Liv Siddall, writer and editor
2015 has been a big year for us at magCulture: we’ve had a new website, new writers on the journal and a new shop to boot. We end the year with one last new thing – a feature that we’ll be running every Friday and calling ‘Issues’.
After years of speaking with people deeply entrenched in the publishing industry, whether magazine makers, art directors and recently shop owners, we thought that it was time to start thinking about the magazine readers, avid Stack subscribers and die-hard editorial fanatics out there too. Every day we come across photographers, writers, illustrators, curators, typographers and a host of other people that have tumbling stacks of magazines weighing down their coffee tables and filling up their shelves, and as we’re constantly curious about what others are reading, we decided to start a feature that lets us have a snoop through different collections.
For our very first instalment of Issues, we’re taking a peek through the shelves of writer and editor Liv Siddall – self-confessed magaholic, Rough Trade’s newly appointed editor and our brilliant MC at the ModMag15 conference.
We asked Liv to pick out three magazines from her shelf: an old issue, a new issue and a detail from a magazine that she particularly admires. Over to Liv and her selections…
New Issue: The Happy Reader
Gonna hold my hands up now and say that I read most of my magazines in the shop rather than buying them to read later (sorry Jeremy, definitely won’t be doing that in your shop)… but there have been some incredible new titles come out recently. Difficult to pick just one title but I guess the prize has to go to The Happy Reader.
I could show this to anyone I know and they would be impressed, even my dad’s friends in the pub. It’s elegant without being wanky, informative without being impenetrable and takes you on voyages you never thought you’d go on. It’s also got this great recycled paper “throwaway” feel to it, which instantly makes you want to hold on to it forever. This new issue with Aziz Ansari is killer and the photo of the cheeses on page 56 made my mouth fill with saliva. In a good way.
Old issue: Playboar
I can honestly say I don’t know where this came from. I woke up one day in my student halls and it was just there, like the magazine of my dreams turned up on my doorstep, soaking wet saying ‘is it raining? I hadn’t noticed.’ It’s a weighty publication that, at a glance, seems to be an old issue of Playboy. But a closer look reveals every single old-fashioned advert for cigars, feature, letter, interview and page of the magazine is all about pigs. This would be absolutely shit if it wasn’t so well-executed.
The attention to detail is astonishing and must have taken a bafflingly long time to make. There’s even a fold-out poster spread in the middle entitled ‘littermate of the year’ which shows a female pig in satin underpants pleasuring herself with her tiny hoof. Just did some digging online, not much info there. Apart from this brilliant review on Amazon from a disgruntled (excuse the pun) customer: ‘This magazine is a waste of money. It's not even slightly clever. If you liked Cowsmopolitan, you'll be very disappointed with Playboar.’
And another thing... Manzine
THIS IS HARD. Had to flick through my whole magazine shelf to do this and now I feel like shit for never having made my own magazine and I have ink all over my hands. One that I put on the yes pile straight off was an old page from Kevin Braddock’s Manzine.
Towards the back they have an advert that sends up the aesthetic similarity of Mr Porter and Fantastic Man. The image looks like a Fantastic Man cover but is actually advertising a fictional publication called “Fantastic Porter” which documents the timeless style of railway porters. Not enough magazines these days are ballsy enough to comment on something awkward going on in the world of publishing/fashion and make it hilarious and harmless at the same time.