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Hot Off The Press: The Manatee Spoofs Brunswick News With Print Edition

Copies of The Times & Gleaner Journal (Image: Alex Vietinghoff, submitted)

FREDERICTON– Let’s be real, New Brunswick has been going through some things lately.

Marijuana legalization, people putting up “Straight Pride” flags… oh and the fact that nobody knows wtf is going on with the provincial government.

Yet, no matter what crazy shit is happening, New Brunswickers can always depend on The Manatee to deliver some fresh satire on the news of the day.

Since it launched several years ago, The Manatee has been an online publication, but now they have a new way to share some good satire that’s hot of the press, literally.

The Manatee has published the Times & Gleaner Journal, a one-time spoof newspaper featuring fresh satire you can hold in your hands.

“Our writer and illustrator Brandon Hicks came up with the idea. He pitched it to me a few months ago as a fun one-off project, and he and I have been picking away at it, adding stories and images to a Google doc, and then laying it out as an actual newspaper,” says Shauna Chase, the Manatee’s editor and co-founder.

“It was basically just a novelty for us, to create this print version that people could actually pick up and read and hopefully have a laugh at.”

The Times & Gleaner Journal is a parody of the Telegraph-Journal and is divided up into similar sections as the real newspaper.

“You’ve got sports, travel, arts, business, comics, et cetera. But it’s still The Manatee as it’s all news satire and it’s all joking about New Brunswick things,” says Chase. “We thought it would be funny to regress from the internet into print…when print is dead, right?”

The Times & Gleaner Journal is available to purchase at The Manatee‘s online store. Chase hopes those who have enjoyed their work will pick up a copy.

“We didn’t have a target demographic in mind because for us it wasn’t really about sales. We just wanted to do it and we were going to make it happen whether we made any money or not. It was just a fun experience,” she says. “That said, it would be awesome if people who enjoy comedy and our writing want to support us.”

Chase says the product was supposed to be done much sooner, but they had difficulty trying to find a local printer in the Maritimes to print it.

“Unfortunately we had to resort to a company in Ontario. Hardly any companies in Atlantic Canada print physical newspapers, and the ones who do were initially interested in printing it and agreed to do so, but then ultimately turned us down because of the ‘nature of the content,’ ” she says. “I guess it’s just that offensive!”

Despite what some may think, The Manatee is sustained solely by a handful of volunteer writers. Chase edits and co-founder Alex Vietinghoff makes video content.

“The Manatee is our passion project, so we’re very happy when people like what we do and want to support us with these little offshoot projects,” says Chase.