Not sure if you have noticed, but zines have started to take over our retail storefront and filter a little bit into what we are doing online as well. Almost half of our retail operation is taken up with beautiful sport related zines — and I have to say — I love it. There is something for every sport fan on our big table of zines — surfing, rock climbing, fubol, psychology (really, psychology), of course cycling and possibly a little basketball mixed in there as well. So, as you're bolstering your monthly buy on magazines there might be a few here for you to check out.
Ren Quarterly - $8 - Order Here
Thankfully, I had the foresight, or the laziness, to not go and read this zine all at once. Mainly, because I love it and every time I dip back into it I find something new and great to like about it. But, you know, it's short, so you have to figure out ways to extend the experience. Each issue of Ren Quarterly is focused on one basketball city — the first being Los Angeles — the second honing in on Chicago and the upcoming third issue, if I'm allowed to say, is going to have an Oakland focus. Not bad, not bad at all.
This basketball season passed too quickly. I'm saying that mainly because without Kyrie Irving I'm already bored with the outcome of this finals. I was bored when he was in there and then he blocked the shit out of Curry at the end of Game 1 and then he cracked his kneecap (ow!) and now I'm bored again. But, whatever, you can't have everything.
But that is where this zine comes in. Holy shit this thing is cool. It's the intersection of art, basketball and journalism that we all hope and wish for with all of our magazines. The guys behind Ren know what they are talking about and it shows. Take for example this article titled "Clash of the Titans" can you even imagine for a minute what it must have been like to witness Oscar Robertson and Lew Alcindor take on the Los Angeles Lakers? Well, my father can, because this is the type of stuff that he used to regale me with as a youngster — right before teaching me the merits of the skyhook. And the fact that Ren goes so far as to call the match up between the Bucks and the Lakers "the most anticipated regular season match up in the history of the NBA" sort of solidifies dear old Dad's take on the situation.
And I'm doing you a favor here by not even mentioning the Men's Gym at UCLA. That story Ballers' Paradise is a gem for you to discover on your own.
So, if you're looking to up your game, or at least your coffee table game with this thin, sweet looking "fanzine" (their words, not mine) then, grab both of these. The images seen here are from the Los Angeles edition.
Anyone know why they insist on putting 3 price stickers on the front?
I really like this magazine as well. Sure, I have an affinity for sneaks, but what is more interesting is the culture behind them and where a lot of it comes from. This is what Sneaker Freaker does best, coverage of that intersection. They have the coolest kicks and then pepper the pages with great stories from around the world. This issue is no exception, it includes:
- Richie Roxas and his 365 Days of New Balance. Posting every day about his collection and how it grew to be what it is. So much cool vintage / Japanese exclusive stuff in here. He's from Philly, seems really awesome and his attitude of just posting stuff that he's into and not getting too hyped about the collaboration stuff is spot on. Plus, the stuff that he has! Amazing!
- Story about Bill Sumner - the photographer that created some of the most iconic Nike posters every to grace the walls of our geeky younger selves. I wanted all of them and had none. Who could spend money on those big posters? I cut out everything from magazines, but they were so dope and the photos still hold up. The "Bo Know's Didley" one! Who didn't want that? Lance Parish with the Tiger! He really was there with the tiger and it really did roll over and wake up a homeless dude that was sleeping in the alley. That's the kind of shit that I'm talking about, so good!
Who has a pair of these? I want them!
- A Love Letter to the Adidas Superstar is pretty great too. Talking about it's rise from the ranks of professional basketball in the 70's to the height of "superstardom." This is honestly the story that made me pick up the magazine. And it fucking delivers. Especially with the rad photo of — you guessed it — Lew Alcindor.
- And the list goes on and on - a spotlight on the South African scene — the Sneaker of the Year choices — and of course the pages and pages of mouth watering shoe photos. Yes, I said that.
Manual For Speed 2014 Photo Annual - $55 - Shop Only
Ok, here is is, the 2014 Photo Annual from those crazy cats over at MFS aka Manual for Speed. You know, the guys behind the SPEED SPEED SPEED NAPS NAPS NAPS shirts. Freaking love them, love their shirts. I'm actually wearing one right now as I type this. Not even joking.
Anyway, we have all been following along with their quirky (don't you just hate the word quirky?) brand of cycling coverage for a few years now, so it is high time that they got off their collective duffs and produced something physical. Not that kind of physical. Physical like a book kind of physical. I'm sure it had something to do with their new hire Kyle. He's organized.
Here's a list of things that I thought about while perusing their photo annual. Which is available in our shop until it sells out (4 left!) and on their website — RIGHT HERE. It has been a hot seller as of late. Or at least today. So, seriously, come and get it.
THINGS I NOTICED:
- the MFS guys really like that guy Phil Gaimon. He must have inspired their bookmaking. Because he made a book and also something about cookies.
- the MFS guys really like to take pictures of old people. I tried to find a bunch of the old people photos for this, but after a while I was like "ahh, no more old people." Kidding, I love old people. I will be one too.
- "Cycling has a speed habit." This is what Daniel used to say when we worked on the Rapha Continental program back in the day. In fact it's what he told everyone that would listen. It was just his way of commenting on the fact that people were really into all that bike racing stuff and not that sort of hard leisurely bike riding on gravel with packs and stops that he was into. Now everyone is into that and Daniel makes "SPEED SPEED SPEED" cycling related Tshirts. So, that's something.
- Their captions are pretty hilarious. And their paper stock? On point.
But they are certainly pushing the envelope, or rewriting the manual (did that!) for this type of coverage in the cycling world and for that, they are to be commended. Huzzah fine fellows. Keep up the good work and we'll keep sporting your t-shirts and hi-fiving you on the road to greatness. Or the road to some small shitty town in the middle of no where California, whichever the case may be.