Meeting "Janet" Granholm
A movie magazine's rocky start
by Jan Schlain
A laid-off Ann Arborite hopes his star will rise as designer of the new Michigan Movie Magazine. "Nobody's getting paid," says Marck Heisler, an EMU grad who recently lost his job with Sheridan Books. "We're hopefully optimistic we can make this work."
Heisler's optimism isn't dimmed by a faux pas in June's debut issue, which referred to Michigan's governor as "Janet" Granholm. "I handed her a copy and shook her hand," smiles editor-in-chief Chris Aliapoulios. Though his own name was also misspelled, "the rest of the issue is pretty clean," says the Dexter resident--who used to work in quality control at Ford.
Alianopolis says the magazine answers a question he asked himself when he took a buyout last year: "How can I stay in Michigan and work?" The magazine's "team of starving artists and writers," he says, are working under a "kind of equity system," where the time they put in will translate into shares in the company. Aliapoulios personally paid most of the cost of printing the inaugural issue's 5,000 copies.
The business is a long way from breaking even, but, he says, "I am doing what I like and working at the same time."
[Originally published in September, 2009.]