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NO SWEAT

Staring into the jaws of death

Shark Diver magazine Tiburon Periodicals, $5.95

October 28, 2003|Michael Koehn

You have to love a publication that posts a public safety announcement on its masthead: "The activities described in Shark Diver magazine carry a considerable risk of personal injury or death. Use the information contained in this magazine AT YOUR OWN RISK."

Discouraging readers isn't a particularly good idea for a new magazine, but the warning may stir up interest in a pub solely about swimming with lethal predators.

Although the topic might seem to have limited appeal -- and story universe -- publisher Eli Martinez is betting that there's an audience that finds the subject as fascinating as he does. It was his first shark dive that inspired him to put the experience into print. "Nothing compared to that feeling. It was something I had to share," he says.

The magazine is all jaws, all the time. Take the plunge with "Taming Terror -- My First Shark Dive" in Issue 3, while Issue 4, now hitting the stands, features West Coast blue sharks and a rarity called Megamouth, a 14 1/2-foot, pickled example of which lies in state in L.A.'s Natural History Museum.

History, incidentally, is a fate that awaits nine of 10 new magazines.

-- Michael Koehn

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