From reader Alex Simms.

Hi! Welcome to July, or month ELEVEN of Rookie, or FREEDOM. This month made sense to me when I figured out it was possible for Rookie to have a monthly theme that is not about the ’50s, ’60s, or ’70s. Technically a lot of the things that make up this month are from the ’90s, but I’d like to think it’s not a DECADE month; it’s just that all of the images and stories that make me think of freedom were well-captured during that era, but are also pretty constant throughout teenagerhood: sleepovers, sneaking out, endless bike rides, parking lot hangouts, dirty suburbs, etc. This month is about the freedom you find when you’re not really an adult yet, but have a vague sense of the responsibilities that await, and a desperate desire to defer them for as long as possible.

Normally it wouldn’t be too late to send in any pitches for July, but since we’re on the road trip, it’s hard to keep up with our submissions inbox. So, if you’re interested, pitches for August’s theme, On the Road, would be wonderful! That month will be all about curiosity, discovery, Amurikuh, meeting strangers, memory, and personal nostalgia. Send your musings, ponderings, illustrations, and/or photographs to [email protected]!

And I am REALLY REALLY excited about this last thing: Rookie is finally going to be in print! Our first annual print edition, Rookie Yearbook One, will be on sale in September.

Rookie Yearbook One is basically a pretty (soooo pretty), tangible (totally tangible!) version of the best of the best of Rookie’s content from the school year, starting in September 2011 and ending in May 2012, plus a few extra goodies, including a paper crown by Meadham Kirchhoff, a seven-inch flexi-disc, and more previously unseen contributions from Rookie friends.

It is not, however, a lame website-to-paper copy-and-paste situation. Considering it is mostly content you can read for free online, we knew we had to really take advantage of the print situation and make sure it’s SUPER GOOD-LOOKING AND SPECIAL. Working on it has been ideal for someone like me who is such an obsessive nerd about making each month’s theme feel totally different (it’s organized by month), and doing so with Sonja’s collages and my doodles and other whatnots has been a delight. I have a very soft spot in my heart for print magazines, and I believe in the power of writing and art that you can hold in your hands, and I promise that looking at all this stuff in print is a different experience from reading it online. If any of the articles or photo spreads from Rookie in our first nine months meant something to you, it might be kind of nice to have it in a 296-page book that you can always go back to and, I don’t know, maybe even hug or feed little cookies to or something.

It is published by Drawn & Quarterly (which we are SO EXCITED about, because they publish some of our favorite cartoonists and artists) and will be available for $29.95 on Rookie, online, in a few chain bookstores, and in a few “finer” bookstores, like the kind where they sell zines and vegan things. We’ll remind you again when it’s closer to release, but wanted to announce it now.

So happy freedom, happy sleepovers, happy Rookie Yearbook One, all that.

Thank you for existing.