We're celebrating our sixth year at Hyphen, and one of the things we're proud of is the cool covers we've published. After 16 of them (17 including the one you're reading), we thought it would be a good time to reminisce. Some current and former staff members share the back story on how a cover was created.
PREMIERE, ISSUE 1, WELCOME TO ASIAN AMERICA
Sadly, we didn't research our numbers properly before we made the sign, so we found out after printing 5,000 copies that it should have read "Population: 13 million." - Claire Light, blogger, co-founder and former literature editor
The photo was Photoshopped, but we relished having people think we actually made a physical sign (which we did, later). It was in Stef's garage or bedroom for many years. - Melissa Hung, blog editor and founding editor in chief
ART, ISSUE 4, ASIAN AMERICANA
Learning how to use studio lights for the first time added to the stress of using photo-realism to mock up one of the most famous Americana paintings by Norman Rockwell. One aspect that I will never forget, even to this day when I see the cover, is the amount of pride that came from having a South Asian queer person on the cover, along with the drag king story being a feature. - Mia Nakano, former director of photography
BODY, ISSUE 7, EDAMAME BOY
I remember this because it was done in my bathroom. I don't remember who had the idea of shooting a cute guy (Yusuke Miyashita) in a tub full of edamame, but there was a slight panic when they filled the tub, dumped in the edamame ... and they all sank to the bottom. The day was saved when someone had the bright idea to shell the beans and only use the skins. - Jennifer Huang, co-founder and former film editor
RE-EMERGE, ISSUE 8, AQUAWOMAN
That's a real fish tail and it was stinky. The model (Meng Lau) was shivering because we had to keep dumping water on her. She was a real trooper through it all.
- Seng Chen, director of photography
TRANSIT, ISSUE 12, DON'T YOU GET IT?
We did some buying and returning for this one ... an overpriced spoiler from Kragen. We didn't want to assemble it too much so we just duct taped it to the car and shot it at the right angle so it was hidden. Seng, Matt and the assistants did a great job of making the car a jalopy. - Stefanie Hsien Liang, former creative director
In hindsight, we should have used a cover that was even more obvious that this was a joke. I do love the face Ali Wong is making in this one though. - M.H.
HYBRID, ISSUE 13, CENTAUR CONTROVERSY
The biggest issue with this cover was the flack we got for my model-search post. It got into the hands of the folks at Racialicious.com, and they were appalled we were using a centaur to represent a mixed person. And that he (Kip Fulbeck) was gonna be shirtless. How could we? - S.H.L