Too often I come across magazines with seductive concepts, let down by disappointing execution. The journalism is lazy and once you get over the initial allure – the eye-catching cover, the promise of a new perspective, the niche subject – there is very little meat.
Magazine publishing is at a crucial point. Once dismissed as a diminishing industry, in recent years the demand for, and offerings of, independent magazines have rocketed. Somewhat ironically, it now risks over-saturation.
So, where do you draw the line between a niche concept and an editor merely indulging themselves? Creating a magazine that has longevity demands much more than an imaginative concept and an eye for design. Journalistic flare and an unwavering editorial vision are crucial.
It is for this reason that the second issue of Anxy is especially satisfying. A Kickstarter-initiated magazine hailing from the US, Anxy is dedicated to issues that affect our mental health and wellbeing. Anxy “isn’t your therapist’s scientific journal,”reads the About section on the magazine’s website. “It isn’t some self-help manual. And we aren’t telling you how to ‘fix’ an issue.”
Anxy’s concept is indeed appealing: here is an entire magazine dedicated to topics that affect a huge proportion of the world’s population, yet are often stigmatised and hidden behind closed doors. Thankfully Anxy’s content does not let down its bold concept.
With each issue comes a new theme; this issue is dedicated to Workaholism. Such themes are kept purposely broad (issue one explored Anger) to allow a certain creativity in their interpretation. The end result is a heavily researched magazine of great breadth and diversity.
No Sleep ’Til the Rent’s Paid (above) collates interviews of those who work in the neon glare of Las Vegas – an exotic dancer who drives from San Diego to Las Vegas to work to supplement her weekly earnings, and a former night porter who spent years bearing the brunt of the strip’s hedonism.
Another feature takes a look at the working culture in Nepal (above), a country where millions seek work overseas, typically in Gulf states, due to lack of opportunities. A photo essay by US-based Jana Ašenbrennerová (below) sees the photographer return to her native Czech Republic to document how a small-town community strikes the perfect balance between work and family.
The stand-out article is The Manic Mirage. Penned by Amanda Rosenberg, it recounts the author’s experience of living as a creative with manic depression and challenges the romanticisation of the illness as a source of creativity. The article is deeply personal and candid, managing at once to be sombre and hilarious.
Anxy combines illustration and photography, all of it original, to achieve a distinctive aesthetic. An attention to detail is present throughout: factual side notes accompany long-form articles to give the reader a broader context on the topic at hand, and a list of sources used to inform articles is printed on the back page. Silver foiling gives the cover a shimmer, while the flecked mustard yellow of the inside covers is a treat for those inclined to obsess over paper stocks.
This is only the second issue of Anxy. It shows great promise for the magazine’s future.
Founder: Indhira Rojas
Editor: Bobbie Johnson
Art direction: Alma Avila and Livia Foldes