The third issue of The Walrus, the publication that promised to be the Harper’s and New Yorker of Canada, isn’t out yet, and the proprietor of Bookninja is hopping mad:
Well, here it is, the end of another month and The Walrus is AWOL, AGAIN. Are they late? Are they on a break? What is their schedule? No one seems to know. It’s not in the magazine (at least not easily found) and it’s not on the ridiculously out-of-date and error-ridden website (eg, on their contact page: “ADVERTISERS: Plese read Information for advertisers.” Typo and broken link… That’s gotta inspire confidence.) The first issue somehow made it to stands before those hoodwinked into subscribing by a massive media blitz even saw it, the second issue was weeks late with the excuse, “Hey, it’s still November and we only said 10 issues a year.” So, apparently, those other two months are to be doled out in two and three week chunks as needed to cover for inept editing and poor management. We’ll see what happens come April when they’ve used this “flex time” up and the excuses and finger pointing start to get really amusing. It’s bad enough the magazine looks like a bad text book and that the articles are so boring they seem to actually reach into you and squeeze your adrenal glands shut, but on top of poor design and editing, the damn thing is late three times in a row. I could excuse a few screw-ups from a magazine that was working its way up from a grassroots following to a monthly publication, but these guys have sold the Canadian public (and some big American writers) on their cash, reliability, and editorial “vision.” Did that vision include bored readers and late issues? Probably not. As of 10:30 this morning, no one was answering the phone there. 10:30 on a Monday when there are millions of dollars in the pot! This magazine is supposed to be Canada’s answer to American juggernauts like Harper’s and The New Yorker, but despite its $5 million kitty, it actually is more closely related to another American institution: Mickey Mouse.
Meanwhile, the Toronto Star calls The Walrus “Canada’s most exciting magazine launch” for 2003 and says the magazine is “already closing in on 25,000 subscribers.”