The quest is to continually find that something new and cool. That is the quest right? In the world of publications this has certainly been the quest and up until relatively recently it has been a quest that has personally caused me more than a few sleepless nights. Making them, sure, but also searching for what will be the latest and greatest in the way of sporting publications. What magazines are going to do it all for us these days the way that The Alpinist and Surfers Journal and even Monster Children did back in the day? Thankfully, the list has bulged and continued to grow quite rapidly, especially in the last couple years and we can safely say that we love each and every magazine that we stock in our retail space and here in our online publication section.
Well, we figured that the only way help you grow your personal zine scene was by showing you some of our current favorites in the world of pubs. Hot damn if there aren't some good ones.
FRANCHISE - $20
Yes, yes, yes. This is what has been missing from our lives during these times of need. With the NBA finals right around the corner what are we (and by "we" I mean "you") going to do with the rest of our time? Pine away over where Jamal Crawford is getting traded? Hope and pray that Dwight Howard doesn't come to Portland unless it's on the back seat of a bus from Houston? Yes, certainly those are things that we are going to do, but that list should also include:
Example A: Laughing over the illustrations titled NBA Injury Report. As you can see by the Dellavadova one shown here, these are all pretty funny. Of course Della is a hamster which is why this was included, but there is also one about Kyrie at a Toni Braxton concert as well as Tim Duncan tweeting about the scientific inaccuracies of Jumanji. Ah-mazing. And sorry about that forced rest Mr. Duncan.
Example B: Reading an interview that pairs up D'Andre Jordan and that other DJ that we all know and love — Diplo. Wait? "Did I just read that right?" I know that's what you're thinking, but you did. DJ and DJ Diplo are pals and what makes that union even cooler is that they're interviewed in this little art book magazine.
Example C: Art. Plain and simple, this mag is filled with some amazing photographs, illustrations painting and fan art that the world of basketball has to offer. The spread titled The Rock & The Ghost, The Reaper & The Bunny are great works of art, plain and simple.
The only downside that we can see, and there aren't that many downsides to a beautiful magazine on nice smelling thick paper — is that there aren't enough back stories to the works contained within. Where do these amazing photos come from and where can I find more more more! That's what I want to know.
PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY OF FRANCHISE
UNDO-ORDINARY - Issue 04 - $20
Don't be so quick to write off this magazine. Wait, why were you quick to write it off anyway? It is filled with a metric ton of creative awesome. Recipes that are paired up with drool worthy photos? Yeah, don't read this magazine after a hard workout, or maybe early in the morning. Scratch that, maybe just look at this after you've stuffed yourself full of fruit juices and quinoa salad. Just to be safe.
It is interesting to note that there are not a lot of magazines that are hitting this intersection of health, sport and fashion well. There are a few that are trying, but most fall into the "Get Fit Fast" realm that is the supermarket aisle equivalent of clickbait.
However, with super smarts like Sophia Chang (if you don't know who she is, do yourself the favor of following her on instagram - @esmai ) heading up the art direction, you can rest assured that this magazine is in good hands. Let's take for example this recipe for an avocado dip and some crunchy vegetables. I'm allergic to avocado and I want to eat it. I don't even know what the difference is between a Hass Avocado and a regular one is, but I've found myself looking for them specifically at the grocery store.
Now, let's talk about coconut oil for a minute. Our good friend Benedict has been professing his love for the gooey stuff for years now. He eats it right out of the jar. He rubs it all over his body, he styles his long flowing mane with it. It's everywhere. Now, Bene is a handsome man, but this facial photo spread (see above) is much more appealing than he's ever made it seem. For some reason I can't help licking my lips when looking at it. Not sure what it is. Pair that up with the fact that they show the actual ways to make your own from home and what we really have is a recipe for greatness. And now that we're talking about it, the magazine isn't overun with ads, which is a plus in anyone's book.
And then there's footwear. There kind of has to be footwear right? With a seemingly endless supply of cool things to do and wear, UNDO has also bridged that gap. The one where fashion, beauty and shopping come together to speak to us in ways that aren't cheesy. Also, we've been hearing about these Fronteer Footwear folks for a little while now. Their climbing shoe cum vintage sneaker stylings are an awesome blend of California cool and outdoor hot. Founder/designer Jonathan Tang's time at Puma and K-Swiss have evidently put him on the right track do do some fun stuff in that department.
Rivers, climbing, boxing, futbol, family, adventure, fashion, it is all being UNdone and done again with this new magazine. They seem to be walking a line that they're making up as they go. Either way you slice it, we're in.
PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY OF UNDO MAGAZINE!
Shoes Master Volume 25 - $25
How do they do it? It is a question that we ask ourselves every time a new volume of this or BRUTUS or any other Japanese magazine comes out. You know the ones, they are usually 2 - 3 times larger than any US publication and they contain everything that you've alway lusted after, but didn't know you need. Well, Shoes Master is the master list for the sneaker set out there.
The toughest thing about it is that this is more of a look-don't-touch magazine. The reason being that it is hard to find all of the Japanese only editions of most of these shoes. And there are plenty to look for. But that shouldn't dissuade you from picking up this book and opening it to any page (and finding something neat for your feet). Take for example these perforated Adidas Stan Smith jams. Pretty ok right? Not available in the US (or at least not that I can see). So, now you can feel the pain that I feel.
Some of the sections of the magazine are pretty great though. The fact that they're doing most of their design and layouts for the spreads gives the book a nice feel to it. Skate Shoes Are Beautiful would be a good example of this, which brings up the fact that I didn't even see that those black/white Dunk Low IW (Ishod Wair is pretty rad too) were out! Or that New Balance was using those fat laces that Asics started putting on their special editions a couple years ago. This knowledge is power (or not).
Now, let's step out of shoes for a minute and talk about...um...sandals. Are they back? Should they be back? Can we accept them into our hearts once again without visuals of German tourists popping into our minds eye? Unclear at this moment, but king of cool Matt Pittman from Folly posted this photo the other week involving our Cuppow socks paired up with the new Topo x Chaco sandals and I have to say...I'm intrigued. Then, pile that on top of the Teva piece in Shoes Master and I have to admit, I just don't know what to think anymore.
But the best thing about this magazine is it's volume. Sheer volume. There is absolutely no way to keep up with everything that is going on in the sneaker realm, but Shoes Master is the closest at having their finger on the pulse. Bonus Feature: It looks great on your coffee table, even if you do not read kanji.
PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY OF SHOES MASTER 25!
METER - Summer 2016 - $12
Finally, we are getting there. This is how we build culture people! By telling the stories that need to be told and doing that in a way that isn't forceful or covered in slick advertising. Well, the likes of Meter Magazine are doing just that with their small (in stature) publication from the East Coast.
If there is any magazine that you absolutely need from this list it's going to be Meter and it will be specifically for their article on R. Gibb aka Bobbi - the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon. She's a sculptor who had the most profound effect on the race, but also on the sport and theory of running itself and the article reads with the kind of excitement for women's athletics that we hope for every time we open any magazine.
Bob Hodge's article Boston 1977 on his first attempt at the race is a succinct nod to being young and in love (with running) in the height of the craze. What it meant to be a "runner" at the time. One of the crazy ones for sure. Paired with some nice little Friendly's Fribble and cans of Coke drawings set it off in a nice way.
Note that this issue of Meter is a little Boston heavy as it was released right around the time of the Boston Marathon this year, but look to some of the previous editions for a broader survey. The last edition had an amazing selections of pieces about the history of the Penn Relays.
PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY OF METER 04!
Whew, and there you have it. Just a little peek into a few of our current favorites. Are these the end all be all? No, but they are a good place to start. The crop of new magazines continues to grow in our front store, so if you happen to be in the neighborhood, pop in and we'll show you what's up. Side Note: if you really can't decide, take a chance on our Mega Magazines Grab bag. We try to ensure that all those are stocked with a good selection of back issues of our favorite publications.