Mastodon Our History - Sensitive Skin Magazine

Our History

From the ashes of the Lower East Side…

It’s all so hazy…trying to remember…

I started publishing Peau Sensible back in 1992, I think, when I was living on Suffolk St on the Lower East Side. The first issue had writing by B. Kold, Norman Douglas, Steve Cannon, John Farris and Darius James, with art by Gail Schilke and Tom McGlynn. Norman, John and Patricia Winter were co-editors what-have-yous. We did a lot of readings at the Living Theater, the Fez, XOXO, Thread Waxing Space and other places like that there.

We did four issues of Peau Sensible, each published about 3 months apart.

Things changed, the center did not hold for various reasons and I continued publishing the magazine, now known as Sensitive Skin, with help from Rob Hardin and Christian X. Hunter. You can tell I was deeply confused because the first issue of Sensitive Skin was numbered “five”, while the second issue as “two”. Hmmm…

You can check out the “fifth” issue of Sensitive Skin under the “Original Magazine” link up top. I’ll eventually scan and post PDF versions of all the original print issues.

We published plenty of great people during our brief run, including Richard Hell, Patrick McGrath, John Giorno, Maggie Estep, Ron Sukenick, Emily XYZ, Taylor Mead, Hal Sirowitz, Emily Carter and many, many other great folks.

By the time of the so-called “second” issue, the size of the magazine had grown to 48 pages and we were nationally distributed. But the magazine grew beyond our capabilities, became unmanageable and overly-expensive to produce. For that and many other reasons, I stopped publishing in 1994. I wanted to create an on-line version, and made some half-hearted attempts at it, but basically let it slide while I attended to mundane matters such as putting bread in my new-born children’s mouths…

Fast forward 15 years later. I run into Tim Beckett in Park Slope, we get to talking. I’d been vaguely thinking about re-starting the magazine as an on-line venture for a few years. I thought it would be fun to get the old band back together, so to speak, and, since by trade I’m a web developer, I knew I could make it good. Tim was enthusiastic about lending a hand.

Over the next 12 months, we spent a lot of time discussing the best way to do the magazine. I was inspired by Facebook – especially the way I was re-connecting with good people like bart plantenga, Jose Padua, Drew Huebner and other long-lost pals. I thought it would be great to bring everybody, now scattered to the four corners, back together by creating a modern, combination publishing platform and social network. We’ll be developing this dual-function platform over the next few issues of the magazine (which we hope to release on a monthly basis) and we’ll be sure to tell you about it as it happens.

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the cool, minty refreshing flavor of the All-New-and-Improved Sensitive Skin Magazine.

Bernard Meisler, Publisher, June 2010

For more about us, see our interview with Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York