Vice (magazine)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article


January 2009 'The Universal Sadness Issue'
Total circulation

900,000 (worldwide)

80,000 (UK)[1]
First issue1994
CountryUnited States
Jump to: navigation, search

January 2009 'The Universal Sadness Issue'
Total circulation

900,000 (worldwide)

80,000 (UK)[1]
First issue1994
CountryUnited States
Logo of the magazine

Vice is a New York City based North American magazine focused on international arts & culture.

Vice is available for free in 28 countries and supports itself through advertising. Jesse Pearson was Vice's editor-in-chief for eight years until resigning in December, 2010. The current editor-in-chief is Rocco Castoro, and the global editor is Andy Capper. Over the past year or two, Vice has found gained a very strong following through their Youtube channel.



Founded by Suroosh Alvi, Shane Smith, and Gavin McInnes, it was launched as the Voice of Montreal in 1994 with government funding to provide work and a community service.[2] When the editors wanted to break free of their commitments with the original publisher, Alix Laurent, they bought him out and changed the name to Vice in 1996. Apparently unhappy in Canada, and in search of more streetwear advertising income, they moved to New York City in 1999. Shane Smith has said: "I grew up being a socialist and I have problems with it because I grew up in Canada [and] I’ve spent a lot of time in Scandinavia, where I believe countries legislate out creativity. They cut off the tall trees. Everyone’s a C-minus. I came to America from Canada because Canada is stultifyingly boring and incredibly hypocritical. Thanks, Canada." [3] Today, the magazine has over 900,000 readers across 22 different countries.[4]


Vice's content has shifted from dealing mostly with independent arts and pop cultural matters to covering more serious news topics. Vice has championed the "Immersionist" school of journalism, which it regards as something of a DIY antithesis to the big-office methods practiced by traditional news outlets, and has published an entire issue composed of articles written in this manner. There have also been issues of the magazine wholly dedicated to concerns facing Iraqi people,[5] Native Americans,[6] Russian people,[7] people with mental disorders,[8] and people with mental disabilities.[9] Vice also publishes an annual guide for students in the UK.[10]

In 2007, Vice announced: "After umpteen years of putting out what amounted to a reference book every month, we started to get bored with it. Besides, too many other magazines have ripped it and started doing their own lame take on themes. So we're going to do some issues, starting now, that have whatever we feel like putting in them."[11]


Articles such as The Vice Guide to Shagging Muslims and Bukkake On My Face: Welcome to the Ancient Tradition of the Japanese Facial have precipitated the magazine being banned from a number of university campuses. The VICE Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll was banned from some bookstores in 2003.[12]

Vice has also been accused of using irony to conceal reactionary politics and to promote conservative, racist, and sexist attitudes.[13][14][15][16] In August 2003, Vice cofounder Gavin McInnes wrote a piece in The American Conservative entitled "Hip to Be Square: It’s getting cooler to be conservative".[17]

McInnes' views on immigration have generated controversy. In a September 2003 interview with The New York Times, McInnes stated, "I love being white and I think it's something to be very proud of." He also remarked, "I don't want our culture diluted. We need to close the borders now and let everyone assimilate to a Western, white, English-speaking way of life." McInnes has since said that the interview was a prank on the young fashion journalist who wrote the piece.[18]

Later, responding to the controversy, McInnes stated that "baby boomer media like The New York Times is a laughing stock, and we should do whatever we can to ridicule it".[18]


In a March 2008 interview with The Guardian, Shane Smith (co-founder) was asked about the magazine's political allegiances and he stated, "We're not trying to say anything politically in a paradigmatic left/right way...We don't do that because we don't believe in either side. Are my politics Democrat or Republican? I think both are horrific. And it doesn't matter anyway. Money runs America; money runs everywhere."[2]


Vice has published five fiction issues. Notable inclusions include interviews with Dennis Cooper and Harold Bloom and stories by Ann Beattie, Stephen Dixon, Tao Lin, and Carlton Mellick III.

Comics issue

In 2006[19] Vice published a special comics issue guest-edited by Johnny Ryan. True to the underground spirit of both the magazine and Ryan, the collection of one-page comics were mostly crude, scatological, sexually perverse, and/or violent in nature. The more than thirty contributors included cover illustrator Al Jaffee, Peter Bagge, Steven Weissman, Gary Panter, Jordan Crane, Robert Crumb, Dave Cooper, Tony Millionaire, Mary Fleener, Martin Kellerman, Sam Henderson, Rick Altergott, Sophie Crumb, and Sammy Harkham.


Vice acquired the British fashion magazine i-D in 2012.[20]


The magazine has published the collections The DOs and DON'Ts Book and The Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. In 2008, The Vice Photo Book was released, a collection of the most powerful photography published in previous editions of Vice.[21]

Record label

Vice Recordings has released albums and singles, mainly in the U.S. market, by

Television and film

Vice's videos and documentaries are available for viewing on the internet, with the intention of circumventing network intervention over content issues and allowing for a global, free-of-charge distribution plan akin to that of the magazine.[22] Vice Films released a feature length documentary, Heavy Metal in Baghdad, in 2008 as well its first theatrical release entitled White Lightnin' in 2009 and a documentary on professional bull riders entitled The Ride[disambiguation needed] due out in 2010.[23] It contributes some of its films, as well as new material, to MTV in a series called The Vice Guide to Everything, which premiered December 2010.

Late 2012 will release a new series on HBO starring Shane Smith as the Host.[24]

Vice has[clarification needed] a documentary film series called the Vice Guide to Travel.


Vice also runs two pubs and music venues in east London, The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch and Birthdays in Dalston[25]

Notable Contributors

Contributors have included Ryan McGinley, Richard Kern, and Terry Richardson.[citation needed]


  1. ^ From chic to cheek The Daily Telegraph. 14 July 2006
  2. ^ a b Wilkinson, Carl (30 March 2008). "The Vice Squad". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
  3. ^ Vice's Shane Smith on What's Wrong With Canada, Facebook and Occupy Wall Street Forbes 03 January 2012
  4. ^ The Vice Squad: How 'Vice' magazine became the new teen bible The Independent. 26 July 2008
  5. ^ "The Iraq Issue". Vice. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  6. ^ "The Native Issue". Vice. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  7. ^ "The Russia Issue". Vice. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  8. ^ "The Mentally Ill Issue". Vice. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  9. ^ "The Special Issue". Vice. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  10. ^ "Student Guide". Vice. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
  11. ^ "Dear Vice Readers!". Vice. 11 April 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  12. ^ Vice banned from bookstores Gawker. 3 September 2003
  13. ^
  14. ^ The New Cool News Week. 25 September 2003
  15. ^ The Edge of Hip: Vice, the Brand New York Times. 28 September 2008
  16. ^ Mesh Caps, Vice Magazine and the Trouble with Irony Counter Punch. 2–4 July 2005}}
  17. ^ McInnes, Gavin. "Hip to Be Square: It’s getting cooler to be conservative.". The American Conservative. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  18. ^ a b Letter to Gawker from Gavin McInnes Gawker. 29 September 2003
  19. ^ Vice vol. 13, #5.
  20. ^ Vice aims high following acquisition of UK style magazine i-D
  21. ^ The Vice Photo Book (book review) Harp. March/April 2008
  22. ^ "Vice Dos & Don'ts: 10 Years of Vice Magazine's Street Fashion Critiques summary". Atomic Books. Archived from the original on 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  23. ^ "Interview: VICE’s Jesse Pearson on Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze, and the Future of VICE Films & VBS.TV". /Film.
  24. ^ "Shane Smith Reddit IAMA".
  25. ^ Television for trendsetters The Guardian. 22 October 2007

External links