mags of the month: october

This month we check in on the magazine whose mission it is to become the home of startup culture and modern business, the unpretentious edginess of a magazine that’s just completed its first year of publications, and a super new film magazine debut. Most of the magazines mentioned here will be available to MagShuffle subscribers throughout December. MagShuffle is our brand new mix and match magazine subscription service, where you can personally curate your year of monthly deliveries from a roster of 150+ magazines.

big ideas

you walk into a shop and the assistant knows your name. the phone in your pocket has pinged a signal to her ipad. she can see the clothes you’ve previously bought online, your size and what you’ve checked out on the shop’s instagram
courier #19, 2017

© courier, #19, 2017

For issue 19 of Courier magazine, editor Soheb Panja charts the evolution of Courier as a magazine handed out in coffee shops to a subscription-based, full-fledged magazine that pushes it closer to the mission of becoming “the home of startup culture and modern business”. It’s a mission that, judged on this issue, is well within their grasp. The magazine carves itself out as a platform which speaks to that emerging sensibility that we can do things, build things, start things, all without the need for, or on behalf of, big business.

The feature essay from this edition, on the reinvention of retail, gives both a futuristic and nostalgic look at how shopping can be ‘disrupted’ – how social media can give shoppers a personalised experience while in store, much like the time when local shops knew its shoppers’ names and their tastes from memory, not just because a notification told them so. The report that follows goes in depth to look at these kinds of innovations in retail, from shops as community hubs to stores more interested in delivering identity than products. Elsewhere in the issue, there is a fascinating discussion for and against developing a feminist narrative within a brand’s identity, and of interest to the magazine world is an interview with Gal-Dem founder, Liv Little, who is a new member of Peckham’s car-park creative space conversion, Peckham Levels.

© courier, #19, 2017

design

Now a year old, Honore made by a creative team who formerly worked on Lula magazine, is finding its feet, showcasing fashion and creativity with an edgy unpretentiousness. Its design reflects that, with multiple touches that appear unusual but effective, such as overlapping images in some of the features, or the irregular paragraph columns, sometimes three column, sometimes two, and rarely predictable. It brings an energy to many of the features, like the ‘Camera Obscura’ feature which has an interview with Swedish artist, Jenny Källman about her interest in crime, prisons and punishment as “metaphors for the image”. A similar energy can be seen in what is probably the highlight from the issue, an interview with Paris cabaret’s chief creative officer which reveals what it takes to put a show together and to be a dancer there.

i absolutely see the need for physical requirements. no one says that a crazy girls’ body is one to aspire to. it is simply a body suited to the purpose of the show.

The interview reveals physical requirements like breast size (they like them smaller), full buttocks, a distance of 21cm between nipples and 13cm between navel and pubic bone all give a sense of an objectified body but there’s also more mentally demanding requirements that each dancer delivers personality and passion. This pulls out an interesting dichotomy which is expertly handled by the interviewer and Camille Vivier’s entrancing photography of the dancers.

© honore, #4, 2017

image-driven

Notion is a magazine that prides itself on its independence, and this is reflected through its covers and photography more generally. In issue 77, which comes in 4 covers, there’s a pure, intimate documentary aesthetic to the portraits of various musicians within its pages. For many of these profiles there’s a street style fashion photography that is rarely seen in other music mags. The portraits of Ashley James and Charlotte de Carle (models and aka the DJ duo Bittersweet) capture that informal, spontaneous style particularly well.

This is an aesthetic you see again and again in the issue, from the exposed detail of the portraits of Grime artists Mez and Jammz to the fashion shoots that while are certainly more staged than the editorial photography, there is still a sense of the voyeur in them that you might not find in more glossier mags. It’s an issue that lives up to that indie reputation and its imagery complements a stellar set of interviews.

originality

© scenes journal, #1, 2017

in the same way an architect is an artist, so is the screenwriter.
george bartlett, scenes journal #1

In the debut issue of Scenes Journal, a magazine dedicated to screenwriting and photography, editor George Bartlett introduces the issue with a quote from Taxi Driver writer, Paul Schrader, that a script is an “invitation for collaboration”. It’s this idea that set outs the vision, that screenwriting cannot be portrayed purely through scripts, but through storyboard illustrations, photography, objects, analysis and much more. We see the evidence for that in this issue with the inclusion of excellent photography, suitably cinematic in quality, like the Chilean photojournalist, Marcelo Montecino’s photographs of the Nicaraguan Sandinista revolution that began in 1979, which includes exquisite and apocalyptic street photography of kids playing with burned-out tanks, and jailed women and girls.

I’ve read a few scripts through a misspent youth in my universities’ film society—none quite as rich as the examples published in this issue—but in reading a script you get the idea of how important the role of interpretation is in film. From the interpretation of a script’s novel-esque descriptions, and of the imagery that gives clues to casting directors, directors of photography, location scouts and costume departments, in this way, a script is a multitudinous and fascinating document. Such an approach makes for a supremely original magazine debut and will give even ardent film enthusiasts a perspective that will probably have eluded them.

© scenes journal, #1, 2017

Available to MagShuffle subscribers:
courier / scenes journal / honore

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