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Sam Ashby, Little Joe
At work with

Sam Ashby, Little Joe

We start the week off with Sam Ashby, editor of the magazine of ‘queers and cinema, mostly’, Little Joe. Insightful, racy, idiosyncratic, and with a seductive aura of nostalgia, Little Joe is a magazine that's interested in cult figures from history, and in mapping the heroes past and present of lesbian and gay cinema. We catch up with Sam after the release of the eagerly anticipated issue five.

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Where are you today?

I’m working from home in Kennington. I’m between studios as I’m about to move to a hillside in Yorkshire.

What can you see from the window?
I can see across to the other side of the estate, which is a confusing mix of '90s postmodernism and modernist Brunswick Centre-style stepped terraces. The council unceremoniously cut down the trees that happily stood in the way.

Are you a morning or evening person?
Definitely an evening person, although I’m hoping to become a bit more of a morning person up in Yorkshire.

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Which magazine do you first remember?

I was an avid reader of Smash Hits.

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What’s your favourite magazine this morning?

I’ve been flicking through the new National Trust handbook and marking all the places I want to visit. Does that count?

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The cover of issue five is more explicit than previous covers; how have independent gay press titles from the past informed your approach and design to Little Joe?

Queer zines have always had a strong influence on Little Joe but I think our design has gradually become cleaner and more legible. The new cover is a reference to the book 'Cruising the Movies’ by Boyd MacDonald which used the same cover photograph by the artist Joseph Modica when it was originally published by the Gay Presses of New York in 1985. I think it neatly sums up the whole experience I am trying to instil with Little Joe: late-night filmic (and sexual) discoveries.

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What does queerness mean to Little Joe?

I don’t see queerness as sexual orientation but rather as an attitude and an ideal. My favourite definition of queerness comes from Jose Muñoz who wrote ‘We may never touch queerness, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality.’

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Is there anyone that you haven't had a chance to interview yet but would really like to include in the future?

I’m so sad we never got the chance to interview Holly Woodlawn, so I’d most like to include her in the past.

What are you most looking forward to this week?
Packing up my house with my boyfriend and moving to Yorkshire.

What are you least looking forward to this week?
See above.

What will you be doing after this chat?
I’ll be heading to the Wellcome Library to do some research on a film I’m making.

littlejoemagazine.com

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Little Joe is available now from the magCulture Shop

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