Understanding collapse in Crude Futures

Last week’s Stack Magazine Club was dedicated to our April delivery, Crude Futures. We were joined by editor Mina Miller and designer Marcelino Llano to dig deeper into this unusual magazine about collapse, and I learned a lot about the forces that shaped what they made.

I knew that they have a large editorial group, and they initially came together via a Discord server. I suspected that might have had some impact on the way the magazine is structured, but Mina went a step further than that, talking about her role as an editor and explaining what she was trying to achieve with it. The magazine features a wide range of writing styles and very different voices, and whereas a more conventional editorial structure might have led to them smoothing over some of those differences, Mina says she actively avoided that, trying to ensure that the pieces published retained as much of their essential character as possible.

My favourite detail of the evening, though, was when Mina spoke about being on a previous Stack Magazine Club call. The editorial group had travelled to rural France to meet in person for the first time, and to begin work on the thing that would become Crude Futures. As Mina tells it, she left the others talking downstairs and joined our Magazine Club conversation with It’s Freezing in LA!, listening to editor Martha Dillon speaking about their editorial decisions and getting inspired by the possibilities of what they could do in print.

I love the circularity of that, with Mina listening in to a Magazine Club, and then a couple of years later being invited to speak about her own work. It transpired during the conversation that she and Marcelino were somewhat the ‘mum and dad’ of the group, shepherding the project through its difficult developmental phases until we finally reached the point that we could deliver it to our subscribers. I’m very grateful to them for taking the time to tell us all about it, and if you haven’t already seen a copy for yourself, I hope you’ll pick one up from our online shop. And if you want to hear more from them you can sign up for the Crude Futures Substack via the link below.



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