Tri-Color Times reporters learn about SLUG during writing and photography workshop


Tyson Call directs Maria Torres during a photography demonstration in SLUG’s backyard.

Elena Flores, Reporter

ANGELA H. Brown took over SLUG in 2000 and has been the owner for almost 19 years. Before Brown became the boss lady at SLUG, she started out shooting photos.

“I started shooting photos to capture stories through visual art,” Brown said. She was a freelance photographer, and one day she was hired to shoot a formal cover for SLUG.

Brown was hired at SLUG to coordinate events for the magazine, and she worked for about three years before she chose to adopt the magazine as her own.

JR Ruppel started SLUG in 1989. Ruppel, an aspiring underground artist, worked for a printing press and had enough connections to start his own magazine. The goal of this magazine was to give publicity to the band he was a part of because no other magazines would cover them. That’s how Salt Lake Underground was born, and its first issue was four pages long in a press run of around 100 copies.

In the history of SLUG Magazine, there have been three owners of the magazine. In 1994, a few years after SLUG was created, Ruppel sold the magazine to Gianni Ellefsen. He managed SLUGuntil 2000. During that time, he began to distribute the magazine nationally and locally.

In 1997, Brown was hired on as a photographer. She later purchased the magazine, and she is still the executive editor and owner. Brown has accomplished numerous things in the past 19 years as the owner of SLUG as she pushed circulation to 32,000. “I am very proud of growing an amazing team and growing a larger business, she said.

Brown took the magazine back to its local roots. She has built a highlyrespected reputation among many in the Salt Lake’s underground music, arts, and sports scenes. SLUG magazine covers local restaurants, bakeries, groups, artists, sports, bands, etc. It serves as a media platform for locals who would not normally be covered by bigger news outlets such as Fox News.

Alexander Ortega is the editor for SLUG. In high school, he was in a band and got into writing through writing lyrics. He went to college and got an English degree and began writing for SLUG. He worked his way from writer to junior editor to assistant editor before taking the editor position.

SLUG is comprised of a small, close staff. Brown even brings her dog, Hondo, to the office every day. The staff enjoys working together and enjoys the small things such as morning coffee or yoga every Thursday.

Office yoga is the best part of every Thursday, Zaina Abujebarah said.

Tyson Call is a photographer for SLUG and is also in charge of shooting SLUG Style which is anonline feature showcasing unique fashion style among Salt Lake residents. Tyson is an experienced photographer; however, he did not start out with photography. He became interested in writing on the staff of his high school’s newspaper.

“I was influenced by John Steinbeck, his style really captured the American Spirit, Call said.

Call read SLUG Magazine when he was in high school, and he didn’t think he was good enough to join the team. When Tyson started to write for SLUG, he was also asked to shoot photos along with the articles he was writing despite his lack of experience with photography. He now is a streetstyle photographer and shoots photos for the SLUG Style online feature.