Interviews: Hank explains the first BMX Print issue of "Issue WON". South Africa has a BMX magazine!
Name: Schögn Lee aka Hank
Name of the magazine: Issue Won
Hometown: Durban, South Africa
With BMX magazines going out of business, the last thing we were expecting to hear is that you are starting up a print mag. Why print and not another Online magazine?
Hank: It has been a very long time since South Africa has had a printed BMX Mag. I remember when the last publication was available there was a vibe- a hype around the scene. Dudes were keen to get out and put work in for photos and stories. It’s been a long time since we have had that. Web is cool, but it feels like the effort you put into a photo, written feature or video edit is only worth the few days of coverage. Then it’s gone. Forgotten… till the next thing comes along. Quality seems to be at an all-time low too, this I think is do with the short amount of time things stay in the lime-light (online).
Who are all involved in getting the magazine out there?
Hank: We are relying on good ol’ word of mouth and rider to rider interaction as well as bike shops and our Mail-Order system (at BMX Direct) to get the zine out there. Issue Won will also be available at all the upcoming events around the country.
Shooting pictures, doing the lay-out, writing stories, doing interviews, collecting ads, who's doing what for the magazine?
Hank: For the moment, I’m carrying most of the load. I thought it was important to head up the first issue. I am hoping that once it is released; others in the local scene would see that it can be done, and that it is already in motion. #2 will have a lot more content from other writers and photographers.
South Africa isn't necessarily a small country. Do you have your reporters in the different scenes of the country?
Hank: Yes, we are a very large country, but fortunately S.A has a super tight-knit scene. So communication is somewhat easy. Getting news isn’t too difficult, there are a few key riders in most of the major scenes that help get that all important gravy to the right place.
Do you do subscriptions?
Hank: For the moment no. Our postal system sucks.
Which are some of the awesome companies that supported the BMX magazine idea from the start?
Hank: Good question. A project like this would not be possible if it wasn’t for guys that believe in BMX and what is still possible with a little bit of work. The guys from Monster Energy SA, Fox SA, Skullcandy SA, Skabanga and BMX Direct. They have had my back from the start.
How many issues a year are planned?
Hank: We are looking at 4 issues per year. Each new issue to be released by the beginning of the
Will the magazine be available digitally on the internet for the world to see?
Hank: Yes, It will be available online. Once the newest issue is released the previous issue would be available for download. The first issue will be online in September.
How did it feel to have the first issue in your hands?
Hank: We had a small hiccup with the printers with the first issue, but after we sorted that out it was really satisfying having something “real” to page through. Staring at a PC monitor weeks on end with the deadline creeping ever closer; kind of jades you a little bit. But once it goes to print the excitement is just phenomenal!
Are there any social media outlets that people should follow?
Hank: Ýeah, we are on fb: https://www.facebook.com/issuewon and Instagram: @issuewon
Thanks to: Colin @ Monster. Brode @ Fox. Plus; shout out to all the dudes who pulled weight for the first issue, the contributing photographers and writers and news dudes- you guys rock.
Last words: Support those who support you.