Ugh, the state of magazines out there is terrible. Terrible in the sense that there are too many good ones and I want all of them. Terrible in the sense that I am never able to get through all the new ones, they just pile up along our mantle like so many ancient christmas stockings. Well, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but they do pile up and I do want to read them all. Here are a few that have stood out from the pack lately.
1. Smith Journal - Volume 10
Since the first issue that I ingested, this Australian quarterly has been steamrolling its way to the top of the list. Everything about it is fantastic — photos, illustration, — it has it all. Plus, and here's the really great part, The Smith Journal has some fantastic writing in it. This most recent issue is no exception. There is an article about the criminal mastermind that was the foundation for Dr. Moriarty, an essay on the Chiko roll (don't eat it) and an article about a guy who came to the states and was so enamored with beef jerkey that he went home and made his own.
Now, that's what I'm talking about!
Remember the frozen egg rolls that you could buy in packs of 20? That is what I imagine these taste like.
However, the article that I was most impressed with was the short expose on a few different cultures within cultures — redneck, bogan - zef and neds. Each little piece is a photo and a short interview with the character. They offer a little bit of insight into who each of the people are, but also a bit of insight into their cultural spot.
And I didn't even get to the good stuff yet. There is a Bonn Scott article and some Mario Brothers based fiction the looks to be pretty dark and pretty good. Now to just hold off on buying more magazines and leaning on these for the weekend.
2. Rally - Jurgen Maelfeyt
Last fall we went to the New York Art Book Fair in Queens. The whole thing takes place inside this old school and each former classroom is filled to the brim with sweaty, nerdy looking types considering what art books they should buy. Don't get me wrong, I'm one of them just the same. Except for the fact that I was after books on sport. Well, let me tell you this, aside from Bo Knows No Bos, this was one of the only interesting things that I found in that genre.
The way the story goes, or at least how it was told to me by bookmaker Jurgen Maelfeyt was that he had found an undeveloped roll of film that he had shot as a 13 year old attending a stock car rally in his home country of Belgium. The results, he published, un edited and in their entirety in this small book titled Rally.
It is a fantastic little book of photographs that accurately shows the excitement that could only be felt by a 13 year old (or myself right now at any car rally). To stand and be able to photograph every one of those cars to come down the line. I am continually amazed as I pick it up each time at what sorts of #kitspiration & #sockspiration I can pull from it.
Notes: I bought out all of Maelfeyt's stock of these because I liked them so much. So, these are the final ones. Also, your copy won't have that big gash on the front. The tape caught on it, oops.
3. Sneaker Freaker #30
Only recently has this magazine been on the radar. Sure, I would have a look at it every time I see it on the newsstand, but it was not until relatively recently that I have embraced the sheer awesome of this magazine. It has drool worth collaboration kicks on nearly every page (Bodega x Saucony anyone?) and some pretty great little shoe stories peppered throughout the rest of the magazine.
Not going to lie though, I bought it for the Jordan feature. Who doesn't want to know how Jordan does it? I mean, he just does doesn't he? They should run with that tagline. Could be solid gold. Maybe?
The real gold is this short Reebok piece. Sneaker Freaker sent a journo (that's short for journalist) into the heart of one of their factories where they still make shoes - by hand. (You thought I was going to say "by feet" didn't you?) The Reebok Pump Fury — remember those, with the air pockets all bright green and on the outside of the shoe? Well, they go behind the scenes with this one and the photos are fantastic. Images of shoe parts stacked up in waves, and the bright, acid green of the pumps stand out in start contrast to the grey of the factory.
4. The Feed.com - Faces of Pain
This nice little zine style book was produced by TheFeed.com and given out during the Tour of California. Maybe you saw Becca Schepps out there handing them out? She was the one with lots of musettes hanging around her neck and cool sunglasses on. Maybe her crazy blonde hair was blowing in the breeze as well? You never know what you'll come across do you? It kind of looked like this...
Dig around a little bit on their site. Their plan is pretty ambitious, but then again, nearly everything good is that way. Teaching people about nutrition is hard enough, but actually delivering it to them in and interesting way is probably that much harder. So, when you see a couple of them out on the beat, stomping their feet, in the street, make sure to say hello and find out what kind of new products they are offering. Plus, they have a How to Eat section on their site and while you may scoff at that initially, it is a pretty cool concept. We all know how to eat, but how do we eat right for what we're doing? Plus plus, they're into making stuff with paper and including some fantastic photos from the Grubers and Manual For Speed along the way. These guys are doing it right.
5. True Portland (Japanese)
"WHAT is that book?!" you must be asking yourself? I'm sure you are. A couple months ago I saw it being posted around on Instagram and had to figure it out. Well, it turns out that it wasn't that hard to figure out, as our friend Takeshi was involved in this book. He found me outside a Goodwill one day (what they have cheap comic books and an old 1970's hiking in Oregon book?) and told me that he thought he could get ahold of one for me.
To say that this book is packed with hidden gems of Portland would be a gross understatement. The reviewers / journalists that were sent in to discover found everything. Like, maybe everything. From coffee and shopping spots to the best restaurants and bike shops that you could ever hope for. And they packaged it up into this small, neat little book. Now, if only I could read japanese.
There needs to be a French version of this book — Julie says it all the time — so, this should serve as a model for all the rest of them. As with most other things Japanese - it is packed to the brim with everything you need to experience PDX. Thank you for exploring our glorious city!
6. Little White Lies.
This magazine gets no photos, needs no introduction from me, because it is the best. Plus, I'm guessing that people are sick of hearing me talk about it. It is far and away my favorite magazine, from its concept to design to, well, everything about it. This one, as you can maybe tell from the cover, deals with the new Muppets movie. Which, up until this point I had no interest in seeing - such is the case with many of the films that they cover - and now I want to get involved with the Muppets weirdness. Go figure.
Whew! If you made through all of those, I commend you. I could barely do it. Like I said, there is too much good stuff out there these days. What else do I need to look at? Where are all the new cool magazines and how do I find them?