Tag Archives: print media

Milking It

Credit where credit’s due…

Guardian Weekend cover 23 August 2008Evidently someone in The Guardian‘s art department has some classic vinyl at home: compare the cover for yesterday’s Guardian Weekend (above) with the sleeve art from hard rock band Mama Lion’s 1972 album Preserve Wildlife (below): Mama Lion Preserve Wildlife album cover

Points to The Guardian for revisiting the timeless theme of long-haired, slightly-disheveled blondes suckling cute baby animals, but our vote goes to the original shot of Mama Lion’s lead singer Lynn Carey and the kitty cat.

If you’ve never heard Mama Lion, hunt them down for some Joplin-esque, bluesy rock. Carey also turned in a storming vocal performance as the singing voice of character Kelly McNamara (played by actress Dolly Read) in Russ Meyer’s cult film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

[Thanks to Helen Noir for introducing us to the music of Lynn Carey and Mama Lion]

UPDATE: More album-art suckling identified by our readers. See the comments, below…

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This Is An Interview

We’re massive fans of online/offline art publication This Is A Magazine. On the occasion of the release of their latest Compendium, co-creator Andy Simionato kindly granted us an email interview.

Everything must go1.jpg

BST: What was/is the vision behind This Is A Magazine? Has it changed/evolved over time?

This is a magazine about nothing.

The production values of TIAM are extraordinary — what is the nature of the relationship between This Is A Magazine and its printers/paper suppliers?

The Compendia are published with the help of a paper sponsor (Sappi) and the long standing collaboration with the print-suppliers Nava Milano. We work very closely with Nava on the production of the books which in a way become the result of the conversion of industrial processes into ideas and back again. “Who I Think I Am” was awarded one of the print industry’s most prestigious honors, the Gold Ink Award for Best Hard-cover Book world-wide thanks to our partners Nava.

Does your publication generate business and leads for the artists involved?

Each artist relationship is unique, some publishing for the first time such as Atsushi Hasegawa or Boogie, others are already established such as David Shrigley or Antonio Riello. Each collaboration evolves into a world in itself, each with its own particular orbit.

Personally, between making our own artworks and producing the various editions Karen, Ann and I rarely become fully conscious of the notoriety the project brings. Sometimes we get invited to art fairs and openings, which is always nice. But ultimately I think business does not always know what to do with us.

Is there any brief to the artists involved or is it simply ‘whatever you want to do’/’go crazy’?

Although we don’t offer predetermined themes or briefs to artists, much of what you see published is the result of a dialogue and (sometimes) several exchanges of varying vivacity between ourselves and the artists.

The content of this Compendium seems less political than previous ones — was this a conscious decision?

The short answer is that each edition is a by-product of our experiences.

The long answer is that with “Who I think I am” we wanted to make a collection of psycho-dramas played out in determining the parameters of that social-contract called “identity”. The book begins by asking for the reader’s signature of agreement that he/she will be required to “complete” the book, and therefore the reader is implied as an explicit and necessary part in determining the artist’s individual works, and ultimately the book’s collective vision. The book ends with a bag of cutouts from all the Compendia to date that can be used to complete the final chapter, which is presented as empty pages of coloured craft-paper. This is a game of empowerment where the political structure of publishing, where the roles of passive-reader and dead-author are inverted.

Who are your target market?

We are not organized or systematic in our approach to marketing, in our very first issue we opened with a warning: “Marketing studies have shown that you probably will not like this magazine”. We work directly with some bookstores mainly because we like them and know the owners and people who shop there, otherwise we trust that we can connect with potential readers through whatever means available, for example word-of-web.

What is the intended reaction to the content (if there is one)?

We want everything to come up to the surface, like in an earthquake. Then the reader can sift through and find whatever is of interest/use, and (we hope) rebuild new meanings.

Where do you see This Is A Magazine going next?

The publication started as an online flipbook, with micro-animations, from there we moved to streaming QuickTime editions (which we called Peepshows), followed by a PowerPoint issue which was intended to be performed, an animated-gif issue and most recently we are exploring raw programming languages so that the issues can be generated in real-time viewing. During these years we have produced a full-length DVD and read-along giant-picture folio book, a bunch of other Compendia which took various forms, the most recent being “Who I think I am”. Where to next? We have 2 squeaky-new online issues ready to launch including the hidden “jonkers worst comic ever”, and we have started production on a new 2008 compendium called “Trust me, you will not be sorry”, all made from smoke and mirrors and other magic.

With thanks to Andy and Karen Donnachie and also Simon and David at Someone.

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Lovely BUTT

Our favourite gay ‘zine gets made into a book for its 5th birthday.

michael stipe 2.jpg Launched five years ago by Gert Jonkers and Jop Van Bennekom, BUTT magazine sought to present a less shiny, muscle-bound aspect of gay male sexuality and has so far featured turns by fashion designer Bernhard Willhelm and Michael Stipe. Gus Van Sant, Marc Jacob and Casey Spooner are among the other luminaries who have been interviewed by the little pink low-fi mag. But it’s not just about famous people and mates of the contributors. BUTT has also featured a gay dustbin man, a gay farmer and a gay toilet cleaner just for good measure. And all with lovely (and occasionally pretty hardcore) pics by regular contributor (and Turner prize winner) Wolfgang Tillmans.va_butt_book_06.jpg

Jop, interviewed in this month’s i-D, says of the magazine’s inception:

The whole gay world was so closeted in a way. It felt boring to be homosexual. The subversive side was not being represented in the media, instead it was all about gay pride, all about being a consumer — you just felt like you were just a target for a new deodorant. There was hardly any representation of alternative gay culture at the time. We wanted to do interviews with people that were more real, with no shame. Get people to tell the truth — talk about their fears, or even just talk about something mundane. Hopefully BUTT can suggest that it is cool to be gay again.

Putting the Sex Back into Homosexuality: the Best of BUTT Magazine so far is published by Taschen.

BST cautionary note: BUTT’s content is not for the faint of heart and definitely NSFW — unless you work in Prowler.

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Bush Whacked?

Channel 4 ‘takes out’ George W Bush.

bushcover.jpgTo promote its More 4 drama Death of a President, Channel 4 used the wraparound on News International freesheet thelondonpaper.

Thousands of Londoners got an almighty shock as the ‘headline’ appeared to report the death of one George W Bush. What was particularly smart about this campaign is the photo is modelled on an already iconic image: the near-fatal shooting of Ronald Reagan in 1981. Reagan_assassination.jpgPresidentC4_228x163.jpg

Understandably, both the drama and its ad campaign have been rather controversial. And by working with an actual newspaper, More 4 have successfully blurred the lines between fact and fiction — a brilliantly provocative example of ‘what if?’

[Full disclosure: one of us works for United London, thelondonpaper's ad agency. We did not do the More 4 ad].

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“All That Print Media Shit Doesn’t Matter Anymore”

Says indie musician John Vanderslice.

Picked up by the very intelligent ad-blog adpulp, the interview from DCist demonstrates how the balance of power has shifted from print to people online (emphasis ours):

Q. How do you feel about blogs compared with the mainstream music media?

A. When I got the “C” letter grade review in Spin, I heard nothing. Not from anybody. No one ever said anything to me. But whenever I got a good review from somewhere like Tiny Mix Tapes I would get emails about it. It was very clear to me then that all that print media shit doesn’t matter anymore. It totally does not matter. I mean, no offense to Spin or anyone like that, but people right now, hard core music people that pay attention, they’re online. The big national glossies just don’t have that kind of impact anymore. I guess. I mean this is all anecdotal, I can’t back any of it up, but the way people find out about us and find out things about us, it’s all bloggers. It’s all online ‘zines. Whether it’s Drowned in Sound or Tiny Mix Tapes or Largehearted Boy, Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, the list goes on and on.

You know, it’s weird, if someone posts something on Metafilter, I look on my website and all of a sudden, we’re getting like 25,000 unique visitors in one day, you know. And we got a review on Pixel Revolt in Rolling Stone. And the day that that review came out, there was no bump whatsoever. And that was a good review. And we got no bump in traffic on the website. That’s insane. I can look at where people are coming from and who’s searching what, and what method they are using to get to my site. After that I was like, “Fuck paying a publicist to work your record, lets just email all the bloggers and send them a record or some MP3’s.”

A band will come up to me and tell me “Oh my god, we’re getting a record review in Rolling Stone and what I want to tell them is, ‘Listen, who cares, it doesn’t mean anything.'” What means something is that a blogger with credibility has his or her own fan base, you know what I mean? People follow bloggers because they understand their aesthetic framework and what they like and their sensibilities.

Read more about John Vanderslice and listen to his music on his site.

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Messin’ With Magazines

Culture jamming in Vogue.

magazineconfess_02.jpgArts collective Are You Generic declare sweetly ‘we miss content’ and invite readers to critique glossy mags by inserting the following diatribe between the ads:

The confessions of a generic magazine We loaded this issue with more advertising than content. The content we did publish was edited, censored and manipulated to please our advertisers or as lame filler between the product pushing ads. We got paid quite handsomely to produce this issue and are glad you will pay to read what we already got paid to print. Are You Generic?

Are You Generic? say that they are

A group of artists that seeks to protest, to question, and to disprove. Its nemeses are unethical corporations, censorship, the slanted media, hypocrisy, excessive advertising, and plain stupidity. Its heroes are art, discussion, independent thought, and creation.

We like. Via Wooster.

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Funnily enough, News Corp’s rivals in the broadsheets seem to have it in for MySpace.

The perception courtesy of The Independent on Sunday:


The reality as seen in graffiti in the toilets of Barfly, Camden:

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And so it begins…

News Corp starts to colonise MySpace with Sun readers.

myspace photos.jpgThe Guardian reports today that News Corp’s British tabloid The Sun :

is planning to give its website a massive boost by tying it to the recently acquired and hugely popular MySpace.com community and networking site to create a “MySun” online readers’ network. The plan, in its early stages, would allow readers to go to a MySun portal and create their own web pages, blogs, as well as share pictures and video clips with friends using MySpace.com software.

In February MySpace overtook the BBC site in terms of visitor numbers and grew six-fold year on year, according to internet monitor Hitwise. It is thought that News Corp initially considered tying the site to its Times broadsheet but swiftly realised that MySpace’s 16-34 year old demographic might not be a good fit.

How Sun readers will get on with all of MySpace’s preening electroclash kids remains to be seen — could lead to some interesting colonies forming out there…

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Buy This Dress

Dazed and Confused would like you to…

dress1.jpgBuy this dress.
dress kim.jpg No, really. Buy this dress. dress 3.jpg

All images from the current issue of Dazed and Confused.

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Know Your Demographic

It’s The Independent’s sultry singles vs The Times’s smug marrieds this Valentine’s.

valentines bst.jpgAlbeit with the same layout…

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