Perdiz has one aim and one aim only: it wholeheartedly sets out to turn all frowns upside down, and what better way to do this than with warm photography, gentle illustrations and an open-bound spine that opens up with friendly, welcoming ease? We’ve showered praise on ‘the magazine about people and the things that make them happy’ many times before (it’s sea-blue issue five was our Magazine of the Week last October) – and, as it continues to impress, we’re continuing with our compliments.
Issue five had a touch of melancholia to it (perhaps a result of its colour combinations and the far-away look in the eyes of the cover-star), and I liked this. Without sadness, no one would know what happiness is, and deep blue issue five embraced this idea.
With issue six, the powder-pink cover signals a return to imagery that’s 100% happy – any touch of bitter-sweetness is left to the articles and stories themselves. Happiness is visually evoked in a number of ways: there’s the now-familiar chromatic foil logo on the cover, the speckled, confetti-like borders (above), borders that bleed pink like a sunrise (also above), as well as shimmering photographs that you can imagine a magpie stealing for her nest (also above). Scratchy, pencil illustrations that adorn articles remind me of what a young girl might drawn in a ring-bound notebook: there’s something dreamy and Rookie-esque about these selections.
The combination of joyful design details and stories that have a happy/ sad quality creates an intriguing tension. For example, when you read an interview with one of the cadets who’s been selected to colonize Mars in the future, he’s both palpably excited but also nervous to leave behind what he knows, yet the soft photography that accompanies the article contains no hint of the melancholy side of his story (above). Perdiz issue six looks happy on the surface; it’s only when you delve deeper into the content that the complexity of happiness emerges.
Alexis Nolla’s illustration of an interview with a man who spent 25 years of his life chasing his childhood dream, finding the Loch Ness monster, is also a joy to look at (above). Reading the comic through in its entirety, though, is something else: it’s lovely to read about someone who chases their dreams, but you can’t help but wish the man had at least seen one glimmer hinting to the existence of the mythological, watery creature.
Other stories are more clear-cut and obviously happy, so reading Perdiz isn’t one huge emotional roller-coaster but more of a barrel of laughs with occasional hints of pathos. For articles that are particularly joyous, there’s one where ex-architect explains why he left the office to bring happiness to bees (above), and another where woman confesses her love for the Eiffel Tower and other inanimate objects (also above).
Issue six of Perdiz is all smiles on the outside, but it occasionally holds back tears on the inside. This is just one way that we’re seeing the magazine mature over time – it started off all sunshine and roses, and now is in a phase where it’s exploring tragic-comedy too.
Read our At Work With interview with Perdiz