This issue marks the beginning of ANTIGRAVITY’s 13th year as a publication. Some might consider that an unlucky number, but as a print magazine born in the digital age, let’s just say, like Batman’s Bane, that we were born into bad luck. As with any other pass ‘round the old fireball, this occasion calls for a round of gratitude.

First I’d like to thank the contributors. I always wince when people refer to AG as “my” magazine. While I do find myself picking up the check most of the time, this fine rag is a many-headed monster comprised of very talented and dedicated editors, writers, photographers, illustrators, and distro team members. Any one issue takes dozens of people to put together. One of those old management parables people like to throw around is that you should never be the smartest person in the room. I’m pleased to report that when the spirits conspire to bring ANTIGRAVITY contributors together, I often look around and feel like—to quote the late, great Kurt Vonnegut—“one dumb motherfucker.”

I’d also like to thank our advertisers. We don’t always make it easy to be associated with ANTIGRAVITY and for that, I and the rest of the staff are truly grateful. We are doing our best to create honest, intelligent, thought-provoking content, and that’s not a mission that always jives with an ad market eager for softball journalism. And despite our anarcho ways, it’s nice to spread a little coin around for all the hard work everyone does around here. Your money is well spent! I think it’s worth noting, also, that a vast majority of our advertisers are local businesses comprised of equally dedicated people, many of whom have grown with the magazine.

And of course, thank you, dear readers. Let me admit that sometimes as I sit in Stein’s, nursing a strong iced coffee, lurking in relative obscurity, I take great delight in spying on the people passing through who pick up an issue. The demographics always surprise me. We’re not very good at winning awards—you gotta pay to play, you know—but whenever I see a piece of the mag taped to a wall or a refrigerator, or a small chuckle from an engrossed reader, it makes those long and stressful nights worth it.

This magazine was born in June and hence, is of the Gemini star clan (those pesky, devious twins!). In this issue you’ll find contradictions inside contradictions, from the most intimate moments of a baby’s gestation on one page, to one of our writers getting their skull crushed under GWAR’s hoof on the next. We have some of the finest writers in the city—and some of the worst (but we still love you, Eric Martinez. We wouldn’t dare “fix” your voice). You’ll find Mike Dillon charging ahead at 51 like an artist 30 years his junior; and the celebration of Erin Dwyer, who we lost far too young. These are the kinds of contradictions and conflicts we celebrate every day in New Orleans, and our only goal every month with this magazine is to document them as best we can.

Before I leave you to the rest of this glorious issue, I’d like to add an extra thanks to the writer of the NOLA Darling blog (noladarlingblog. wordpress.com), a French expat living here in New Orleans, who recently wrote about ANTIGRAVITY, en français no less. One phrase in particular struck me as an exceptionally acute distillation of this whole experiment in print, which I will leave you with now, our adopted battle cry going forward: “un peu anarchiste sur les bords, punk toujours” (“a little anarchist on the edges, punk always”). —Dan Fox