The first issue of Silent Film Quarterly was published over three years ago. At the time I was a recent college graduate without a full-time job, and it was easy to dedicate several hours a day to the publication. I could afford to spend an entire weekend stuffing and stamping envelopes. I was putting enough hours into the production and distribution of SFQ that it felt like a regular, 9-to-5 job at times.
Over the past few years, however, some major changes have taken place in my life. In the spring of 2016 I accepted a position at an auction house specializing in postage stamps. The job has been one of the most wonderful things to ever happen to me. However, there are times of the year when I am working 80-plus hour weeks, sleeping on a sofa in the office to ensure that everything that needs to get done is taken care of. The auction business is unforgiving and deadlines cannot be moved.
There are many weeks and even months when I simply do not have the time or energy to dedicate to SFQ, and what little enthusiasm I can muster I’d rather spend creating content than coordinating printing and shipping. Seasons come and go without a new issue being created, which I attribute entirely to fatigue from my career. The auction house pays the bills that SFQ never could. The magazine must remain, for the time being at least, a hobby that can keep me busy during late nights and weekends.
Beginning with the next issue, SFQ will exist more-or-less entirely online as a digital publication. (I say “more-or-less” because I will continue exploring cost- and time-effective ways to print hard copies, and I will continue to print a very limited number of hard copies for contributors and archival institutions.) I have decided to host the magazine on the platform Issuu, which is aesthetically-pleasing and user-friendly. I have already uploaded the first 10 issues of the magazine for purchase, as well as several of the limited editions that have been released at various times.
Currently all issues of Silent Film Quarterly are available for purchase on Issuu for $5 each. When the next issue is released in February of 2019, there will be an option to subscribe, whereby the next three issues will be automatically sent to you. Issuu allows you to read the magazine on their website, their mobile app, or as a PDF download. All of these options are, in my opinion, very pleasing to the eye and easy to use. They are no substitute for a printed magazine, certainly, but given the circumstances I believe they are a fair compromise.
After having fallen behind in the middle of 2018, SFQ will resume a normal production schedule in 2019. The next issues will be published on February 1 (Winter 2018/19), May 1 (Spring 2019), August 1 (Summer 2019), and November 1 (Fall 2019). Adopting an online-focused format will make adherence to this strict schedule much easier.
Additionally, I have begun putting more emphasis on this website, silentfilmquarterly.com. Given the long span between issues, I believe semi-regular blog posts (perhaps twice a month) will provide great supplementary information for readers. Expanded interviews, previews of forthcoming content, and other odds and ends that might not have a place in SFQ itself will all continue to appear here. Already I have featured wonderful pieces by the likes of Olivia Gilmer and Lewis Walker; if you are interested in contributing content to the blog or the magazine, please do not hesitate to reach out.
I suppose that just about sums up the current state of Silent Film Quarterly. I still get untold joy out of putting together the magazine; I have just had to realize that I do not have the same luxury of free time that I once did. SFQ will continue to evolve. In the future it might not be in the format you’ve come to expect, but I can guarantee that my desire to present interesting and diverse content about the silent era will never waver. And I have nothing to thank for that but the enduring support of this publication’s readers and contributors. For that I am forever indebted.
With that, I’m off to get some sleep, as I’ve an early flight tomorrow to attend the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s Day of Silents. Expect a full recap soon.
-Charles Epting, 11/30/18