Sassy Magazine

Infobox Magazine
title = Sassy

image_size = 200px
image_caption = The April 1992 cover of "Sassy" featuring Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love
editor = Jane Pratt
editor_title = editor-in-chief
frequency = Monthly
circulation =
category = Teen Magazine
company =
publisher = Matilda Publications (1988-89), Lang Communications (1989-1994)
firstdate = March 1988
country = USA
language = English

"Sassy Magazine" is a defunct cult fave teen magazine. It was founded in March 1988 by an Australian feminist, Sandra Yates, CEO of Matilda Publications, who based it on the teen magazine "Dolly", which is still in publication in Australia.

Editorial Staff

Sassy's founding editor was Jane Pratt, and it had a half Australian, half American staff. Its original main writers were referred to by Pratt as "Sex" (Karen Catchpole), "Drugs" (Catherine Gysin), and "Rock 'n Roll" (Christina Kelly) [Sassy, Jane Pratt's Editor's Page, 1988] because of the topics they covered. The fashion department was headed by Mary Clarke and Andrea Lee Linett, and one of their discoveries was Chloë Sevigny, whom they spotted on the street and hired as an intern. The Australian half of the staff covered the art & design (Neil McCutcheon) and beauty departments.


Sassy was originally published in March 1988 in the United States by Matilda Publications with a circulation of 250,000. It was acquired by Lang Communications in October 1989, at which point its circulation was 450,000. [ [ Stakes Sold In Magazines] ] Petersen Publishing officially took over with the February – March 1995 issue [ [ Petersen Will Restart Sassy With Push for Older Readers] ] , and its editorial offices were moved to Los Angeles from Manhattan. It then stopped publishing as its own title in 1996, when editorial sections (and staff) of "Sassy" were absorbed into another magazine published by Petersen called `"TEEN" [ [ TIME, INC. v PETERSON PUBLISHING, Decided: April 14, 1999] ] beginning with the January 1997 issue. [ [ "Sassy and Teen Will Be Merged" -- The New York Times, October 30, 1996] ]

Dirt Magazine

In the early 1990s, "Sassy" spun off a short-lived title for teen boys called "Dirt", which was edited by Andy Jenkins, Mark Lewman and music video director Spike Jonze (collectively known as "the Master Cluster"). It published seven sporadic issues before ending its run in 1994.

Chia Pet

"Sassy"'s in-house band was named after the Chia Pet, with various members from the editorial staff, including Jane Pratt on violin, Christina Kelly on vocals, her then-husband Robert Weeks on guitar, her then-sister-in-law (and "Sassy" writer) Jessica Vitkus Weeks on bass guitar, Mary Ann Marshall (also a "Sassy" scribe) on drums. Karen Catchpole also lent co-lead vocals to some songs. ["Hey Baby" CD liner notes]


* "Hey Baby" -- CD single of original songs1. "Hey Baby"
2. "Lunch"
3. "Blind Date"
* "Tannis Root Presents: Freedom Of Choice" -- various-artists pro-choice fundraising CD of cover songs16. "Don't You Want Me Baby"

Book: "How "Sassy" Changed My Life"

In April 2007, Faber and Faber released a tribute to and history of "Sassy" by former "Teen Vogue" editor Kara Jesella [ [ Book Keeping: Authors Uncover Sassy's Rise and Fall] ] and Marisa Meltzer called "How "Sassy" Changed My Life: A Love Letter To The Greatest Teen Magazine Of All Time". The book recounts the magazine's rise and fall; its unusual appeal to both men and women, teenagers and adults; and its influence on mainstream as well as alternative women's magazines. It includes interviews with staffers and fans.


* The November 1990 issue contained an offer to win a free 7" single by Sonic Youth. The A-side was a cover of "Personality Crisis" by the New York Dolls; the B-side was "Dirty Boots (8-track demo short version)." It was limited to 2000 copies. View cover [] .
* Ian Svenonius of the rock band The Nation of Ulysses was named the inaugural "Sassiest Boy In America" in the October 1991 issue.
* After excerpting it three times, Sassy led to the publication of Blake Nelson's first novel Girl, which had been rejected previously by over forty publishers and agents.
* Three teen magazines have now folded under [ Christina Kelly] as Editor in Chief: first Sassy Magazine, then YM Magazine, and most recently Elle Girl, which only lasted five issues under Kelly.
* "Sassy" is also a Hawaiian youth magazine published by Double Talk Publishing. Its companion title is "G". Both titles are unaffiliated with Jane Pratt's periodical.
* "Sassy" was the subject of some mockery and criticism during its run for what some saw as superficiality and trendiness. These attacks included a profanity-laden rant by the lead character in the first chapter of the Dan Clowes graphic novel "Ghost World", and the recurring "Saturday Night Live" sketch with Phil Hartman as "Russell Clark, Senior Editor of "Sassy Magazine" serving as the rather strenuously hip host of a roundtable discussion of "sassy" young men; his character inexplicably declared every utterance from the men to be "SASSY!"
* A line in the Cap'n Jazz song "Planet Shhh" references the magazine with the line "I can't shake the shapeless memories every time I read "Sassy"."
* The alternative school Hampshire College was selected as the "sassiest" college in America

ee also

* Jane Magazine
* Dolly Magazine


External links

* [ "The Sassy Era"] at WWD (subscription required)
* [ "Sissy Magazine" at Blairmag: the lost December 1994 issue -- Sassy's Last Issue Ever]
* [ "Too Young to Know: The Selling of Sassy"]
* [ "KICKING SASS -- sassy's dead. R.I.P. Sassy. And it's about damn time."]
* [ Why Jane Pratt's "Jane" never quite lived up to Jane Pratt's "Sassy"]
* [ The New York Review of Magazines: We Still Love Sassy]
* [ Interview with Jane Pratt in "The Oberlin Review"]
* [ Cute Band Alert: How "Sassy" magazine created a new sex object.]
* [ Sonic Youth 7" info]
* [ Issue 8 of "Dirt", never published] (archived site that went offline in 2006; may contain dead links and broken images)
* [ article on "Dirt"]
* [ Hawaiian youth magazine also entitled "Sassy"]
* [ Some of the articles Marjorie Ingall wrote for Sassy (as Margie Ingall)]
* [ Recent articles by ex-Sassy writer/editor Marjorie Ingall]
* [ Confessions of a Sassy Girl article by writer Mengly Taing]
* [ NPR's Talk of the Nation on Sassy, April 25, 2007]
* [ Ms. Junior: an excerpt from the book "How Sassy Changed My Life"] in the Spring 2007 of "Venus Zine"
* February 1990 cover: [ The Sassiest Girl in America]

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