April 1 marks the release of the annual issue of Jeff Brown’s award winning Real Alaskan magazine, a humorous look at living in the 49th state. A book release event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Hearthside Books at the Nugget Mall.
This year’s edition can be found at the Alaskan Barbershop, Hearthside Books, Hummingbird Hollow at the Juneau Airport, the Juneau Arts & Culture Center, Rainy Retreat Books, Rainbow Foods and Shoefly-Hudsons.
Copies can also be purchased directly from Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post at 214 Dixon St., Juneau, AK, 99801 for $10 postpaid.
The roots of the Real Alaskan magazine go back to the 1980s, when Brown, Bill Hudson and Ken Burch produced the first issue of “The Juneau What,” a satirical newspaper filled with fabricated news stories. Brown continued the project on his own for many years and then, beginning in 2010, switched to a magazine format. Like “The Juneau What,” the “Real Alaskan” presents an exaggerated or satirical view of life in Alaska.
In a previous Empire interview, Brown said he’s been pleasantly surprised by Alaskans’ willingness to participate.
“What’s been surprising about the magazine is that I can ask people like Sen. Mark Begich if he wants to pose for me, or Libby Riddles, Paul Rosenthal, (I say) ‘Will you be in my magazine?’ And they say, ‘Sure, no problem.’”
Last year, Brown won first place in the Alaska Press Club awards in the Humor category, with a juror commenting: “Lots of fun in this magazine; even the fake ads are hilarious. So is the story on the mosquito-killing SWAT team.”
Stories in this issue include “Zipline Commuting,” a new exhibit at the Alaska Zoo featuring the “Wild Alaska Bureaucrat” and “Harvesting Visqueen: An Alaskan tradition.”
As always, the ads featuring Southeast businesses are part of the fun. Look for Miner’s Postal, the Observatory book store, and Good Hardware, among other local highlights.