1cover-1PopCult has always been supportive of local alternative media, and there is a new zine on the scene that fills a void that Charleston has had for some time. Ever since Grafitti was sold to Ogden Publishing (the folks who put out that Blue Phonebook, and the conservative rural newspaper, Grit), there hasn’t been a sustained alternative voice for the artistic and activist communities here in town. Now there is a new alternative magazine, Contraband, and you can support it and subscribe by visiting their IndieGoGo page.

PopCult, being part of the Charleston Gazette-Mail is not exactly “alternative,” and to be honest, your PopCulteer, being a straight old white guy, can not exactly present a “diverse” viewpoint. I mean, I try, but I simply come from a place that narrows my opinions on certain issues (Like beer for example. Why would anybody drink that crap?).

You can find Contraband for free all over Charleston, in the coolest locations (too many to name here), but chipping in on the IndieGoGo campaign lets you support the magazine financially, and if you choose to do that, you can stay at home and receive it courtesy of the United States Post Office. I’ve just kicked in for an annual subscription, and you might want to as well. I haven’t actually seen a physical copy of Contraband yet, but I’ve read some of it online and it looks to be an exciting and much-needed new voice in the valley.

Let me quote from their IndieGoGo page:

Contraband is Charleston, West Virginia’s new alternative magazine highlighting the opinions and interests of people in this area. We do our best to create an unbiased, wide reaching showcase of the things that should be reported and aren’t. We try to give news on what’s happening, give people a voice to express how they feel or what they’re proud of, and show people things about their city that they otherwise wouldn’t know.

Everything in our magazine is specifically local, small business related, progressive, healthy, or positive. We want someone to pick up an issue of Contraband and be reminded why this area is great. From local events to new music and ideas, we want to be the place you go to find out what you should be paying attention to.

Our content is created by locals. No article will be ignored. If you have something you want to say, chances are there is someone who either agrees with you, or would love to talk about it. We want to help spark that conversation. And have hella fun while doing it.

The magazine is always, and will always be, free. We want EVERYONE to be able to read our magazine. This means, however, that the way we pay for printing and merchandise is through subscriptions, advertising, and now this fundraiser. We need the support of our community to help get this project off the ground and become everything it can be!

So there you have it. I think it would be great if Charleston could support this cool new venue. I understand that they will have a presence at the WTSQ 88.1 Second Anniversary Party this Saturday at the Sculpture Garden at the Clay Center (Your PopCulteer will have to give this event a miss because he’s still taking medications for Myasthenia Gravis that make outdoor events unwise to attend). And you can kick in on the IndieGoGo, for a subscription, or if you can’t afford that, you can get a sticker for a mere three bucks. For more information you can also visit their webpage and their Facebook page.