The latest issue of our favourite meta-mag-about-mags has landed. Although always a must-have in our magaholic eyes, this issue sees Gym Class growing up and becoming even more vital. Teaming up with professional distributors (the issue even has a barcode on the cover!); adopting a new tagline (‘The Magazine About Magazines’); and a new cover design that feels like it’s going to be a steady template for the next few issues. It even has a logo top left!
I caught up with Mr Gym Class, designer-about-town Steven Gregor, to find out more about the issue. ‘There’s so much great content for all kinds of magazine makers… indie or mainstream, editors and designers. There’s interviews, cover galleries, photography, illustration, opinion, and some proper grown-up think pieces too…’ Told you it was growing up!
This translates into interviews with people making some of the best magazines around today, including Jake Silverstein (editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine); Ibrahim Nehme (editor of The Outpost) and Bhaskar Sunkara (Editor of Jacobin). Plus features about the new women’s magazines, the role of the news media when reporting terror and threat, the enduring significance of magazine covers in the digital age, the rise of male nudity in magazines, unoriginal magazine makers; award-winning editorial photography… there’s even a look at how The Guardian and The New York Times Book Review commission and use illustration (by our own Madeleine Morley).
And that cover? It came about when writer James Cartwright interviewed James Hyman, founder of the Hyman Archive, and discovered a copy of the super-rare Eminem cover of The Face. As editor at the time Johnny Davis explains in Gym Class, ‘His record company saw the pink cover and went batshit… they demanded the whole run be pulped. Their problem was—I kid you not—that it ‘made Eminem look gay’. Anyway, Emap pulped the whole run, reprinting with an orange T–shirt.’ The cover may look familiar, but most copies featured the Photoshopped vest colour (below).