Introducing the New Muse

September 4, 2015
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This summer, while my daughter was busy shell collecting and stargazing, she was also outgrowing every stitch of clothing she owned. Clearly, it’s time to move up a size or two. And, at the same time, it’s also an opportunity to make sure her “outsides” keep up with the growth that’s happening on the inside.

 

Similarly, as the editor of Muse, I’ve been working all summer on a brand new look for the magazine. Together with art director Nicole Welch, we’ve refreshed the magazine’s design from top to bottom. Nicole believes our readers know—and appreciate—good design when they see it. Cleaning up the page, she says, helps readers really see the content. Bright colors and talented illustrators bring joy and humor to the modern look. We couldn’t be prouder to debut the “new” Muse with the September issue.

 

The first things you’ll notice are a vivid cover and bold, edgy page layouts. The magazine may feel a bit weightier too. It has grown by eight pages. When you dive in, I hope you’ll agree that our outsides—in all their pop, fizz, and sophistication—match our insides. At Muse, we are committed to publishing the finest S.T.E.A.M. content for young readers. (“S.T.E.A.M.” is shorthand for our awesome subject areas of science, tech, engineering, art, and math.) Count on us for memorable stories and intellectual rigor but be prepared for whimsy and irreverence too. See, for example, the Muse News below. (Warning: one news story is false. The answer key is hidden in the issue.)  Remember, Muse is a verb. It’s for thinkers and dreamers.

 

This week, my daughter will ask me to buy clothes in her favorite color: “sparkle rainbow.” She’s nearly 5. While it will be some time before she’s ready to turn her keen, curious mind toward Muse, as all parents can attest, growth happens. And the time will go by fast. Perhaps you know a tween or teen for whom our September issue will be the perfect fit. I like to think of it as the sparkle rainbows for the older set.
 

 
Johanna Arnone is the editor of Muse.

Comments

  1. NATHAN

    I understand that you wanted to give the magazine a new, fresh look. I can appreciate that. However, I think it was a very poor choice to get rid of the muses, especially to replace them with the new comic which, to be frank, was quite mediocre at best. There are already too many stories about weird high schools. We don’t need another. The muses added a ton of character and charm to the magazine and I see no possible way for you to regain that same character and charm without them, especially with the new comic.

    • STEPHANIE HOAGLUND

      Hi Nathan

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the new Muse. The choice to make changes was done thoughtfully – we wanted to grow, reach, and try new things. Maybe you’ll keep an eye on our new characters, just out of curiosity? And give ‘weird high school’ stories a chance?

      steph

      • NATHAN

        I’m afraid I won’t be renewing. Science articles, while great and important, were not the reason I subscribed to Muse for over 5 years. After all, I can get science articles from countless magazines and websites. What kept me loyal is the incredible charm the magazine had, and a HUGE part of that was the Muses. My whole family and I loved them. The way you just suddenly and without warning killed them off frankly made me quite angry and judging by the other comments, many other formally loyal Muse subscribers angry as well. If you want to carry on with this change so be it, but I won’t be joining you for that. Farewell to a once great magazine. You will be greatly missed.

  2. KITTY

    Dear Cricket Media,
    I have been a muse subscriber for awhile now, and have to grow attached to the muses and their antics. I started to notice some changes when Johanna Arnone became the muse editor. I am not these changes are bad, they just seem DIFFERENT compared to the muse that I had grown to love. I considered cancelling my subscription, but the muses are what kept me subscribing. I am very disappointed in the removal of my all time favorite comic, but what I also don’t understand is why muse is all of a sudden a Stem magazine. Think about it. Muse is mostly read by Gifted kids, and some “Gifted” programs are switching over to orbiting around stem. Muse was a nice escape from school when it went GaGa for stem. The articles were actually interesting, and the muses were the icing on the already delicious cake. Now when I read muse, I feel bored. The articles are confusing. And, it feels weird without the muses remarks. I understand if muse has to meet standards for funding or something like that, but if there is anyway that you could bring back some of the old charm, that would be, say it with me musers, FLAMABLAMBLOUS!!
    Who agrees?

    • PHOENIX CHICKEN PLAYS

      In my opinion, MUSE is a pie. The information is the filling and the Muses the crust. And filling used to be sweet, but now it’s sour. As my friend Kitty said, “I am very disappointed in the removal of my all time favorite comic, but what I also don’t understand is why muse is all of a sudden a Stem magazine. Think about it. Muse is mostly read by Gifted kids, and some “Gifted” programs are switching over to orbiting around stem. Muse was a nice escape from school when it went GaGa for stem. The articles were actually interesting, and the muses were the icing on the already delicious cake. Now when I read muse, I feel bored. The articles are confusing. And, it feels weird without the muses remarks. I understand if muse has to meet standards for funding or something like that,”And she’s right. We don’t want school to follow us home! And If the Information is the filling, the crust is the Muses.

      The muses were awesome witty characters that put the magazine in it’s place. They gave an educational magazine a humorous look. And it worked. Now the new comics are boring, and not all that original. Please bring the Muses back. We really REALLY miss them. They made the magazine what it is, and you can’t just change the whole idea of the comics and main characters. That’s like a Superman comic without Superman. Besides, kids don’t like the feeling of having a EDUCATIONAL magazine, ad what makes kids come to this the fact that the humor makes it entertaining. Think about it, you throw a STEM magazine at a 12 year old. They’ll problably think, ” ehhhh… Stem, I’m at home, not school.” Hnd them a magazine with Life, the Universe and Pie Throwing, they’ll think it looks funny and they would like to check it out. Then, they could learn without even knowing it. Soback to my pie reference, you’ve taken away the crust, which left the filling out to ooze away and spoil. Now you have no more pie, and in guilt you made another pie, but It’s just not the same. And it’s true, its a completely different magazine. I you want to make changes this severe, start a new magazinr.

      #BRINGITBACK

      • PHOENIX CHICKEN PLAYS

        *realizes the amount of spelling errors*

        *explodes*

      • STEPHANIE HOAGLUND

        I completely understand your feelings but we feel very strongly that the new Muse will capture your curiosity and passion if can hang in there and give it a chance. We have some new characters to connect with and just like meeting someone new, friendship takes time.

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We do take feedback to heart.

        steph

        • CONCERNED IN CLEVELAND

          Stephanie, good strategy! When your content doesn’t make kids want to subscribe, try emotional manipulation!

    • STEPHANIE HOAGLUND

      Hi Kitty

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts about the new Muse. Just like everything around us, we want to try new things too. I hope you will continue to give Muse a chance –change is hard but we believe strongly in the new Muse.

      Steph

      • KITTY

        Thanks for replying. I will try to accept the “New Muse” for what it is. While some people would like to have the Muses back (Me!) I am very glad that you started a new comic instead of replacing the Koko&Co cartoonist, Larry Gonick, and having someone else draw the muses. My subscription has been renewed, so I will give the unnamed comic a chance.

  3. POUSEHOUSE

    I must agree with all the above comments. My kids, 9 and 12 and long-time MUSE readers, are really sad about the “new MUSE,” especially about the loss of the muses, who are such compelling characters to them they sometimes discuss them as if they were individuals they actually knew. The new magazine is just much more conventional than the MUSE my kids have come to love – – as far as I can tell, the quirky humor and whimsy are gone. Perhaps the editors are wanting to attract a different kind of reader? We will probably not resubscribe.

    • BOOM BOOM THE EXPLODING TNT

      AGREED. WHO’S WITH ME.

      #BringBackMuse

    • STEPHANIE HOAGLUND

      I hope you will give the new Muse a chance before you decide to not subscribe. We believe in it wholeheartedly. And just like your kids, we loved the Muses, and we too miss their “personal touch.” But I hope you and your kids are willing to keep an eye on the new characters. Everyone’s just getting to know one another, and who knows? Maybe they’ll grow on you.

      steph

  4. KATHERINE

    I am on board with the new look. Really I am. However, chucking the Muses made me spit venom. It was the Muses who inspired me to learn since I was a wee teen; my Kokopelli tattoo would not be on my ankle if it weren’t for the Muses. To add insult to injury, you completely failed to give them a proper send-off. A short blurb and a few drawings is how you say farewell to characters that people have loved for years? Really?
    I won’t be renewing.

    • STEPHANIE HOAGLUND

      Hi Katherine

      We loved the Muses, and we too miss their “personal touch.” Before you decide to not renew, I ask that you keep an eye on the new characters. Everyone’s just getting to know one another and just like friendships – connections take time.

      thanks for taking time to let us know
      steph

  5. JOHN

    How could you have done this! Yeah the new look is cool, but the articles are so boring! And you took away the muses! WHY

    • SOMEONE

      #BRINGTHEMUSESBACK

    • STEPHANIE HOAGLUND

      Hi John

      Our magazine is growing, reaching, trying new things. Maybe you’ll keep an eye on our new characters, just out of curiosity?

      We will miss the Muses too but the new kids at Mnemosyne are finding their way around and figuring out who might, possibly, be a friend. Their stories are right at the beginning. Will you give them a chance?

      steph

  6. STIRLING MCDANIEL

    Like everyone else, I can’t stomach the changes. My family subscribed to the magazine because it was different, because it was creative and intelligent and funny. You want to make Muse “brighter”? Fine, go ahead. If you’re worried that people won’t be enticed enough by the amazing covers, sure, make it brighter. I doubt it would make a difference, but go ahead. Do what you want.

    Well, you did what you want, and you went far beyond making Muse brighter, far beyond enough giving Muse a new look. You have killed the beloved magazine, and by throwing out the Muses without a second thought, indeed even without a proper send off, you have destroyed the very spirit of Muse. It’s painful to even glance at the atrocious magazine that has taken Muse’s place. It is a fake and it does a very poor job of convincing anyone otherwise.

    We will not be renewing our subscription.

    • STEPHANIE HOAGLUND

      I can certainly understand your point of view – all we ask is that you give the new stories and changes a chance. Relationships take time and hope that you will give us the time to show you that the updates and changes we made are going to be worth it before deciding to not renew.

      Steph

      • SOMEONE

        Uhm I see a fallacy…….APPEAL TO EMOTIONS!!!!

      • STIRLING MCDANIEL

        Hi Stephanie,

        Thank you for taking the time to reply to everyone’s comments, even if you did use the same reply just reworded.

        The thing is, the “changes” resulted in a completely different magazine. I don’t understand why you didn’t just change the name as well.

        I know that relationships take time to develop (I, like many other people, have been separated from friends and had to make new ones). However, I feel as if my best friend has just been killed in a car crash and my parent told me to just “go out and make a new one” without even letting me attend their funeral. Maybe in five years I’ll be able to go back to the new magazine (I’m sorry, it’s too painful to call it Muse) and like it, appreciating it in its own right. But right now, and I suspect for many years, it will be too hard to get past the second page. I am in mourning and cannot stand my parents’ flippant attitudes. I cannot just make a new best friend. I cannot even look at potential friends. It’s painful, and it hurts, and I don’t understand why you are unable to comprehend that.

        Again, thank you for replying. I do appreciate it, no matter how scathing I sounded at the beginning. I tend to lash out with sarcasm when I’m hurting.

        • STEPHANIE

          Hi Stirling – here is a note from the editor of Muse:

          Hi Stirling. I’m the editor of Muse. I appreciate the way you’ve given voice to your feelings of loss. These feelings are real, and all of us at Muse HQ take them seriously. Editors are passionate readers too! As I’m sure you know, nuance can get lost in short replies online. May I offer another way of looking at our suggestion to keep an open mind about the new version of the magazine and the “new kids” in the comic? This magazine isn’t the same. It’s understandable that you’ll continue to treasure and miss that Muse. But it’s an expression of hope to imagine a future when the mind and heart open again to new experiences. One thing I’ll remember about your message is that you showed warmth and kindness even while you were helping us understand your pain. Thank you. In return we send warm wishes and our hopes for your future as a Muse reader. –Johanna Arnone

  7. SAVE THE MUSES

    Listen to your readers Muse, ditching the muses was a horrible idea. Especially the way you sent them off.

    • STEPHANIE HOAGLUND

      We loved the Muses, and we are going to miss them too. It’s definitely a lot of change all at once. All we can ask of you is to give the updates and new characters a chance.

      steph

      • NATHAN

        So you’re getting rid of the muses in “Muse” magazine?

        I guess my question is why did you have to ruin such a beloved magazine? Honestly, how did you THINK it would go over with the readers? You thought everyone would be hunky dory with you abruptly ending such incredibly beloved characters? You thought everyone would immediately jump on board with the bland, cliché droll of the new comic.?

        I can’t hold this back anymore. What is wrong with you? What did you think would happen? As long as you’re editor you can forget about my subscription.

        • STEPHANIE

          Here’s a response from the editor of Muse, Johanna Arnone:

          Hi Nathan.

          We hear that you’re upset. Adjusting to change takes time. We hope you’ll consider returning to Muse as soon as you’re ready to try something new. It’s definitely different, but we’re working hard to make it smart, interesting, special, and just a little bit strange.

          Comment threads can sometimes disconnect us from one another. But the real people here at Muse HQ are listening, and we send our best wishes.

          • SAVE THE MUSES

            As much as you try to manipulate us into thinking you care about how we feel, your actions sure don’t show it. In one magazine, with no warning whatsoever, you completely removed the first page, Kokopelli & Company, Bo’s Facts. These are all beloved sections of the magazine that readers love. On top of that, you just write a short blurb saying “oh yeah, the muses are gone! Sorry!”. You’ve got to admit, the way you did this, was not just poor, it was downright insulting. It was insulting to all the subscribers who kept supporting you for many years. You basically spat in their face and said “oh yeah, I’m taking this magazine you love and sucking away all the charm and characters you’ve grown to love! Thanks for supporting us! Don’t unsubscribe, just give us a chance!”.

            How did you think that was a good idea again?

  8. MUSES4LIFE

    Noooooooo! The best parts of muse was the Muse Pages (letters, Bo’s page, Muse Comics) and the best parts of the letters were the Hot Pink Bunnies. First the bunnies went away, then the Muses. The new layout is okay (I guess) but the new comic is terrible I don’t want human I want MUSES, the magazine is called muse for goodness sake! I was worried when my ol’ pall Koko wasn’t on the cover, and just kept getting worse. I own 50+ issues of muse and have read the magazine loving each issue, until now. Coincidentally my subscription ran out this month, until you go back I will remain unsubscribed, sorry, not sorry.
    -Muses4Life

    • STEPHANIE HOAGLUND

      We are so sorry to hear that you wont re-subscribe. We believe in the updates and changes we have made but understand that it’s definitely a lot of change all at once. I hope you will give us and the new Muse another chance.

      steph

  9. MEGAN DONNELLY

    I love the new look! Fresh and fun! As an educator, I feel a great deal of pressure to incorporate more science into my reading instruction. Without going into the painful details, my school, like many others, all but stopped teaching science when No Child Left Behind was initiated. Now, we are working overtime to try to fill some of the gaps of basic vocabulary, concepts, and nonfiction reading skills to meet the Common Core Standards in a way that engages our students. To me, this new look is visually appealing and will help teachers get their students excited about reading nonfiction. I understand that other readers are sad to have lost some old, “favorite” features of their magazine, but, in my opinion, this new MUSE looks toward the future. Thank you!

  10. SOMEONE

    I have (finally) decided to write about the “new ” Muse. First off, the name. All of the stuff that makes Muse unique is gone. This new imposter has no right to be called Muse. Second, the comic. This comic is extremely droll, unlike Kokopelli and Co. Third, this magizine has no charm whatsoever. I feel bored as I page through the humorless pages. #RespectTheMuses I will not resubscribe.

    • STEPHANIE HOAGLUND

      Thank you for writing to us. We understand the feelings around the new Muse. It certainly is a lot of change all at once. All we can ask is that you give us a chance – the characters we have introduced are just getting started and relationships take time.

      steph


  11. I have enjoyed the muse magazine for three years and I have amassed a large collection of them. Whenever I get a Muse I sprint downstairs and grab the magazine out of the mailbox and tear it open in my bedroom. I quickly flip to the to the comic section and read about the muses (Kokopelli, Bo,Mimi, Aeiou, Chad, Feather, Crraw, Urania, Pwt.) and there great adventures. I Then flip to Bo’s page my favorite part I try and guess the fake facts which are difficult to find. At the very end of the muse I get to read a whole lot of fan mail which can be hilarious with all the hot pink bunnies. This magazine sparked my interest in science.

    I am sorry you have sold out to S.T.E.M. To value money more then creativity and art is a poor choice. The amount of kids that are sad and disappointed about the magazine changes and all of the new muses and don’t you dare say that the muses will grow on me. I would like to know who paid you to change this magazine. I would like to say that I am actually a kid, a boy who has loved these magazines for a long time. Thank you for the many years of fun you have provided me goodbye muse.

    • KITTY

      Bravo! Bravo! I agree! Thank you! Bravo! Bravo! This is what I have been trying to say, put perfectly! Bravo!

    • STEPHANIE

      Josh – we love our readers and deciding to make the change was never, ever done to cause sadness and disappointment. I can only ask that you hang in there and give the new Muse a chance. Think about when you first met your closest friends – it took some time to appreciate and get to know them. We promise, we will do our best to win your heart and attention again.

      steph

    • SOMEONE

      😉 so true…..

  12. CLAIRE

    So why DID you get rid of the Muses?

    • STEPHANIE

      Hi Claire,

      We decided to make some changes to Muse, including characters, so that we can grow and have the opportunity to introduce new stories and characters. I know it was a lot of change at once –and that’s not necessarily easy but I hope you give it some time and get to know the new characters.

      steph

      • CLAIRE

        Another question – why did you merge with the Odyssey magazine? I recognize the new characters as the characters from Odyssey.

        • STEPHANIE

          Claire -here’s what the editor of Muse said:

          “Great eye Clare! Merging the two magazines allowed us to focus all our energy on just one science-and-more magazine for readers around your age. O and Aarti came over as a reminder of our Odyssey history. But their adventures will be all new!”

          • KITTY

            I thought these were “New” characters were from a “New” comic. What about a tribute to the muses? They had 20 years and were VERY well loved.

      • KITTY

        I’m sure the New Muses would have fit in perfectly with the new vibe. They cover these topics: Tunes and Tricks (Kokopelli) Astronomy (Urania) Hardwere (Chad) Softwere (AEIOU) Plants (Feather) Animals (Pwt) Getting Along with People (Mimi or spelled Mimih) Bad Poetry (Craww) and Factoids (Bo)

  13. KITTY

    Also, why do I feel like your trying to erase the muses from history? You’ve taken down they’re website, stopped selling Koko & Urania T-shirts, removed them from the mag, and didn’t give a fair warning. Just because the muses comic isn’t running means people still don’t love the muses.

    Also, could you take to consideration selling maybe a collection of all the Koko and Co’s from 97-15? (That would be all of them in one book)

  14. KITTY

    Muse was: 😀👍🏻❤️🌑🍅🍭🎃🏮💛💚💙
    Muse is:😶

  15. KERBAL

    I just have one question: If we DO give the new comic a chance, say, 6 months, and we STILL don’t like it… is there a possibility of bringing back the Muses?

    • STEPHANIE

      Although things could change, right now there are no plans to bring back the Muses.

      • KITTY

        Also, why did you feel you needed to get rid of the muses? Odyssey’s comic wasn’t very “Well Loved” by readers, but the muses? They had shirts, a companion novel, a fan page, (Shout out to Muse Blog!) and a bunch of other stuff. So, why remove the VERY well loved muses and their history(Pwt Pwns! HPB!), a replacement it with a copy of Odyssey’s comic? Odyssey, in general, was not very popular, so why duplicate Odyssey, slap “Muse” on the cover, and act like you made some “minor” adjustments.
        I would have had an easier time accepting muse being cancelled then this.

  16. L

    Before I begin, I feel it’s important to note that I have not seen nor read the new “Muse” and so cannot weight in one way or another on the merits of this new magazine. However, if the general sentiment that predominates on this comment thread and else-web is representative of the majority of Muse readers, it would appear that the revamp has not been well received.

    That said: I was a subscriber to classic “Muse” for over a decade. The earliest installment on my shelf dates back to 2001, and I continued receiving the magazine until 1-2 years ago, when I was away at college and given the choice to either resubscribe on my own dime, or discontinue my subscription. At that time, my studies had consumed an alarmingly large amount of my life, so much so that I hadn’t had the time/inclination to read many of the recent issues that I had received, so I elected to discontinue my subscription. I have many fond memories of the magazine that was. There was a time that “Muse” was just that: a magazine that had fun, quirky, entertaining articles about all manner of things, there was the never failing humor of the first page, the amusing side-bar comments on articles by the Muses that never ceased to garner a laugh, and, far too infrequently, articles by Paul Baker which made any issue they featured in an instant favorite. But “Muse” became far more than just a magazine. It was through “Muse” that I made my closest [online] friends, who helped shape me into the person that I am today, who introduced me to the wonderful world of geek-dom. [Without them, I don’t know if I ever would have discovered some of the sci-fi television gems that I now love, without them I wouldn’t have some of my closest confidants.] When I look back at “Muse”, what I remember most is things like the FMP, the letters with new and improved ways of avoiding it, the hit comic strip by the talented Larry Gonnick, the infamous Milton Rupines, the cat and dog war which ended in the invention of the HPBs and also led to a dog-centric issue and a cat-centric issue, much to equal parts hate and delight on the part of readers, depending on which side they were on (as a neutral party, I enjoyed both).

    Will this new magazine have a place for this sort of quirky eccentricity, or will it be more of a hard science and fact type magazine, with less fun? I certainly hope the former, and again, I cannot in good conscience pass judgement, as like I said previously I haven’t had an opportunity to get my hands on a copy.

    That said: What I can weigh in on, and what I take issue with, is your response to concerned readers’ comments, that they shouldn’t give up, that “relationships take time.” Yes. Relationships of any kind, family, friends, significant others, do take time. But the other thing to keep in mind with relationships, is first impressions. First impressions are what make or break relationships before they have a chance to grow. If your first impression of a potential friend (platonic or romantic) is negative, you quite simply are not going to put in the time or effort required to nurture that relationship until it flourishes, you’re going give it a pass, and put that time and effort in with someone else who DOES offer a positive first impression. And the other important thing to remember with any relationship: Compromise. All relationships require compromise. If only one person gives, and all the other does is take, it doesn’t make for a healthy, stable relationship–it makes for a very defunct, unfulfilling relationship. And the way your comments come across (which I concede may not be your intention–certainly text is not always the best medium with which to convey subtext) is that you are asking the reader, alone, to be the one to compromise. Readers are, albeit emotionally, expressing their concerns with the changes that are occurring, the deviation from the genre/focus of the articles that the magazine once had. And you, at least insofar as one can tell from your comments, are not offering to “give”, you are only attempting to “take”. You are asking the reader to stick around, to stay by your side even when you are not providing what they, as the reader have come to expect from you, without offering anything in return, seemingly without any inclination to involve readers (the other half of this relationship), in anyway. Where is the compromise?

    Several years back there was a huge hullaballoo when the magazine was undergoing some changes not too long after Elizabeth Preston took charge. There was a massive outcry and backlash that the magazine that was, no longer existed, and that this new magazine was grossly subpar. Preston, however, sought the input of readers on what, specifically, it was that they didn’t like about the changes: what worked, what didn’t? What ways can the “Muse” editors work together with the “Muse” readers to make changes to the magazine without completely alienating the readers? She didn’t step in and say “Hey. Relationships take work. Accept that I am different than I was previously, and you will see that the changes to this magazine haven’t destroyed it and it’s still awesome, because relationships take time and you should give this your time.” Instead, she stepped in and said “Hey, so I’m hearing you guys aren’t too happy with some of these changes. Why is that? What is it that doesn’t work for you guys? How can we work together to keep this magazine great? I want to keep you guys happy, because we value you as the reader, and I want to implement your opinions as much as possible, let’s see how we can lessen the impact of any changes made.” That’s compromise. That’s the foundation of a relationship.

    I concede that the changes instituted at that time were far less drastic, from what I can glean from the current backlash without having gotten hands on the new “Muse”, is that the newest changes are pretty radical–not least that the Muses that are a core part of what the magazine is no longer exist. It’s like Spider and Cricket magazines without Spider, Cricket, and all their friends. It’s like Doctor Who without the Doctor, like Star Trek without Spock [for those thinking there is a lot of ST w/o Spock, yes, there is, and with the exception of DS9 it’s pretty mediocre], peanut butter without jelly–it’s incomplete. And I am sure there are far more reasons behind their absence than is known by the reader, perhaps even copyright/ownership legalities that prevent you from using them even if you want to. All I can do is speculate. All ANY of us can do is speculate. But at the very least, an explanation to your loyal readers, aside from “this is a relationship, give it time” to help them understand the reasoning behind some of these drastic changes, would go a long way toward bridging the gap and making them more likely to give this new magazine a chance to wow them and endear them like the old “Muse”, rather than alienating them further as your current approach is doing.

    Is it too much to ask, for the reasoning behind the merge of “Muse” and “Odyssey”, the reason that the “new” comic strip characters are, apparently, old “Odyssey” characters (why keep “Odyssey” characters for the transition, but not Muses?), the reason for jettisoning the Muses, et cetera? In a relationship, when one is going through a midlife crisis, and behaving in a different way from his or her previous norm, in a good relationship, the involved parties discuss these changes with the other person in the relationship: they don’t just change overnight and expect unconditional support.

    Do your part of the relationship. Offer up your reasoning, even if you decide not to seek input of the readers in order to compromise on changes. Don’t just ask for the readers’ unwavering support of the changes in this relationship. Remember: they (or someone in their life) is paying a decent sum of money for the magazine subscription. If their subscription is ending soon, why should they throw away their money on something that is no longer offering them what they want in a relationship, instead of taking that money elsewhere, to forge a new relationship with something that is a better match? Almost every [non-familial] relationship comes to an end and results in a ‘break up’, when one or both parties no longer finds it fulfilling.

    Perhaps you should reconsider your relationship analogy?

    Sincerely,
    A former “Muse” reader who was trying very hard not to weigh in, given that said reader has not read the new magazine, and therefore cannot form an educated opinion about it, but who felt it necessary to say something, when all you could do to assuage readers’ concerns was a flawed relationship analogy

    • STEPHANIE

      From the editor of Muse:

      Hi L,
      Thank you for your years of readership and for your homage to the classic Muse. I’m never surprised to hear how much our readers loved the magazine, but I am always moved by specific stories like yours.

      Thanks, also, for being honest about not having read Muse in its current form. I hope you’ll have a chance to look at the first few issues and decide for yourself if the magazine interests you.

      I agree that listening is fundamental to a good relationship. We’re listening to every word (and paragraph!) of feedback from our readers.

      Warmly, Johanna Arnone

  17. HOT PINK LLAMACORN

    I am trying to write this without crying. Muse was my favorite magazine IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. Not even American girl could replace it. My favorite muse was and would have always been the pie-thrower himself, Kokopelli. I showed my dedication to Muse almost any way I could. I even made a Minecraft world just for them entitled “Muse ROCKS!” I died a million gazzilion quintillion deaths when I found out the Muses had left us. I don’t know when or how exactly I will send over an army made up of 100,000 Hot-Pink bunnies bearing wasp shooters, 10,000 llamacorns with rainbow-blasters, and 1000 of the Muse’s mail-reading gnomes, but I will do it. I LOVED MUSE ALMOST AS MUCH AS I LOVE MY MOM, MY CAT, AND MY TEDDY BEAR NAMED SCRATCH, COMBINED. YOU CAN’T TAKE THE MUSES AWAY FROM US!!!!!!!!!!! BRING THEM BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • STEPHANIE

      We completely understand why you’re upset over the recent changes to Muse. It’s a lot of big changes all at once. All we can ask is for you to consider giving the new Muse a chance. Yes, it’s different, no doubt, but we are going to work hard to make sure it’s smart, special and a little bit odd. We actually recognize you and your Minecraft world and know you are one of our very dedicated and loyal readers and sincerely hope that you will give it a chance.

      steph

    • SOMEONE

      Lol. Good idea. I ight make one too, but with hot pink bunnies.

  18. BRYCE

    I should start by saying I’m not the primary reader of Muse in our house, my little sister is. She’s been subscribed for years, and cherishes and protects each issue like it was her own child, not allowing anyone else to read it until she did, making us swear up and down not to eat while reading it to ensure it stayed in good condition, and diligently guarding each issue from being cut up for art projects.
    So boy was I surprised when one day after flipping threw the magazine, she said “Mom, you know you don’t have to keep renewing this magazine for me”
    WHAT. How? Why? What could have possible caused this? That’s like a fish suddenly going ‘eh, water isn’t thaaaat great.’ I was flabbergasted and had to investigate.
    I approached the newest issue, left carelessly on our kitchen table for a week, rather than archived away with the other issues imediatly after reading. I open it up, and huh? Where’s the lil comic guys? That was this magazine right? I ask my sister, and she confirms. Muse is now muse-less.
    I’m not a regular reader, so I really can’t complain, only describe the complete 180 it caused my sister to do, and the vauge disappointment she’s been giving off. The October issue has remained untouched by her, something unheard of in this house. We are set to get one more issue, and then that’s it, (so I geuss the new kids have that long to turn this around) I can’t help but be reminded of New Coke, and I hope you guys are t making a horrible mistake.

  19. KITTY

    Ms. Arnone, I’m just wondering, but what was your opinion on the muses?

  20. CAROL

    We’ll be ending our Muse subscription. Our whole family loved reading the intriguing science articles (Mom’s a biochemist, Dad a physician.) and whimsical asides in the old Muse. The new Muse reads as though it was written by “educators”–non-science people who have decided what things kids need to learn, over and over and over and over again!

  21. DARKLORD248

    I don’t understand why you did this. Selling out to “S.T.E.M.” was a bad enough decision. Your articles are now boring, poorly written, and simply bland. Your cover art has nothing “hip” about it. You are simply selling out to the government. You will lose hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Even though you must have sold for money, you will lose countless more dollars because of unused magazines.
    And then, on top of ruining the whole layout of the magazine, you have the unprecendented gall to remove the New Muses. Simply put, this was (Don’t read next line if 5 or younger) stupid. They brought humor to the magazine in a wild, fun way I have never seen in another magazine. You barely even gave them a proper send off, instead just giving them a small, out of the way notice. then you not only replace them with a garbage of a cliché, idiotic high school story, which has lousy stabs at humor, and the dialougue is terrible. Not to mention the fact you LIED to your readers, saying they were “all new”. Most have been taken from “Odessy” (I think?) which means you have LIED to us. LIED. LIED!!!
    I will continue to subscribe in the hope that someone is able to turn this back the way it was.. DO NOT give me the same reply as you give us all. I doubt highly you believe that yourself.
    Sincerely,
    Darklord248
    P.S.
    I did get a bit worked up over this. Sorry. Ish.

  22. DARKLORD248

    I meant Odyssey.

  23. GERALYN

    We had not subscribed to muse for the last year and my kids were really missing their beloved magazine and the Muses. We just received our new subscription which the girls had been anxiously anticipating. Unfortunately the comments I received were “where are the muses?” Where is Bo’s page?” “Can we get a refund?” And ” the magazine is ruined, how can we get them to bring the muses back?” If you could please contact me and let me know how to get a refund I would appreciate it. I used to recommend your magazine to all my friends for their children, but that won’t be happening anymore. The magazine has no character. Please go back to the old format.

    Geralyn

  24. TODD

    My daughter is a brand new subscriber to Muse. When she began to outgrow Highlights, we carefully researched and reviewed many magazines for her age group by checking out back issues from the library. She became very attached to the Muses and eagerly read every available back issue. She was so excited when we gave her a subscription to Muse as a birthday present. Yesterday, her first new issue arrived, and when she opened it this morning, she immediately burst into tears saying that the Muses were gone. This is a kid who almost never cries. Unfortunately, we will be cancelling our subscription soon.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    Todd

  25. DARKLORD248

    I was wrong. You have not improved in the slightest. Our subscription has been canceled. Good-bye. Permanently.

  26. DARKLORD248

    I was wrong. You have not improved in the slightest. Our subscription has been canceled. Good-bye. Permanently.

  27. MUSESUBSCRIBER04

    Dear Editors of Muse,
    For several months now I have read the new Muse, and, as my subscription comes to an end, there are a few things I’d like to say…
    1. I understand that magazines, are, realistically, difficult to sell in this e-world. I also understand that there were rational reasons for merging with Odyssey. I understand that, while many Muse readers are upset about the loss of the “original” Muse, Odyssey readers are probably pretty upset too about the new changes.
    2. Muse was (and I think I speak on behalf of many of Muse’s loyal following) MORE than just an amazing scientific magazine. I think that’s really emphasized in the original slogan for Muse: not JUST the magazine of life and the universe but ALSO of pie throwing. The “pick the fake story” page wasn’t JUST fun to pick out and amuse (or not) your family with absurdly random facts but ALSO it was BO’S page. Muse wasn’t just an aMUSEment, it was also about the Muses.
    3. I think because so many of us are sentimentally attached the the original Muse, it just kind of hurts to see totally new characters inhabiting the very same pages where our old Muses used to be. I don’t think that the article, scientific content is sub-par at ALL. So, my point is, I will unfortunately not be renewing my subscription. But I think that totally NEW readers, who don’t have that sentimental attachment to the old Muses, will pick up Muse and find an amazing magazine just like I did ~6 years ago. And if Muse ever massive wave of changes again, sometime in the far, far future, I think those new Muse readers will be just as sad as we are now.
    So, in conclusion, you made a decision to make Muse and combined magazine with Odyssey and modernize the style. In consequence, you’re going to lose many faithful readers.
    But I’m sure you’ll gain a lot of new ones.
    Hot pink bunnies, best wishes, and tell Kokopelli I found a great new banana cream pie recipe.

  28. RIPRED

    I really want the old new muses back in. they really did give the magazine life and color. If you joined with odessy why did,Jr. You change it right away? And why was the last issue before the change about bacteria? If it had been called “goodbye kokopelli it would have helped me cope. I could not stop thinking about them! when the new comic came out, I was so sad I ran and cried for a half hour. I would love them back. And if you couldn’t do that at least make kokopelli and company Its own magazine I really would love to see them back. p.s a computer game may come out with the final boss named whatsi 😏 Plus, who is going through bother with pronouncing mnymenosm or whatever. You must bring the muses back! They are great characters, and the only comic strip I ever loved! The only other complaint c I got is called the beano. And the same thing happend to it, my favorite comic strip disappeared. DON,T make It happen again please and bring back kokopelli andcompany. lots of love from a ripred, grimlock and muse fan lots of😐😐😐😐 some🙁🙁🙁🙁 and a hopeful 🙂

  29. RIPRED

    I get a comic called the beano. But probably not for much longer, because my favorite comics, Billy the cat and Meebo and zuky got erased.before I go on you should probably know what the comics where about. Meebo and zuky was a dog and a cat killing each other’s in the very way possible. Acid baths, sausage makers, steam rollers,and acid blood transfusions you name it it gratuitously violent. I loved it! Billy the cat was a super heroe comic. But when the comic went downhill (for 3year olds) both comics vanished. Don,t cost me another comic. Please😬😬😬😬😬

  30. RIPRED

    I get a comic called the beano. But probably not for much longer, because my favorite comics, Billy the cat and Meebo and zuky got erased.before I go on you should probably know what the comics where about. Meebo and zuky was a dog and a cat killing each other in the every way possible. Acid baths, sausage makers, steam rollers,and acid blood transfusions you name it it gratuitously violent. I loved it! Billy the cat was a super heroe comic. But when the comic went downhill (for 3year olds) both comics vanished. Don,t cost me another comic. Please😬😬😬😬😬

  31. AUSTIN BUTTERBAUGH

    i used to be a subscriber to Muse when i was younger. but then i hear you removed the very thing that made the magazine what it represented, the Muses. sure they were meant for kids but they were funny even after all this time. i think you should bring back the characters that made the magazine what it was. because now, the new muse is boring and uneventful without the fun characters that were a huge part of the magazine.

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