I met BULLETT in that fleeting, fuzzy way I often encounter magazines: in a bodega, hungover, buying cigarettes. I remember because on the cover was a photograph of the actor Nicholas Hoult, who was also that month on the cover of BlackBook, the magazine I was then editing. I remember, too, because Miranda July’s name appeared on that cover; she was also in mine. I remember most of all, though, because it annoyed me that they had done such a good job. A better job, frankly.
Not long after, I was invited to coffee with BULLETT’s founding creative director Sah D’Simone and the editor-in-chief, Idil Tabanca. I don’t recall too many specifics about that first meeting, except that I left feeling confused. I was confused about why the magazine’s name was misspelled. (Still am.) I was confused about how these kids without publishing experience were doing such innovative, incredible, expectation-shattering work. I was even more confused when Idil started telling me about her plans to create her own civilization on a remote island with its own currency and language. I was also wildly charmed.
I was later offered the job of editorial director, and I took it without hesitation.
At this point, it would be an undertaking too Herculean for me to list off all of the giddy moments we shared, and insane characters we met, during my two years on the BULLETT staff. But I’ll jot down a few, all of them having to do with animals: a day before her shoot in Spain, Marina Abramovic demanded that we procure her two ravens, an eagle, and a baby tiger. (We did.) During a different shoot, on the streets of Chinatown, we had to physically block passersby from taking pictures on their phones of Alexander Skarsgard cradling a baby lamb in his arms. And then there’s Chunk, Idil’s beastly but beautiful pet dog, who livened up the office with his every slobbering guest appearance.
I was staying with Idil when BULLETT ended its run as a print publication, and in doing so made my position there obsolete. She had been kind enough to give me a place to crash as I temporarily flailed through life. I stayed upstairs. Idil stayed downstairs with Chunk. But one day, while I was out getting a soda to go with the spaghetti I’d just had delivered, Chunk snuck upstairs and made a massacre of Bolognese sauce all over the white cushions of her linen couch. Upon my return, seeing what truly looked like a scene out of “Carrie,” I did what any upright, normal human houseguest would do: I flipped the cushions, sat down, and put in another delivery order.
Idil moved out of that West Village apartment not long after. She clearly saw the caked-on remains of my sheepish neglect. But she never said anything, not to me. In a way, her silence in that instance reflects a larger trait that I’ve long known, and admired, about Idil: that there’s so much depth hiding beneath the surface. She possesses so much more rule-breaking creativity, compassion, and wonder about the world than anyone could ever know—kind of like BULLETT itself, which is so, so much more than a fashion or entertainment magazine for everyone involved. We were a family. Couch stains or not, we always will be.
-Nick Haramis, Interview Magazine Editor-in-Chief
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