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A magazine in 48 hours? Call it a comeback.

August 28, 2010 |  8:00 am

Stallone_expendablesAre you ready? The clock is already ticking in the mad race to make a magazine, soup to nuts, in two days. Potential contributors first heard the theme -- comeback -- Friday afternoon. By the same time Saturday, submissions will be closed. And 24 hours later? The thing will be completely designed, edited and shipped off to the printer. It shows up in mailboxes a few weeks later, at which point it'll be available online and as an iPad app.

The first iteration of this magazine-in-fast-motion experiment happened in May. They called it 48 Hours, and managed to pull it off with style. However, CBS television noticed, and notified them that they have a television show called 48 Hours, and a trademark too. So the magazine -- whose first issue is now being referred to as Issue Zero -- has been renamed Longshot.

The initial version of the magazine was created in San Francisco, but -- as if things won't be crazy enough trying to cram four weeks' work into two days -- they've decamped to Los Angeles for Longshot. They'll be working out of Good Magazine's offices all weekend and, they say, posting video of the proceedings on their website.

Maybe Los Angeles is the best place to work on a comeback issue. These days, Hollywood loves a good comeback. Sylvester Stallone, 64 years old, just came back swinging with "The Expendables" -- an action movie which he wrote, directed and stars in -- with a star-studded over-50 cast. In the first two weeks of its release, it grossed more than $64 million (how fitting!).

One of the nice things about Longshot is its open-door policy. Anyone can submit -- in fact, more than 1,500 did the first time around -- and the submissions window is open now. Words, jokes, illustrations, stories true and made-up, photography, poetry, interviews, puzzles -- they'll take them all. Got a comeback story of your own? Give it go.

But hurry, by this evening, the window will be closed. They've only got two days to finish the whole thing.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Sylvester Stallone, an example of a successful comeback, at a Las Vegas screening of "The Expendables." Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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