,” Taddle Creek will, this issue, begin lower-casing it. (The hyphen stays—no letters, please.) It will also close up and remove the hyphen from “on-line.” Both “Web” and “Internet” remain capitalized, for reasons Taddle Creek feels are obvious.

Some belated congratulations: Thomas Blanchard’s photograph of Alexandra Leggat, from Taddle Creek No. 38, was nominated for a National Magazine Award, in the Portrait Photography category; Kelly Ward’s short story “A Girl and a Dog on a Friday Night,” from Taddle Creek No. 38, was long-listed for the Journey Prize; and “Canada’s Greatest Cartoonist,” Conan Tobias’s profile of the illustrator Lou Skuce, from Taddle Creek No. 37, took home (figuratively—there was no actual certificate) honourable mention at the Heritage Toronto Awards.

“Yes!!! I’ll be able to lord this over you for years!” was Michael Christie’s response upon being informed that a correction would be issued for the misspelling of his first name as “Michel” on the contents page of Taddle Creek No. 40. Technically this was not a mistake; it simply was French. But Michael/Michel was so excited about being the subject of a Taddle Creek correction that the magazine hated to disappoint him. Also, in “Elements of Style,” Conan Tobias’s look at three new reference works, also from Taddle Creek No. 40, an error both ironic and embarrassing occurred in the title of A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles, with the final word misspelled “Principals.” Obviously the editor needs to take his own advice and always be sure to check proper names letter by letter. Taddle Creek regrets these twentieth-anniversary errors.