New life has been detected in Houston's print magazine scene in the form of The Houston Register, a new venture from the publishers of Envy that aims to cover "the convivial crowd - the shakers, diners, movers, drinkers, the people that make this city great."
HR got major first-impression points for its graphically arresting cover, which called me out of the lunch line at Lola in the Heights to give it a look. But on the inside? The photography and layouts were nice but look virtually identical to the previous layout style of Houston Modern Luxury (the magazine recently underwent a design adjustment), which has more extensive local coverage but otherwise treads much of the same ground.
Is there really adequate advertising money in town to support yet another chronicle of "the convivial crowd?" If so, we take it as a hopeful sign for Houston's economy, but this niche is already pretty darn crowded, with Paper City way ahead of the rest of the pack. In a city as awesome as this one, it seems like a crying shame to have overlapping coverage of product launches at jewelry stores and auto dealerships while major developments in our complex business, political and cultural scenes go under-reported.
So here's a memo/hint to potential publishers out there who might want to jump into the Houston market: There's an opening out there for something a little different, and it's big enough to drive a truck through. We'll be watching....