The newest Visalia magazines… and they’re too shiny.

I am all about new and hot publications for Visalia, but perhaps this is getting a little out of hand.

Two new splashy slick magazines made their debut in recent months: Valley Trends is a small little new magazine put on by, and direct-mail-and-hotel-only mag events magazine What’s Up Central Valley is sponsored by (I don’t trust that monkey. It is up to NO GOOD.)

Perhaps something turns me off about just how *glossy* everything is. With the exception of one little yellow-sheeted piece of piss called the Visalia Buzz (and again, I’m probably just jealous that whoever is doing that is making bank on ads and publishing any old crappy email forward they come across as content), these publications are too, how should I say this nicely, catered to people at a certain income-tax bracket. You know, the one well above yours and mine.

Another thing that turns me off: It’s great seeing names in beautiful graphics and high-process finishing, but it’s so lovely and colorful that it blends RIGHT IN with the crowd. Only because I collect local publications do I even realize they’re not leftovers from the Borders rack.

At first glance I can’t tell whether or not publications like Valley Trends is a national publication or not. Nothing says local to me. Nothing feels homegrown. You have to take out a magnifying glass to see the word Valley in their main logo! And do you know how many valleys there are in the state, let alone the nation?

Perhaps if they threw in some typos, added some Microsoft Word clipart and typed everything in Comic Sans would I recognize its Visalia origins. Then again, you’d be Visalia Buzz and I would hate you.

There has to be a balance between super production and home-grown feel. I’m happy that there’s more opportunities for writing in-depth features, photography and professional graphic design in this area, as I just so happen to provide all those services (*cough*foraverynominalfee*cough*). But it’s very hard to keep up the costs of producing these magazines on a long-term basis, so you more than likely wouldn’t be hiring your freelancers for long. I’ve seen so many mags come and go, so I am always extra cautious about the latest eye candy littering Main Street.

There’s a chance that What’s Up Central Valley may last beyond its first year only because it is sponsored by, which has been around long enough to no longer be an upstart in my book. Plus they’re an events company, so the mag doubles as their own self-advertisements. The problem is that they’re direct-mail only, like that Visalia Direct magazine is, only glossier and sent to homes with a higher household income. So as much as I’d like to tell you all about this new magazine, I don’t actually have a copy with me. You cannot go out to the streets and pick one up. I am sorry. That makes me wretch. We didn’t want to attend your elitist snob events anyway.

But look, these magazines are not all bad — I am definitely pro-magazines. I like reading different perspectives and seeing other local stories highlighted and brought to the public’s attention. And with that respect, Valley Trends covers a lot of ground for a handheld-sized publication — places to fish and golf locally, features on local musicians and artists, bartender of the month, and a piece on local cowgirls who went to Australia to compete. It’s not too shabby for what it aims to be, and I like the little acknowledgment of *nightlife* in Visalia. So it is worth keeping a (very closely-trained) eye out for. I believe they distribute at places like Visalia Coffee Company.

I’d love to tell you what’s up with What’s Up, but I’ll leave that until the day I make enough income to be targeted by them.



  1. Giddy Girl Said:

    I dunno ’bout upscale, snark. What’s Up is all about the chili cook-offs and lame local theatre productions. I sit next to the monkey at church and he’s very down to earth 😉
    LOVE your blog!

    – giddy girl

  2. […] new From the Monkey blog. I do like me some snark and I take back nearly a third the bad things I said about What’s Up Central Valley. (Perhaps if he’s nice I’ll add another fourth to […]

  3. Alien Vice Said:

    Recognizing an opportunity to parody when it sees one, ALIEN VICE would like to officially announce its newest recurring monthly feature – Bar-patron of the Month.

    To nominate somebody, please send us their Nickname, list of offenses, and mug shot if applicable. Look for ALIEN VICE in coffee shops that don’t suck. One day, they just might appear.

  4. Angelina Said:

    Do you have any clue what they are building by the new target?!

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