Halleloo! A high-end, high-fashion magazine dedicated entirely to drag culture has hit the runway. Launched in October, Queen magazine showcases every facet of the drag gemstone, from fashion and beauty to storytelling, comedy, music, and dance. And the styles on display range from pageant glamour to avant-garde, from haute-couture to gore.
Boyfriends Miles Davis Moody, who was a member of the Pit Crew on RuPaul's Drag Race (seasons 6 and 7) and Josh Stuart, who has almost ten years of experience as a luxury magazine publisher, share a passion for drag, and decided to follow that passion into crowdfunded niche publishing. They launched a Kickstarter campaign in June, and reached 10 percent of their goal within 24 hours, and became a Kickstarter Staff Favorite and Featured New Project before reaching their minimum funding goal only eight days later. By the time their 14-day funding period ended, they had earned almost five times their goal.
The publication itself is an ink-on-paper extravaganza eleganza, designed and printed for the gods. The trim size is 16-by-10-inches with a glossy, cardstock cover, and a single copy weighs almost two pounds. It's bulging with gorgeous photography by Magnus Hastings, Ben Cope, and the creative team of Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba, among others. And the publishers promise the same high-quality paper stock with special features like embossing, foil stamping, and metallic inks as part of their house production values. But it's not just resting on pretty: Moody and Stuart have invested as much in the content as they have in the aesthetic. So, in addition to filling a certain entertainment hole for other drag enthusiasts, they explain that one of the reasons they launched the magazine is "because it allows budding drag queens in other less LGBTQ friendly countries to share their stories and express themselves on an international stage to readers in countries spanning the globe, providing perspective to those who have an interest in the art of drag and bringing awareness to their fight for the freedom of self-expression."
Leading up to the debut issue, more than 20 potential cover girls were presented (some of which are shown here), and the one that made it to press was Alaska Thunderfuck 5000. The first issue features fashion editorials with RPDR winners Raja Gemini (season 3) and Violet Chachki (season 7), a little-known drag clown named Guppy Drink who suffers for her art in institutionally homophobic Ukraine, and an especially geek-themed spread, in which West Hollywood's Dumbest Queen Misty Violet poses as the Pink Ranger.
Queen will appeal to anyone who enjoys the art of transformation and gender play, as well as fashion geeks, make-up geeks, theater nerds, and other queerdos with diverse tastes. It's available for subscription internationally and for sale at LGBT booksellers and other specialty shops around the world. Although issue 1 shipped October 22 and issue 2 will ship December 21, the publication schedule is quarterly. Get it, girl!