Every year at Christmas I make a list of all of the kids I know before heading to a magazine shop and systematically getting all of them a copy of the new Anorak. All my 13+ cousins – now far over the conventional Anorak age – are starting to catch on to the fact that I’m not really buying the magazine for them… Instead I’m buying it so that I can read it myself and admire the continually on-point illustrations. This year my cousins will be getting brand new issue 38 to add to their collection: it’s themed ‘The Future’, and what’s not to love about the mad, psychedelic cover that has the magazine’s star popping out from the middle like a present?
With splodges of primary colours, Cachetejack’s comic about a space-age family rockets the magazine into great territory from the onset (above). I also enjoyed the more tumbling, wispy illustrations by Isabella Bunnell (also above) for a creeping poem about a spider’s web, and the print-effect headline that accompanies a limerick (below). Editor Cathy Olmedillas changes up the styles regularly; this keeps the magazine’s pace up and encourages children to experiment with their own drawing techniques.
Peter Allen’s 60s inspired and boldly pink work for a story about a mosquito is fantastically lively (above). Anorak’s main feature, though, is possibly my favourite: lopsided, wonky and personified illustrations look at facts about the future (below) – there’s not just flying cars but also HG Wells and instructions for reading the future with tea leaves. A recipe for cat-shaped rice balls (also below) and a ‘Bark to the Future’ spot the difference (also below) are not to be missed.
Anorak has always showcased excellent image-makers, at times even leading the way in terms of finding the illustrators that become popular in the future. With its ‘Little Gallery’ at the back that features drawings by readers (above), there’s a good chance that Anorak is sharpening the eyes of illustrators-to-be too. Turning each page of issue 38 is like unwrapping illustrated present after illustrated present; it’s a great gift for adults and children alike.
At last week’s shop launch Cathy let slip she has some changes to the magazine planned for 2016 to mark its tenth anniversary. The Future theme becomes even more intriguing…