Howling at the Goal

By: Judy Cantor-Navas

Howler magazine founders Mark Kirby and George Quraishi have a history working at glossy magazines like GQ and National Geographic, and they’ve taken an artful approach to covering soccer, its history and its relationship to society. If that sounds a bit removed from the reality of the pitch, it’s not, as they’ve really managed to kick it in the sweet spot between high and low culture. Howler is the first American publication dedicated to the culture of the game. And yes, it is a beautiful magazine.

It was clear Quraishi and Kirby were on to something when they raised $69,000 on Kickstarter to fund Howler’s debut. After the equivalent of a stand-shaking response from subscribers and the media, the magazine is on its third issue, which is dedicated to the story of 100 years of US soccer.

Quraishi has said that Howler looks at football from a particularly American perspective, and that means the magazine is suitable for newcomers to the sport as well as fanatics. But that’s not to say it’s about giving a play-by-play for beginners. The magazine specializes in well-reported stories about players, teams, cities, businesses, and anything else that may be touched by soccer, with unexpected photos and original illustrations. The website offers regular podcasts of audio versions of articles and more. And Howler is a must read for the kind of anecdotes and obscure facts that will heighten the conversation at all those World Cup parties next summer.

Judy Cantor-Navas is an award-winning journalist, critic and Latin music programmer who most frequently writes about music and its context. She is the Managing Editor of Billboard en Español and a correspondent for Billboard Magazine in Los Angeles.