who were older than us, who lamented or feared or just plain didn’t understand or fucking hated the ‘net. Those who conflated the death of paper with the death of writing — of good, innovative writing. We proclaimed ourselves to be proudly internet native.
Our magazine was funny. Our magazine pushed boundaries. It pushed some boundaries too far. It featured the three genres — poetry, fiction and literary essays — in equal proportion, which was a private victory for me. (The only thing I know anything about is literary nonfiction writing so I’m sort of boobishly pro- the form.) Those three sections took on various and interesting identities: our poetry skewed technical and nerdy; our fiction grotesque and outrageous; our essays formally innovative and strange. We did interviews, too, with people we thought were cool. At the end of nearly every interview, we asked those cool people who their favorite “wag” was and why. (Google #deepdream manipulations of images of some of those answers are featured as this issue’s art.)
We wanted to preserve the constraint of the printed “page” in the otherwise relatively endless, unspecial-seeming digital space because the fact was, people weren’t yet used to reading this kind of stuff online.
The rectangular white book-esque pages of our first issue were JPEGs we uploaded one by one. This turned out to be a bad move; people laughed and shat all over us. (To my total delight, in Rob Dubbin's interview with Paul Ford for this, the twentieth and final issue of Wag’s Revue, Paul happened to mention that he’d caught notice of us having built our pages this way way back in the spring of 2009 and thought it was clever and this is when he was digitizing Harper’s.)
For our second issue, we rebuilt our website from scratch, effectively relaunching the magazine, though in a way that changed basically nothing from a reader’s standpoint.