Photo and poster design by Neil.
Over the years, we’ve hosted many parties and events. This was one of the best.
The chosen venue was McPhabbs, whose basement has a cozy, speak-easy vibe. Friend Fergus had suggested it since he runs a comedy night there, but it was also perversely appealing in that I’d once been to McPhabbs for a work function in the pre-escape days so it felt good to return on these terms instead.
Once the room filled up, I welcomed everyone with a quick speech about the magazine and its new direction. I then read a couple of chapters from Escape Everything! including the book version of Don’t Break the Chain and the story of my first job as a Dudley News paperboy.
Our eudaemonoloy editor Neil Scott took to the stage next with a specially prepared speech about his work on the mag including his insistence on the title “eudaemonology editor” and some of what he’s learned in the role about happiness and productivity. It was a great piece.
Tim Eyre then gave us a reading of his piece from Issue 10 about my charge that he’s an absurd individual, dressing as a dandy and writing for The Chap magazine while also listening exclusively to death metal. “I like the music,” he says, “but not the style.” Who can argue with that?
Both Neil and Tim included anecdotes about their involvement with New Escapologist and it all worked rather well.
Remaining photos by Nick E.
The big feature of the night was live music, first from our very own sub-editor Reggie Chamberlain-King and his friend Malachy Costello, both of whom came from Belfast to perform; and then from LD Beghtol whose set included “Prole Axed” and “The Apocalypse is my Boyfriend,” potentially familiar to you as the sheet music from Issues Seven and Thirteen.
LD came all the way from New Jersey to see us, for which I’m very grateful. In fact, the whole event grew up around the fact that he was so keen to come over and perform his New Escapologist numbers. A real pleasure to have you in Scotland Uncle LD.
Despite (or perhaps because of) so much greatness, one of my favourite moments of the night was when guitarist Barry dropped his instrument at the end of a song, punctuating the piece nicely with an unintended full-stop before endearingly ensuring the audience that “um, that wasn’t supposed to happen.” It was (I’d say) a highly necessary and welcome cock-up in an otherwise seamless evening. Very Wabi-sabi. Amusingly, a fine kilt-wearing chap called Mark caught the moment on video!
The Outliers Party really was one hell of a night. It was well attended by wonderful friends, old and new. The perfect celebration and send-off.
Our happiness editor wrote a great quiz for the final print issue of New Escapologist. It’s called “What kind of outsider are you?” and helps to diagnose where you lie on the spectrum of society dropouts.
The quiz is now recreated online at Buzzfeed and it strangely works even better than it does in print. Check it out.
Just a reminder that this wonderful thing is happening on Friday.
Come along if you can reach Glasgow. It’s going to be a smash.
Poster design by Neil Scott.
Yes folks, it’s the big news I’ve been hinting at for a while.
Issue Thirteen of New Escapologist will be our final print edition.
But! If everything goes according to plan, New Escapologist will live on into the future.
New Escapologist was conceived in 2007 as a pop-up publication, originally intended for just three issues. It wasn’t meant to last forever in its current format and so, after much discussion, we’ve decided to call time on the magazine.
But fear not. After a decade of discussion around the great escape, I don’t intend to stop now and abandon anyone mid-leap. This website and blog will continue, I have plans for another escape-themed book, and the magazine is to be succeeded by an online subscription series of high-quality, regular essays.
We’re moving away from print production now and hoping to beam essays directly into your inbox. You will, I hope, support the next incarnation of New Escapologist just as you’ve supported this one for ten lovely years.
The new essays will be a healthy combination of theory and practice. There may also be an element of “advanced escapology” to them, pushing the envelope and breaking experimental new territory. I’m determined to make each essay worth substantially more than the £1 you’d pay for it.
To subscribe to the new essays and help usher in a brave new world for New Escapologist, please do chip in your quid. To do this, go to our page on Patreon (the service that allows us to do this) and soon we will swing into a new kind of production.
Here it is! Issue Thirteen: Outliers. It’s available right now, as of today, this minute in the shop.
The issue is our fattest yet at 122 pages, which is why the cover price is £7 instead of the customary £6. Sorry about that.
It’s worth it though, for we’ve got a great interview with celebrity mortician Caitlin Doughty, features by Reggie C. King on David Bowie and Sun Ra; Matt Caulfield on zen fool Ryokan; Jon Ransom on the halfway escape of part-time employment; and Jack McClure on his relocation from suburban Illinois to literally the top of Planet Earth. Come get some.
A second, even more massive announcement will follow this one, potentially upstaging it entirely and once and for all blowing your mind. Hope that’s okay.