Nic Fensom Issue (3)

While everybody sits at their computers lamenting the death of print, a few forward-thinking publications are quietly stretching the limits of the medium. One of them is Sneeze, a broadsheet-style culture rag with both English and Japanese content. Published quarterly, Sneeze is sold out of custom-built metal street boxes. Sneeze is less a magazine than an oversized poster book, chalk full of juicy images of sexed-up models, fast cars and, of course, skateboarding. We talked to founder Nic Fensom about the project.

Where are you from?


Where are you based now?

Montreal at the moment. But we still have Sneeze Vancouver operations.

Why the move east?

Change of scene is always good. Most of my work happens on the East Coast anyway.

When did you start Sneeze? How many issues have you put out?

Issue 1 was Summer 08. However, there was all the planning that had to be done way before that with the streetboxes, preview issue, and figuring stuff out so I’d say January 08. Working on issue 6 now which is going quite smoothly for some strange reason.

Sneeze is sold out of street vending machines in different cities, how did you come up with this idea and in which cities can they be found?

The idea happened at the same time Sneeze was going broadsheet size and formatted like a newspaper by being unbound and having the soft-fold. Newspapers today have all shrunk in size though, so Sneeze is the biggest thing out there. Thought it would be quite fitting and original to take the classic broadsheet vibe further by being able to buy it on the street out of vending machine like you would the Vancouver Sun or New York Times or whatever. Make it an old school point of distribution and something we can control. At this time there are streetboxes/vending machines in Hawaii, Vancouver and New York. One streetbox per city, so it becomes our little retail store and can be placed in a cool spot, like Gastown or Soho etc. Looking into expanding to other cities such as Miami and Portland. Most cities are ‘going green’ making it more difficult to put something on the street. The streetboxes are only in addition to our distribution/circulation. Sneeze can be found in shops in major cities across North America like Fruition in LV, Supreme LA, St.Marks books in NY, Does Your Mother Know in Vancouver, all over Miami, all over Honolulu, Toronto, Seattle, Texas orders a lot of issues, so we are up to 60+ accounts not counting the issues that get sent to Japan. If any shop is interested in ordering issues there is a wholesale link on the website.

What rules about running your own magazine?

Stressing out.

What sucks?

Stressing out.

Do you still skate?

I have a cruiser setup that I dust off every once and awhile, so no.

How does a typical day in your life go?

Wake up and check email. Check my usual go-to websites. Write emails for Sneeze and my own photo work. Reply to emails. Write nagging emails. Make Calls. Check the mail. Make an intricate lunch. Bookmark shit I want to buy during lunch. Contact new potential advertisers. Pay bills. Usually some application is due for something. Fold issues. Walk to the post office or photo lab. Write emails. Mess around with InDesign and edit photos. Check Oakland A’s MLB gameday. Figure out dinner. I’ve also added going to the gym at night to my exciting routine. Write more emails on the late late.

Favourite hallucinogenic drug?

Online shopping.

Why is the internet so lame?

Flatter yourself blogs and Facebook.

Why is the internet so amazing?

Online shopping.

What do you listen to when you want to get fired up?

Mobb Deep ‘Quiet Storm’ with Lil Kim and Depeche Mode ‘Enjoy the Silence’.

Who do you want to have sex with?

Jessica Michibata.

How do you want to die?

Stressing out.

All photos – Nic Fensom