By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly
Do you believe in Bigfoot? When you live in the Pacific Northwest, close encounters with hairy two-legged beasts are commonplace. So it’s no surprise that this mythical creature serves as inspiration for a new magazine, Sasquatch, focused on the region’s hallmark brand of rugged masculinity.
Created by Wayne Bund and Greg Kerr, the publication was born out of a shared desire for new creative projects. It didn’t hurt that the two friends are interested in the same variety of manliness.
“Greg and I were having lunch one day, talking about how we’d like to collaborate on a creative project,” Bund, 31, says. “Somehow the idea of a magazine that focused on men of the Pacific Northwest came up, and it just clicked. I’ve always wanted to start a print project, as I focused in letterpress and book arts in undergrad.”
While they are the primary creators, Kerr’s boyfriend, Austin Kowitz, is assisting with graphic design. The men say they want the publication to have additional contributors in the future, and welcome submissions.
“The purpose of Sasquatch is to showcase and examine masculinity in its multi-layered form,” Kerr, 48, says. “We are doing this by focusing on men of the Pacific Northwest, hence our use of the word ‘Sasquatch,’ which invokes curiosity and mystery, and, well, is a big hairy beast, and it’s that primary symbol of earthy masculinity that we are using for inspiration.”
Though the Sasquatch is, arguably, a type of bear, Kerr says that the magazine will appeal to more than just gay men. In addition to photos featuring some artful nudity, the magazine will also include artwork, essays, and articles.
“I think Sasquatch is all about the archetypal search for something primal and the return to nature in light to our busy, technology-heavy lives. There is also something quiet and rugged about a rainy mossy forest that drives me to want to look deeper,” Bund says. “The goal is to depict men of all shapes and sizes who choose to live in a bio-region dominated by mountains, rivers, and forests filled with mystery.”
It seems fitting that the first sneak peak at Sasquatch should take place Sept. 28 at the closing of Bund’s MIMESIS: Fantasy Revealed show at Cock Gallery. Strands of mythology and identity run through both projects.
A small Sasquatch art exhibition including videos, paintings, drawings, and photographs will show in the back of the gallery and an abbreviated version of the print magazine will be released. The first full issue of the quarterly, subscription-based publication is due out in mid-autumn.
“I don’t want to give too much away,” Kerr says, “but we expect the first issue to surround the beastly Sasquatch itself.”
The publication will follow in the long history of queer ‘zines such as BUTT, Straight to Hell, Pin-ups, and They Shoot Homos Don’t They, Bund says.
“However, we plan on being focused solely on the Pacific Northwest, which we believe is unique,” Kerr says.
Initial response to the project has been positive, according to Bund.
“I am most surprised to discover so many people in our community are hungry for a creative outlet, and how gracious and willing people are to be part of something when you put the call out,” he says. “I’ve heard lots of buzz and excitement.”
To learn more about Sasquatch, visit www.sasquatchpnw.com. Interested in modeling or contributing? Contact [email protected].