What can a tablet magazine do that a real magazine can’t? One new publication launched on the iPad Tuesday is one of the best examples yet — and its staff of hilarious, talented writers is just the icing on the cake.
The magazine, Blackline, is an extension of a comedy podcast, co-founded by Christian Ugbode, Lerone D. Wilson and Robert Pinderhuze. Blackline, says the trio, is for “everyone and anyone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.”
Considering they also claim their staff are monkeys who get paid in bananas and nutella, we’ll take their word on that.
Blackline’s articles contain a lot of sharp wit and satirical humor, focusing on politics, entertainment, technology and pop culture. Some of the first issue’s features include an interview with the President’s dog, Bo Obama, the story behind Al Sharpton’s “soul shag,” and Steve Jobs making fun of people who can’t afford iPads.
One of the most time-consuming pieces in the first issue: a feature called “Maya Angelou’s Icebox.” This allows the reader to move words around the poet’s refrigerator door — an interactive piece that helps show off Blackline’s impressive back-end.
Though the content may not take itself too seriously, the craftmanship that’s holding the magazine together is another story.
Ugobode admits that including an article that pokes fun at Steve Jobs and Apple was a risk that might have cost them getting through the App Store. In fact, it’s one of the reasons they chose to build the application on HTML5.
Because this level of markup language is still not a standard in mobile development, Ugbode says the technology behind the app was the biggest challenge.
The magazine, which has also been optimized for the new iPad’s retina display, looks highly polished for something that’s required a lot of hacking parts together. There are many major publications who still haven’t optimized for the new display, so these three young, creative individuals have made a stellar first impression.
If HTML5 is the future of mobile development, publishers have the potential to bring their magazines to life. What do you think about Blackline’s usage of it? Let us know in the comments.