OOMK is a magCulture favourite. When Jeremy wrote about the first issue in 2013, he pointed out that it ‘teeters between zine and magazine,’ and four issues on very little has changed. The size hasn’t, and neither has its mission statement to bring together women from diverse ethnic background and essentially celebrate creativity. The first three issues were themed fabric, print and drawing respectively, but this time, OOMK is bravely tackling the ephemeral Internet. The early themes all suited an Oh Comely aesthetic, so OOMK’s covers were illustrated, but for their Internet themed issue four, they’ve gone for a punchier, cooler look as they tackle a knotted, heavily political topic.
OOMK have spent three issues coming into their own, and now they’re confident and pushing more boundaries, consistently interrogating the norm beyond what you come up against in art school. A move from illustration to photography is mirrored in the headers: hand-painted the headlines of earlier issues have been replaced a simple typeface, though this change is softened by the jumping looseness of the characters (below).
For the few months before issue four’s release, I noticed OOMK on their social media advertising lots of meetings with contributors in Kilburn. In not choosing to be a fully-fledged magazine, the editors still have that zine-like commitment of bringing people in and opening the door to other ideas and new, unknown writers and image-makers. This zine-like approach emphasises how their ideas are fresh and the articles are vigorously committed to innovation and change. There’s an article on Bitcoin and art, which questions what value will actually mean in the future, and there’s also a substantial and exciting interview with the author of blackgirl.tech. Art by Nouf Alhimiary (above) and a short story told in three parts by Rianna Jade Parker (below) subtly captures the pervasive sense of fragmentation inherent in the Internet age.
OOMK are never without a cutting sense of humour and a distinct edge of satire: inside issue four you’ll also find a recipe for ‘Enable Cookies’ (above) and a ‘Anti- (insert minority group here) Lobbying Centre’ online form (below). This taste for satire resembles the uncompromising energy of fellow London-based zine, Mushpit – although both zines capture difference scenes, they share a deep distrust of the status-quo and the current political climate.
Visual art contributions include psychedelic cyber glitches by Fatimah AJ and Sarah Ahmed (above), and densely packed illustration by Anna Valdez (below).
It seems important that OOMK maintain this engaging teeter between being half-zine, half-magazine – they’ve found their format without sacrificing their initial energy and enthusiasm, and now they’re refining and strengthening their voice and power.
Editor: Sofia Niazi
Designer: Rose Nordin