Editor Alex Storch on the Feud with David Carson & the Future of Untitled Magazine

Last week we told you about the turmoil surrounding Carson magazine, which changed its name to Untitled after a falling out between art director David Carson and editor-in-chief Alex Storch. The feud has been documented on various design blogs and on Carson’s Facebook page, where both men have given conflicting versions of events.

We’ve since heard from Storch, who wanted to assure us that despite claims to the contrary, contributors have been paid, readers are happy, and the magazine’s future looks bright. He also added, “Some of the things Carson posted to his on Facebook page were far worse than anything I may have posted as a reaction.”

The he said/he said aside, one thing is certain: losing David Carson will make the magazine more readable. Literally. Carson’s designs, while legendary, often make the text difficult to decipher. And an article that has been made illegible, no matter how pretty, is a disservice to readers and writers alike.

Alex Storch’s full email after the jump:

Hi Pandora,

I wish you had waited to publish your article before hearing from me. We’ve been obviously busy with the legal aspects of changing the business around, so here’s what’s going on.

I would just say that after trying to accommodate David, we realized that he is impossible to work with, but the reaction to our Carson-free issue has been much better. We continue to bring in some incredible writers and talented collaborators, and we are excited to be expanding into more bookstores and outlets as of our next issue.

We own the rights to the name of the magazine, but changed it after repeatedly being contacted by other parties who were seeking damages from Carson for similar situations to ours where he didn’t live up to an agreement.

Some of the things Carson posted to his on Facebook page were far worse than anything I may have posted as a reaction.

Our lawyers suggested that we not pay him the remaining balance because not only is he still in breach of the contract he ACTUALLY signed, but because his behavior (distancing himself from the magazine, refusing to take credit for the design, etc) has hurt the business. The only other person who has been unpaid was a contributor who submitted her work that Carson set us up with that we ultimately didn’t end up using. Everyone else in both issues has been paid in full.

The subscribers by and large haven’t cared about us getting rid of Carson, and liked the second Carson-free issue much better.

We have also refunded the few people who have wanted one. As it stands, we have a slate of fantastic contributors lined up for the next few issues, and as I said, we’re expanding our distribution. Far from “implosion,” as you put it.

Without the incommunicative, libelous Carson in our way, it’s much easier to breathe.

Alex Storch
Untitled Magazine

Previously on FishbowlLA:
Carson Magazine Implodes After Just Two Issues