Fantastic viral ad for French fashion mag, Jalouse. Bam, hipster from the book store.
Almost enough to make me want to buy a magazine again.
Forget the social networking enabled revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. If you want to know the real power of Twitter look no further than the picture above. That’s Darshan, a very dedicated Jamiroquai fan in Washington USA. She’s holding a pile of magazines I sent to her. She re-tweeted links to my most recent Jay Kay interview in the Mail On Sunday like a maniac, so I thought it only nice and right to post her a hard copy. While I was at it I included a load of other features I’d done with Jay over the last decade. Darshan got the package last night. I got this photo this morning. We’ve never met, but we’re both having better days because of the other. That is the power of Twitter. It might not be up there with toppling governments, but you know, it’s the little things.
Magazines, newspapers, it’s all screwed. Or so we’re told. Titles closing left right and centre, advertisers not interested in advertising, everyone sitting around, shaking their heads, staring into the abyss wondering when they’re going to have to get a proper job. Still, it wasn’t always like that. Once upon a time, advertiser money flowed as free as the Champagne and beautiful people were journalists and journalists were beautiful people who earned a fortune. Now most freelance writers aren’t even sure if they can earn a living anymore. Never mind, remember the beginning of the end of the good old days with the great piece in The New York Times by David Carr on the launch party for Tina Brown’s ill-fated Talk magazine. I remember the excitement, the hype, the couldn’t fail confidence. How times have changed.
How could you NOT want to read a film magazine with covers as cool as these? For more on Little White Lies and to see more covers: www.littlewhitelies.co.uk
*note-to-self: see previous post’s note-to-self
Just recently discovered +1 Magazine. It’s one of a new breed of ultra cool free magazines available in clothes shops and bars in London. It’s a really nice mag, with really cool covers.
For more info check out their equally cool website: www.plus1mag.com
*note-to-self: stop using ‘cool’ every other word. It’s not cool.
I love magazines. I should do. I’ve spent most of my adult life writing for them. Increasingly though, magazines are becoming hard to like, let alone love. Grown bloated on d-list celebrities, fad diets, watches, cars, tits, cellulite, empty sound bites and hot air, they’re just another noisy distraction designed to entertain the shortest of attention spans. Of course, you could say that for something more substantial there are always books, and as someone who writes those too I certainly wouldn’t argue with their value. But it’s not the same. Books are about words sparking the imagination; a writer and a reader, alone in a space sharing a thought. Magazines are about words and pictures and how the two interact. They’re about a designer’s interpretation of an attitude, a photographer’s understanding of a subject, a writer’s assessment of the situation and an art director’s idea of how all three can best come alive on the page. Or at least that’s the way I think of them – exciting explosions of ideas, unexpected stories that grab the attention and suck you in.
The truth is that mainstream consumer magazines aren’t like that anymore. And it’s a recent change. In the last 10 years word counts have plummeted, the pictures are bigger (although, sadly, not better) and the imagination, the vocabulary and the subject choice have become so constrained that it’s hard to tell one men’s magazine from the next and all the celeb gossip weeklies from each other. I could blame Loaded or Heat or everyone else who’s helped cheapen the format, but the real point is not to blame others but to do something about it – which is why I’m currently trying to get a cool, quality, pop culture quarterly off the ground. More of that in another post.
Away from the mainstream though, the magazine is very much alive and well and lovable. Independent publishers are doing all the things which used to make me buy magazines by the armful. They’re spilling imagination all over the page, exciting with indescribably sexy images and delivering rock’n'roll in print, and making all of it so exciting you could just reach in and touch it.
I know this because I recently bought two amazing books. We Love Magazines is a celebration of the magazine as an art form, focusing on 10 stunning publications from around the world, as well as reliving the greatest moments in magazine history and providing an extensive directory of the coolest magazines in the world – or most of them, there were a couple missing. My other purchase was the equally incredible follow-up, We Make Magazines : Inside the Independents, a celebration of the people and the passion behind the most influential independent magaiznes in production – as well as a tribute to those great titles long since departed.
Both books are beautifully executed with the same imagination and attitude as the titles they’re examining, so while bloody expensive, they’re worth every penny. It’s enough to make you want to put pen to paper and start dreaming up your very own super cool title… oh, wait a minute…
DJing. It’s just playing records. No it is. Alright, you’ve got to have taste. And some records. And as with everything in life there are those who are really good at it and then there’s Peaches Geldof. But as Amy Kellner points out in her stupidly funny Vice Magazine piece about her life as a party DJ, it’s ‘the biggest fucking bullshit con of all time!’.
Muhammad Ali’s Esquire cover. A personal favourite of mine. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments, all part of the Definition Of Cool project.
Love documentary films? Check. Love magazines? Check. Think The Devil Wears Prada was a little too close to the truth to be funny? Check. Can’t wait for the release of The September Issue? Check, check, check.