Tuesday, April 10

is not magazine

the new issue of "is not magazine" has been released recently. i am not sure that the picture i have uploaded actually conveys the true size of what has been billed as the largest format magazine in the world. my hand in the photo tries to give you a size point of reference. it is not just that i am an awful photographer. and by the way, i have big hands.

"is not magazine" brings to the fore a question covered earlier in this blog re what exactly is a magazine. the publication in question is obviously in poster format. yet, new issues come out at regular intervals and each has a similar format each time around. given that it so obviously looks like a poster and not a magazine, does the very name chosen by the founders of "is not magazine" indicate via a peverse reversal of logic that they in fact consider it to be a magazine?

one of the cool stories about "is not magazine" is that they once put in some random text into one of their articles. this text encouraged people to call in on the provided number and the first few callers would win a prize. i can't recall the exact details, but the prize was worth calling in for. no one did. one of the founders told this story at a lecture i attended as part of the "state of design" festival. just goes to show that content is not always king.

i found this quite funny, as quite a few people have been buying "is not magazine" from mag nation. people are buying it, yet no one is reading it? i guess i would buy it too if i didn't live in a shoe box. it makes great wallpaper. and it would make me feel cool too. like i am one of those few people in the know.

but given that I am a magazineologist by profession, perhaps i am being a traitor by liking "is not magazine". after all, it is not a magazine, is it?

Wednesday, April 4

Weird and wonderful

Been absent for a while - busy opening a new mag nation store at Sylvia Park in New Zealand. The guys next door to us got flooded the night before opening, and we had to put up with water seeping through their wall into our store. We were running around like madmen armed with paper towels - like trying to stem the bleeding of a severed arm with a bandaid.

Anyway, while in NZ, someone asked me what was the strangest magazine that we had in our range. My thoughts went towards Mental Floss, Primitive Archer, Pigeon Racing, and a number of other weird and wonderful titles.

But then, I saw this mag... Bamboo Rediscovered. How Fabulous!

Nothing like a good read about Bamboo, especially for those of us out there who used to love Bamboo, but have forgotten all about it.

Bamboo aficionados - this is for you.

Tuesday, March 13

T-World 2

If you haven't already seen the new issue of T-World, then you obviously haven't been in to mag nation recently.

I love this mag. I have said it before and will say it again - T World will soon be selling more copies globally than all the various incarnations of Vogue or Vanity Fair. It will even sell more than the new magazine we have in just for magicians called Magic Scene.

T-World 2 epitomises everything I love most about magazines. I love the nicheness of it (don't think that is a word but you know what I mean). I love that it is building a cult following in only its second issue. I love that it is beautifully designed. When you hold it in your hands, it just feels good. Someone is going to ask it to marry them soon. Maybe we could host the wedding. Or even give away the bride.


Bottom line, this mag kicks t-butt.

Friday, March 2

Talk to the hand

Is it just me or are the publishers out there starting to think more outside the box than ever before.

While I am not a digital creative and therefore can't get as much out of Computer Arts Projects as some, I am nevertheless a huge fan.

They come up with very cool covers. A previous issue came in a perforated cardboard envelope looking like it was just about to be shipped. Then there was the issue that looked like a vinyl LP. Now this... the hand cover.

When you touch the hand, it changes colour. The interesting thing about it is that it morphs into a real hand - the hew of the skin colour and the lines on the palm are all perfect.

This is the sort of mag that I like. Even when on the shelf, it says pick me up and interact with me.

Then there was the issue of Creative Review that was packed in a paper bag with the words "Your mother is a whore" scrawled on the front of the bag. I thought it was hilarious. Some newsagents covered up the message with white out...

I am a sucker for a good front cover. Put something new and never seen before on a Stamp Collecting mag and I'll probably buy it. I hope more of the creative mags out their continue to innovate. This is an art form and I hope it permeates its way through the industry.

Sunday, February 25


Monocle has finally launched. There has been a heap of fanfare about this new mag. Created by the original people behind Wallpaper*, it promised a lot.

I now have it in my hands, and I have to say, I am very surprised. Don't take this as a negative. Rather, surprise in this case means what it says - Monocle was not what I was expecting.

Wallpaper* is image heavy. Monocle is not. The amount of text in the mag makes it almost like a journal. It is quite highbrow - not a light read by any means. That said, how nice it is to have something other than the New Yorker to challenge us.

The size is unusual, and the paper stock definitely does not make it feel like a standard glossy. It uses a matt finish, is low on sensational imagery, and has little advertising.

My one big question is that being a monthly, how the hell are they going to be able to generate that amount of content each and every month. They have set themselves a very high bar, and I am looking forward to seeing if they can meet it.

Tuesday, February 13

West East - Great Cover

Some covers just jump out and grab you. Here is one of them.

Imagine this on the mag shelves along side all the other dribble, and you will see why West East - a fashion mag out of Hong Kong, is one of my favourites.

Monday, February 12

Monster Children

I have a number of books that list the coolest mags in the world. They are dominated by fashion and design mags, but for some reason, Monster Children is not listed amongst them.


If Monster Children doesn't rate as one of the 100 coolest magazines in the world, then I am a munkles unky. They do two covers for each issue (one cover of the current issue 13the glows in the dark). Check this for out there - who does 4 colour printing for a purely black and white edition, even for ads? These guys do.

MC has achieved that elusive cult following that so many want but few manage. Newsagents wouldn't have a clue where to put them - they probably think it is a title about kids!
By the way, mag nation has exclusive back copies of monster children, going back all the way to issue 1, and with both copies of each issue. Colour me cool.

I am now going to rip off something from the magazine and take my chances with the copyright gods. I hope people appreciate the irony. This is the fine print from the mag:
"this is the 13th issue of MC. Don't copy anything in this mag. That's shit house. Comments made within this mag are not ours. We just need words to fill the space. So back off. And whats that park in North Sydney, under the bridge. I like that park..."

Anyone who includes random crap in small print is brilliant by me

Friday, February 2

world exclusive

can we trust anything that is ever printed on the front cover of a weekly gossip mag? take a look at this week's woman's day and new idea.

both feature shane warne and simone on the front cover. the amusing part is that new idea has "world exclusive" printed on it (top right corner). these mags come out at the same time and sit next to each other in most retail outlets. do people really believe that new idea are the only people in the entire world who have photos of shane and simone. i wish i could ask the question who cares, but obviously many people do.

can' wait for the next simultaneous world exclusive across 79 different magazines in 15 different countries.

do you think i am cynical? now that is a world exclusive.


wow... long time no blog. sorry

to the thousands of people :) who read me religiously, get a life. no, i mean, i will be a good magazine from now on, i promise. kind of like the frustration of collecting monthly editions only to miss out on the december issue.

i'm back. 2007 is the year of the magazine. sooo exciting.