Wednesday, November 29

Giant Robot

Has anyone read Giant Robot? If you haven't, then you should. Does amazingly well in the US, but very few people know about it in Aus or NZ.

It describes itself as Asian Pop Culture and Beyond. It comes out of the US. Personally, I wouldn't describe it as Asian Pop Culture. Makes it seem as if it is less relevant to non Asians, and this is crap. I would prefer to call it Global Pop Culture with an Asian perspective.

Giant Robot have retail stores in LA, San Fran and NYC. They are a very funky brand and the mag seems to be an extension of it (or perhaps it is the other way around). In any case, I would go as far as to say that it is one of the best mags I have come across. I have known about it for a while, but you don't get it in most places. mag nation to the rescue. Again.

One of my favourite parts of the mag is the regular "book collector". These guys really do find the cool stuff to read.

Check it out. Pop culture from an Asian perspective is going to be huge. Asia is the future and their influence on the streets here in Aus and NZ is only starting to be felt.

Giant Robot is already huge in the US. It deserves to be huge here too.

Tuesday, November 21


Ok, so if you hadn’t heard, OK! (Australia) has gone weekly. It was fortnightly, and it was previously $5.95, but it has been repositioned as a weekly and the lowest priced of its competitors at only $2.95.

Now I have no vested interest in saying this, as the money I make on selling one OK! at mag nation ain’t going to be putting my kids through college any time soon.

I really like OK!

You might have guessed by now that I am not much into weeklies. My personal tastes are more towards a mag that challenges my withering intellect. But, I recognise that there are magazines for everyone (my entire business is based on this premise), and the weekly celebrity gossip mag has its place in the market. (It also happens to be the best selling category of magazine and what keeps your local newsagent ticking along).

We don’t really depend on the weeklies at mag nation like other retailers of magazines. But I have to tell it as I see it. OK is different. It is “cleaner”. I am not the expert in how magazines are put together, but the people who do the setting out for OK should be congratulated. It just feels easier to handle and navigate.

Well done OK! You are definitely OK by me. And so far anyway judging by our sales numbers, your readers seem to agree.

Monday, November 20

The Power of Controversy

Nothing sells a magazine like controversy. Brad Pitt has apparently been photographed in white undies and put on the cover of Vanity Fair. He is suing. And Vanity Fair couldn’t be happier. Nothing like a juice law suit to sell more magazines.

We have ordered in more copies.

My NZ readers will know of Pavement – a very popular lifestyle and fashion mag from Auckland. It is also sold in Aus, but has less of a profile. This is old hat for you guys in NZ, it has already hit the news and died down.

The Spring edition of Pavement caused a lot of controversy. Entitled “Lost Youth” it features fascinating snippet insights into the lives of today’s teens. And yet, people will probably remember this edition for the flashes of breasts belonging to girls who look as if they are underage.

I am told that the Pavement team might get a fine. They are known for pushing the boundaries and this part of what gives Pavement its positioning.

If the powers that be wanted to draw attention to Pavement and guarantee that every pervert in a trench coat buys this issue, then they have done a great job. The fact that I am blogging about this is a case in point.

There is a controversial debate underlying all this, and I am not going to get into it here. But you have got to hand it to Barney and the guys at Pavement. They know how to sell magazines.

Shame that I read in the NZ papers over the weekend that the magazine is about to fold due to lack of advertising support. After 13 years, I wonder if this is just another controversy in the offing…

Thursday, November 16


I love my job. One of the perks is I get to see sneak previews of some of the coolest mags in the land.

And the POL Oxygen Stretch Special Expanded Issue is one of those magazines.

I really like innovation, but especially so when it happens in my industry that rarely dares to dare. (mag nation is all about innovation and challenging the established norms in the magazine industry).

POL Oxygen has shown a sense of adventure in creating a beautiful magazine that needs to be folded out vertically.

Beautiful in the sense that great imagery is made even better at a large scale with great content to boot.

They have called it the Stretch Edition. It will stretch your mind and your visual senses. Hopefully it will add to the groundswell that might finally act as a catalyst to stretch the magazine industry as well.

Tuesday, November 14

The Kylie Wars

Kylie is back. In case you didn’t know, just take a look at the mag covers of the popular women’s titles.

Vogue Australia. Marie Claire Australia. Elle UK (probably won’t find the airfreight version in most places). All of these have Kylie on the front cover. All vying for our attention.

Make no mistake about it, this is all out war. The average punter won’t be buying Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle at the same time. Therefore, the magazine publishers, knowing that Kylie sells, are all vying for our allusive custom.

Vouge hit the shelves first, and we sold more in the first few days than ever before. We have always known that covers are what sell the popular women’s mags, and some stars have more pulling power than others.
Kylie is one of those with amazing pulling power. No wonder everyone is doing the pulling.

Monday, November 13

T-World rocks my world

Simply put, some magazines kick arse. T-World – The Journal of T-Shirt Culture is one of those mags.

People who know me well will have heard me speak about T-World before. I had my doubts about it when I got a sneak preview of the launch edition. Would anyone actually buy it? I like T-Shirts as much as the next guy or gal, but would I actually buy a mag about it?

I was wrong. We have sold more of the first edition of T-World than nearly any other mag we get. The magazine and its creators even inspired us to hold T-Week at mag nation – a week long celebration of the humble t-shirt with a limited edition T packaged with 100 copies of the magazine.

T-World rocks my world. I enjoy nothing more than seeing something take off and T-World is doing just that. To think that I played just a small part in it by giving it a wonderful retail environment warms by heart.

Go you good thing T. I am now a believer…

Sunday, November 12

Out of action

Two weeks with no blogging.

I have a good excuse - Chicken Pox.

Ugly thing to have as an adult, but all good now.

The only good thing to come out of it is that I have had a million things running through my mind, all to do with magazines, and all that will end up being poured out here.

Had lots of time to read mags - in between itching like crazy.

I love mags. I hate the chicken pox.