If you happen to spend a little time with our logo on the cover, you’ll see a bit of identifying information underneath about each new issue: some obvious things like month and year, as well as the number that represents the odometer of the magazine (welcome to #209!). And of course there’s the “volume” designation, which has always been a bit tricky for ANTIGRAVITY as we’ve navigated a bunch of different eras. A volume of a publication can be broken down any number of ways, kind of like the seasons of a TV show. For instance, when Katrina hit in 2005 and AG’s original publisher Leo McGovern resumed operations that November with a new printer and larger page format (after pausing in September and October, in part because the storm vaporized our previous printing press), he decided to start a new volume. And so it was for a long time, November to November, before we reverted back to starting over with the new year. Then COVID-19 hit in March 2020, forcing ANTIGRAVITY into a new chapter, a new-old format, and a new volume.

All this diving into AG minutiae to say we are now 21 issues, 21 months into our COVID-19 volume, and (as I’m sure you all can attest from your own experiences) it’s been a slog. Which is one reason of several—more on that in a minute—why we’re going to take a three month, three issue hiatus from publishing your beloved ANTIGRAVITY.

In March of 2020 the mandate to keep going, as well as the adrenaline rush of our sudden new reality, really kicked our staff and contributors into gear, and I’m very proud of the work we’ve done over this period, especially considering all of the revenue and resource obstacles we’ve faced since April 2020—in addition to a couple new AG babies babbling about the proverbial HQ! But with nearly two years behind us, I think it’s only fair and honest to admit we’re all a bit exhausted, a bit stretched extra thin. So though it’s a little bittersweet to hit pause for the first time in 16 years, I, along with the AG editorial staff, believe now is the time. If there’s one thing I’ve gleaned from all the talk about our collective mental health these days and how bruised it is—its own pandemic, really—it’s that a little honesty goes a long way, especially when it comes to admitting your own limitations and mental state. So here we are.

But dear readers, it’s not all fume and doom. If you think we’ll simply be sitting poolside somewhere warm basking in the void of not having a monthly deadline, think again! These next few months are going to be an opportunity to rip apart the AG engine part by part so we can improve anywhere we can. This hiatus will not only be a time for our current staff and contributors to reset and refresh, but we’ll also be looking to expand our team—in all departments.

If you are a writer, photographer, illustrator, graphic designer, social media guru, WordPress aficionado, comic artist, editor, or even delivery driver who would be interested in making ANTIGRAVITY even better, please stay tuned to our website and social media accounts as we roll out a new and better system for getting in touch and jumping on board. (And if you’ve reached out before and no one got back to you, apologies. That’s on me. Hopefully with a moment to breathe we can actually respond to new contributor requests and grow the team.)

From the start, this whole thing has been a monthly experiment, and these next handful of months will be no different. These are strange times we’re living in and a few months with no new ANTIGRAVITY will, I think in all honesty, be a strange time for New Orleans in particular. But I’d like to think this hiatus will go by fast—especially if we get to enjoy Mardi Gras 2022 this year. And when we return with our April 2022 issue, we’ll hopefully be set to publish for years to come (or as long as South Louisiana remains habitable).

In the meantime, happy holidays, enjoy this last issue of 2021—which is packed to the gills and one helluva closer in my humble opinion—and we’ll see you tan, rested, and ready in springtime 2022.

Illustration by Ben Claassen III

December 2021 cover by Thom Karamus