New mag Stand & Deliver stands out for several reasons. It’s bright, lively and exciting looking, which helps of course. But the people behind it, editor Ian Wylie and creative director Danielle Gilbert have found a new subject for indie publishing – stand up comedy.
I have vague memory of previous attempts at covering comedy in print, but none were as visually vivacious as this. It’s billed as the Tony Law issue – that’s him above – and aside from an interview with the man you’ll find a children’s comic story he wrote, pages from his notebooks and an overview of other Canadian comedians. This gives a clue to the magazine’s success – it does what other great indies are doing, using its core subject to spin off into other areas. It’s not just comedy.
But comedy is the main thing; there’s a history of English absurdist humour (above); a proper, researched piece about Germans actually having a sense of humour; a look at Dave Brown’s photography of comedians (below) as well as digressions about comedians and dressing up, an artist who paints comedians’ darker side and a nice look at comics becoming politicians (more common than you might expect).
The design meets comedy head on, avoiding being over-stylish and going for a clear, intelligent but light-hearted feel that suits the content well. A clear structure holds the sections together, the contents page reading like a running order of a comedy night, complete with ‘Intervals’ dividing the sections (above).
I really liked Steven Gregor’s recent description of children’s magazine (and indie stalwart) Anorak as ‘Monocle for kids’, perhaps from a design perspective, Stand & Deliver might become known as Anorak for adults. There’s a slight chaos of the design but it never quite collapses.
It’s a carefully curated and balanced magazine that deserves to do well; the only question in my mind is whether there’s enough to cover in stand up comedy. I hope they prove me wrong.
And one last image… this picture by Seymour Mace made me laugh.