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Chicagoan creates new monthly newspaper

August 30, 2012|Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco | RedEye

What better way to show newspapers aren’t dead than by creating one and naming it The Proof.

That’s exactly what Tom McHenry, 31, of Lakeview is doing.

“The overall mission statement or vision of it is just a lot of things that are interesting and hopefully unified by my vision as editor and curator of it,” he said. As for his vision, he answered “things that resonate with me.”

Initially, the self-published cartoonist was leaning heavily toward visual material with a couple articles--content he said readers might not encounter when they go online every day to the same handful of websites they check out.

The first issue has yet to come out. The plan is to put out 1,000 copies of the monthly 12-page black-and-white tabloid by mid-September.

To do that, he’ll be toiling away Labor Day weekend working on layout issues, nailing down a Midwest printing press, and responding to the many submissions of writings, comic strips, and cartoons he received since setting up a website six days ago, offering $5 for content. He purposely left the submission process open to see what people were working on.

With a plethora of online news sites and blogs, McHenry said it was “important to try out something tangible again.” By creating the newspaper, freelance artists and writers can submit content and freely try out things they may not necessarily put on their personal portfolio web sites without worrying the material would be archived online, he said.

The publication will be free at various spots in the city such as Quimby’s in Bucktown and record stores, he said. Subscribers could also pay $25 for a year in North America and $50 internationally to get issues delivered.

McHenry said the goal is to get the paper to pay for itself, not for him to become a tycoon or even make it his full-time job.

It’s an experimental venture that McHenry, who worked at Purdue University’s student newspaper The Exponent, described as “exhilarating and terrifying.” On Twitter, he also called it a “goof-off newspaper.”

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