Where to start with Monika? An art journal where nobody is named or credited, and everything is done in the name of Monika, it’s an experiment in magazine making that repays consideration but will be hard work for the casual reader. Such anonymity allows every story to veer in its own direction, every page to change design and look different. I find it really exciting and frustrating in equal parts, with extreme highs and lows. A significant high is the set of illustrated reported stories of feral children – I’d loev to know who did those artworks. then there’s the piece about imaginary (?) herbal remedies (below), which is presented like a pastiche forties magazine.
Published from Maastricht’s Van Eyck art centre, the new Van Eyck magazine is challenging in many ways. It takes the form of a series of smaller parts, some single sheets and some bound, that cover ongoing email exchanges between exhibitors, gallerists and others from the arts centre. The whole thing comes apart to create a melange of text and image that can be read and linked as the reader wishes. It’s as much about the making of the magazine as it is about events at the gallery, and even veers into current affairs and the venue’s history. A really interesting experiment.
Article, simply, is a very very well-made magazine. Beautifully presented and produced, creative director/publisher Kenny Ho and art director Rosy Tsai pour their efforts into every part of the magazine-making process to create a magazine that can carry nostalgia, contemporary fashion, interviews with hidden but vital modern influences (Howard Tangye from CSM) as well as cover star Aidan Turner. Hugely unassuming, Article is very very special and well worth getting hold of. I loved this accessories shoot featuring items ‘lost’ in a scene (below).
Two things to attract my attention… a magazine that changes form every issue, while clearly being great fun to make. Boktor ticks both boxes. Published rom Belgium, editors Jeroen and Debby invite submissions on a theme and then publish an issue in a suitable format. For this second issue they invented an island – Bouy – and shared the back story of the creation of a new country. The resulting newspaper shares the ensuing nonsense, with work from artists, poets and other creatives.
The next issue is now under way – ‘No Regerts’ will celebrate the regrettable tattoo.
It’s hard to believe Cereal barely existed a year ago. Just four quarterly issues into its existence and Rosa and Rich’s baby has taken the indie publishing scene by storm – everywhere I go I hear the same comments about its popularity. I put this down to the idea being such a simple proposition – four chapters each issue, two on travel and two on food. It is an easily explained magazine, travel and food are both highly popular subjects that work well in print, and the art direction and design has been perfected from the first page of the launch issue. Such confidence comes from putting the hard work in first, defining your brand, your audience and your aims.
Anyhow, issue four has been out a few weeks and is as lush as ever – bright white matt paper, beautiful imagery and strong writing. The writing doesn’t get mentioned enough – each of the four sections has plenty of text. Alongside plenty of white space, naturally, as this spread shows.
The launch issue of Intern shouldn’t be a surprise to magCulture readers – we featured editor Alec Dudson in our At Work With feature a couple of weeks back – but we haven’t actually had a look at the mag yet. It’s a really intriguing launch, as it covers the creative industries from such a different angle – balancing advice and support for young people seeking internships with interviews with the the up-and-coming rather than the already successful. It packs a punch – 146 pages of mixed paper stocks and a foil block logo – and promises much. It feels to me like one a magazine that’s really going to develop into something really special over the next few issues. Alec is a hugely driven person with big ideas, so pick up this first edition and be a part from the beginning.
Magazine publishing has been as driven by the sex industry as much as any medium – the magazine kiosks of New York are disappearing because the porn industry has migrated online (and where would the web be without the sex industry?) But magazines like Baron are reclaiming printed erotica, and after their miniature first issue this latest one is brash and bold. Bound in shiny pink fabric, the hardback volume, photographed by Tyrone Lebon and guest edited by Max Pearmain, looks at how voyeurism has adapted to today’s image-sharing world. Plenty of NSFW imagery, of which this is one of the tamer examples.
The first issue of Buffalo Zine was a tabloid newspaper; this second one is actually two magazines, bound back-to-back by rubber band. It promises to reinvent itself in this way each issue, but the editorial intent remains the same, mixing icons with new talents in a highly personal manner. The result is a timeless, placeless expression of youth that is completely focused on people. Many of todays independent magazines use other interests – cars, interiors, fashion – as a cover for actually being about people. Buffalo Zine drops the pretence and is all about individuals, whether they be a young (1995) Chloe Sevigny or an unknown Australian. This issue throws them all together in a rough, punky mix of handwriting, photobooth images and Japanese headlines.
Dodo first came to attention as a one-off publication hidden at the end of a treasure hunt. I never quite got my head round that, but I guess it was a publicity drive for the actual magazine. Billed as ‘Your own private haunted house’ this is a kids magazine packed with an extraordinary mix of things, from comic strips to weird recipes (published for Halloween it features another brain cake, the last for today, I promise!) via longer written stories about failing themeparks and deadly mushrooms. Aimed at a post-Anorak age group, I’m not sure how well-focused it is but it’s a visual treat, one of those magazines with something new to find every visit. The issue is split in half with a flipped cover (side A and Side B, nicely old school) and a pull-out poster of a dodo.
I first saw Vestoj when Andrew Losowsky brought a copy in to The Stack studio. It’s a small paperback book-sized magazine (this is issue three) about fashion that describes itself as ‘The Journal of Sartorial Matters’ and is published from France. Which might lead you to certain assumptions, but this is a far more academic project than your typical fashion mag. This issue, themed ‘Shame’ deals with issues often ignored in the fashion press: body image, fetishism and shame. All well researched, well written and important, but what’s great is it cares about the design of the material. This is the best-looking academic research publication I’ve ever seen, with different paper stocks, a tear-open centre section and flouro ink. It uses photography well too, and even includes a few of Scott King’s ‘Sink US Vogue’ covers.