German journalist Wulf Beleites says there are two types of people in his country: dog lovers and dog haters. The latter are his readers.
Beleites is the editor of Kot & Köter, a humorous magazine targeted at Germans with a distaste for dogs. The Wall Street Journal reports that the first 1,000 copies of the debut issue sold out so fast that Beleites printed an additional 1,750 copies.
The idea for the magazine — the name of which translates to Poop & Pooches — arose in 1992 during a drunken game among four journalists. One raised the question, "What’s the most absurd magazine title you can come up with?" and Kot & Köter was born.
As a joke, Beleites trademarked the title, and the move garnered him unexpected attention when the fictional publication was reported in German press.
He made 18 appearances on local TV shows as the editor-in-chief of Kot & Köter — and that was before the magazine actually existed. The concept remained little more than a joke until Beleites decided to make the publication a reality.
He launched a crowdfunding campaign for the magazine earlier this year and raised more than $9,000 to produce the first issue.
The second issue of Kot & Köter — which is 48 pages longer than the original — came out this month with a satirical lead story on how to "pimp your dog."
Other features include a look at dog cemeteries, a serialized novel about a canine murderer and reader-submitted poetry about dog-soiled parks.
Beleites admits he’s never been a dog person. When he was 5 years old, his grandfather's dog bit him, and he’s avoided them ever since.
But Germany's dog lovers are a devoted bunch, and they haven’t hesitated to criticize Kot & Köter.
Beleites says he's gotten plenty of hate mail, but plans to continue producing his hit magazine despite criticism from what he calls the "German dog lobby."
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