The celebrity interview magazine is a time-honored if often shallow institution. The time is right to spice it up a bit. That’s what James Cooper, a creative at Another Anomaly (the spin-off of regular Anomaly), hopes to do with Celebrity PingPong. The magazine, created by Cooper and a class he taught at Miami Ad School, features interviews with artists, actors and writers while they show off their paddle skills. The idea came to Cooper, a self-described "Ping Pong nerd," as a way of getting interviewees to relax and open up. The magazine promises to be "a bit like Freud’s couch, but with less mothers and more top-spin." Cooper walks the walk: He knocked a ball around while giving a talk about the project this past weekend at the Interesting New York event. The first issue, a 60-pager featuring interviews with graphic designer Kate Moross, author Jerome Charyn and rapper Kenan Bell, is out now. Initially, CPP has spec ads created by Miami Ad School students. Cooper hopes to tap into Anomaly’s stable of brands to make the magazine a regular business. He’s lined up other notables for chats, including author Salman Rushdie. I could see this working. Ping Pong has that retro-cool feel about it nowadays. Cooper says his bosses are totally behind the effort. "We’re Anomaly, we’re supposed to do silly things," he says. Anomaly is hosting a launch party tonight, featuring a Ping Pong tournament.
—Posted by Brian Morrissey