Written by Axel Matsen and Erik Forberg. Translated by Evelyn Wane
Despite being Durénnmørk’s biggest and most successful publication, [The Lonely Outlet] is very much steeped in mystery. The first thing that anyone even remotely interested in the publication should know, is that it started as a self-published zine by Lorenzo and his girlfriend Agnes Mülman in 1986. It was a crude, hand printed and stapled booklet, usually only clocking in at about 24-32 pages. Lorenzo created the majority of the written content, with Agnes covering the art and design.
The first odd thing – while everyone in the area knew who Lorenzo was (despite never using his last name), no one had a clue as to Agnes’ identity. In fact, if accounts are to be believed, Lorenzo never even had a girlfriend during high school, when they supposedly started dating…
Like with most of the Outlet’s future issues, it primarily focussed on older media. In the 80s, 90s and even early 2000s, Durénnmørk always experienced delays in getting things that had already been released to the rest of the world. Movies, books and especially games often didn’t land in its icy planes until at least a few years after their initial release. Video games and consoles especially didn’t arrive until almost a whole generation later. Many have speculated as to why this was the case – the town is small, unassuming and just not worth much effort. It never had a particularly large “young” population – those who were most interested in such forms of media. Content needed to be translated. Almost no one around the world even knew about Durénnmørk’s existence… Whatever the real reason, they were always behind the times.
Lorenzo and Agnes continued the magazine, in more or less the same fashion until 1991. Lorenzo had, at this point, finally finished his degree and masters in teaching and had landed a job at the local high school. Agnes was a budding (though not particularly successful) artist. Lorenzo’s new job afforded them a slightly better lifestyle (when compared to their poor, student life) as well as more means to invest in the magazine. The Outlet transitioned from a small, A5 size black and white zine, which released sporadically into a larger format, full colour periodical.
At this point, people seemed to take notice. He managed to get some distribution deals; the magazine was in near every bookshop, newsagency and store likely to stock such material. The magazine soon became incredibly popular among the Durénnmørk locals. Lorenzo was even able to start a long-running TV show and radio program based on, or inspired by material from its pages. It was safe to say that the residents of Durénnmørk had Lonely Outlet fever!
Lorenzo’s good fortunes would soon come to an end, however… He and Agnes had a child in 1993, married in 2006 and as far as everyone knew, remained happily together until 2008.
On the eve of the Lonely Outlet’s 150th issue, it was revealed that Agnes had committed suicide, much to everyone’s shock. The issue released as planned. Lorenzo closed off from the rest of the town and turned to the bottle. The future of the magazine was in question… however, one month later, another issue was released and while it lamented the death of dear, beloved Agnes Mülman, it was otherwise business as usual.
Perhaps even stranger, was the sudden appearance of an additional five staff writers – none of whom anyone actually knew. These people seemed to miraculously appear out of nowhere…