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James Cartwright, writer/editor

James Cartwright, writer/editor

Today we’re in Kent browsing through magazines with editor and writer James Cartwright. You’ll recognize James’ name from bylines in Amuseum, Riposte, Gym Class, and Kinfolk, and as well as editing Weapons of Reason, he’s currently an editorial resident for AIGA’s Eye on Design.


We asked James to select three magazines for us: a new issue, an old issue, and a detail from a magazine that he thinks is great.



A new issue: Rough Trade magazine, July 2016
This one’s an unashamedly biased because I used to work with Liv Siddall (the editor), and she lives in my old flat, and sometimes she lets me sleep on my old sofa…. But I get really excited every time I see a new issue of Rough Trade. The editorial’s light-hearted and playful, and strikes a great balance between superfandom and serious music reporting. There’s critique and community, astrology and album art, and this one’s even got John Malkovich in it! Plus the design is spot on. I love how tactile the type treatments and layout are (full disclosure, I know the guy that designs it too). I’m just super proud to see two good people produce a great magazine, even though one of them will undoubtedly bully me for saying this.


An old issue: Granta #30, New Europe, 1989
This doesn’t technically belong to me, but I was there when a pal of mine picked up 50 Granta for £10 in an old bookshop in Lyme Regis, and this one was among them. Also I’m not going to tell him I’ve still got it, so I suppose it’s as good as mine. It’s easy to forget how established Granta is, and how long it’s been turning out great short fiction and essays. Sure, it wasn’t much to look at in the early days, but the writing has always been an absolute treat. I chose this one because it’s topical (New Europe, anyone?) and provides an extraordinary look at a time when Europe was actually changing in pretty radical ways as the Eastern Bloc fell apart. It all puts the last few bizarre weeks into perspective.



And another thing: FT How To Spend It, whenever
I get the Financial Times most weekends. Not because I have any money to invest – or any real danger of acquiring some in the near future – but for the reporting, which is consistently solid, and, I think, as unbiased as you can get in the UK right now. But this oversized rag that comes free with the weekend package is an abhorrent monstrosity for the uber-rich that’s so out of touch with how most people live it horrifies me. But I’m drawn to it like a moth to a flame. It answers important life questions that I never think to ask; like which private jet company should I be using for my next trip to Abu Dhabi, and when is the right time to gift an entire piece of white truffle to an acquaintance? This particular one’s got a profile of Guerlain head perfumer Thierry Wasser describing his perfect weekend on the Cote d’Azur – all champagne and Monte Cristos. I can’t help myself though, I’ll read this toot from cover to cover.

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