You might have noticed something different about us last week. Actually, you might have noticed everything was different about us last week.
For most of the past decade, little had changed (looks-wise, anyway) at the Loaf. Last week's issue was a drastic departure from that, the culmination of nine months spent devising and revising a whole new publication, from design to content to the website and beyond. The Loaf's staffers, along with local artists and an outside newspaper-design guru, put our heads together with the hope that the end result would be ... well, if not perfect, then at least bold and provocative and surprising and a massive improvement over what had come before.
Your responses were largely glowing. Thank you! Some of my faves: "If it was Facebook, I would hit the like button," "I virtually never write in to anything, not even for a chance to win $1,000,000. ... Overall I love the new format," and "The paper is fresh but retains its essence. You can be proud of your new baby."
There were some puzzling reactions, too: "It sucks just like the AJC" and "I didn't know Creative Loafing had started up again." Really?
And, of course, there was criticism — mostly really, really good criticism.
You said you wanted a little more clarity on the START page, and so we're offering that, in the form of little bits of explanation following each quote. Does that help?
You were really weirded out by the orientation of the GO pages. But can you stick with it for the next couple of weeks, and keep the feedback coming? Maybe, just maybe, it will grow on you. If it doesn't, we need to know.
Some of you had trouble finding the cartoons back in the classifieds section, complained about the crossword setup — which we fixed, and overlooked our new man-on-the-street (and on the Web) feature, the Last Word.
Many of you lamented that Andisheh Nouraee's humorous foreign-affairs column, Don't Panic!, has moved online to clatl.com/dontpanic (where, in addition to the column, Andy will be blogging regularly on foreign affairs). It was a tough call, but the staff and I decided to use what space we had in print for a weekly column and editorial that focus on local issues that impact Atlantans. As you can see this week, Andy will be a regular presence on that page — and elsewhere in the news section.
One other important point you raised: publication day. Yes, it too has changed. CL will now hit the streets every Thursday instead of Wednesday. Hump Day will never be the same.
I'm still waiting on your feedback regarding some of the Loaf's other new features: Neighborhood News, which has changed format from last week, our new nightlife column, our reconceived concert listings, with shows arranged by genre and club, the consolidated events listed in the back of the paper and — big one here — the new website (clatl.com).