Autumn Book Reviews November 11, 2010

Here is a selection of this issue’s book reviews.

Faile: Prints and Originals 1999-2009

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Some Cool Zines from Manchester and Preston October 7, 2010

Ok, another post about Manchester. Last Sunday we went to the Piccadilly Self Publishing Fair and met some really awesome people. Here is part of the haul we took back.

The Mill Press, a lush hand sewn zine about Space.

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Article at the Piccadilly Self Publishing Fair September 28, 2010

As we get the new issue print ready, its getting busy at Article HQ. But thats not all we are up to. Last week we were down London way doing some meeting and greeting. This weekend, we are hitting up Manchester for the Piccadilly Self Publishing Fayre. Taking place this Sunday, its in empty shop by Piccadilly Train station. Entry is free. There’ll be loads of good people and zines there including Preston is My Paris, Cafe Royal, and the Salford Zine Library. We’ll be bringing some of our back issues, tees, bags, along with a few of our friends zines from the Steel City. If you’re about, pop by and say hey up mate.


Article in the Big Smoke September 20, 2010

Editorial policy dictates that we sneer at London.  Not for any real reason, mind: it’s purely because we are based in the North and that’s what you are supposed to do, along with wearing flat caps and walking whippets on the moors. But always the first to buck a trend, we’ve gone dan sarf for the week

First. Tonight is the launch of Teal Triggs’ new book Fanzines, published by Thames and Hudson. The book is  a compendium of the nearly eighty years of self publishing. Expect a large review in the next issue. Held at the London College of Communication, part of the launch is a Zine library set up for one day only. Sweet deal.

Secondly, Wednesday sees the launch of Circus. A new publication transcending the divide between digital and printed media, Circus takes blogger content and turns it into a highly original bookazine. To celebrate this they are holding the world’s second Blog Slam, the first one was in Berlin a few days ago as part of their launch there. The idea: contestants perform their own blog post in front of an audience and a panel of independent publishers. Then someone wins, or something.

Kindly, Circus has asked yours truly to be one of the ‘independent publishers’ along with Amelia Gregory of Amelia’s Magazine, Wafa Alobaidat of Sketchbook Magazine and Chris Osburn of the Londonist. Pop by if you are wandering around aimlessly in Brick Lane at 7pm on September 22nd. Its in the Rag Factory.

Finally, on Thursday morning I’m drinking four cans of John Smith’s on’t train north, watching Owls match and listening to some Richard Hawley on me walkman.


Salford Zine Library Goes on Tour September 14, 2010

The Salford Zine Library is inspired. They take submissions of zines and self published works from all over the world to let the public come and look at them in a wood-paneled room in the Islington Mill in Salford. Over the next few months they are taking their library on tour. Worth a look if you’re in the neighborhood.


What does your design say about you? A look at Lit Fest Design September 8, 2010

Strolling back from a leisured lunch through the cafe at the entrance to my office building I found two very different brochures for two very similar looking events; The Sheffield Festival of Writing and Reading, and The Manchester Literature Festival. The two are stark in their contrasting designs, one is a standard civic festival brochure, informative and clear full of photos of authors and people reading. The second reads, feels and looks like a well produced and stylish zine, worth keeping despite its simple purpose a two week festival brochure.

The Off the Shelf Brochure isn’t bad. It’s clear and concise, full of content. Its just not that interesting. We know what books look like, we know what people reading books look like and we know that most authors aren’t models. It’s quite a businesslike mode of presentation that never really creates a distinct mood out of all the information. Perhaps this is partly to do with the fact that it’s part of a larger Sheffield Festival brand, with its own font ‘n’ photo format across a wide range of events.

What MLF have done with their designer at MARK Studio, however, is to create a brochure that feels and looks like its own unique and intriguing object. The minimalist design and newsprint paper really bring forward, this is a festival about words. It is organized like a zine of collected photos and poems make it an appropriate document for such a festival.

Off the Shelf takes place between the 9th and 30th of October in Sheffield.

Manchester Literature Festival takes place between the 14th and 25th of October in Manchester.


Stabby Women - Kid Acne Interview September 6, 2010

Graffiti artist Kid Acne has just come out with zine documenting his Stabby Women paste ups. Over the past couple years the playful urban warriors have been stuck to doors, walls and trucks on three continents. The zine itself is beautiful, printed in blood red ink on two colours of paper. (Incidentally it is the printer we used to use back in the day. Heart you Juma!) The cover is screenprinted in fluorescent pink, and the whole thing comes with a sweet set of postcards. We interviewed Ken Acid about the project.

So, Stabby Women, what’s their deal? Are they some kind of Freudian outpouring?

Well, it’s not a project about Penis Envy if that’s what you mean. I started painting strong warrior women as a reaction against the kind of characters Writers used to paint in the graffiti fraternity. I was never really into macho graf and I wanted to present an alternative rather than add to the mediocrity, but where it comes from, I have no idea. Possibly my interest in the African imagery I grew up with, and possibly one for the child phycologist to work out. Hopefully it’s not some kind of Oedipus Complex!

How long have you been putting them up? Whats the oddest place they have gone?

Early version date back to 2004, but this series started in 2008 in São Paulo. During my stay, I placed two characters in the street and when I went back to take a photo - a guy had sat down in between them, happily reading his paper with the girls guarding him either side. Apart from people drawing the occasional comedy glasses and mustaches on them, that little interaction made me smile the most.

You’ve made zines before. Was it always the intention to make this zine?

I began making fanzines in 1991 and continued to do so until about ‘96. I never intended this campaign to become a fanzine, but after freeing an army of over 500 paper crusaders into various foreign cities, it seemed a nice, more personal way to document that. It’s amazing how popular they are and how many people have posted photos on Flickr, but it’s also nice to have something tactile to hold in the real world too.

Now that they have come together in a zine, is this the end of the Stabby Women Project? Or can we expect to see them keep cropping up around the world?

I have no idea. There may be another phase, but for now I’m happy to have documented this as a body of work and made a DIY fanzine again. I love blogs, but again, it’s nice to have something to hold and to keep. I never really warmed to the overly calculated Street Art campaigns. They’re too transparent. I think it’s better when things are left to chance. It’s far more interesting and more genuine that way. That said, documentation is becoming as important as the work itself these days. Due to their ephemeral nature, the Stabby Women will only ‘exist’ in their documentation before long.


Article Around the Web August 13, 2010

1. On Holiday!

A recently discovered brochure for a 1970s model village in Bournemouth, Tucktonia, sadly no longer with us. Notable for its modern style, and celebration of contemporary industry, featuring a replica oil refinery and nuclear power station. Top notch graphic design as well.

2. Retrospective

Kid Acne reminisces about the good old days and posts the artwork of Invisible Spies Records.

3. Fuck The System

A former writer of ours makes a point. Internships are bobbins.

4. All my friends are Dead

Feeling neglected while your friends are on holiday or being too un-boring to talk to you? Waiting around the door mat everyday for a postcard and seeking reassurance from the number of ”friends” facebook says you have? At least you’re not as lonely as you would be if you were the last in-date carton of milk in the fridge.

5. Sheffield Parkour

Or is it parcour?


Dead Ends - Zine Preview May 19, 2010

Yesterday, I was handed the first collaborative publishing foray of photographer  Theo Simpson, half of GO! magazine Tom Common and designer  Ben McLaughlin.

Dead Ends” is a twenty four page piece of B5 print porn. Wrapped in its own sexy plastic cover, it comes with a set of two posters. And there are only four hundred of them, so it was a damn nice thing to get.

Actually, paper induced salivation aside, its content is pretty serious. The zine’s focus is on the uncomfortable feeling of weekly trips to dole office. A written piece accompanies a series of stark photographs of the twisted and mangled jobs slips thrown down outside the job centres. Expect a full review in the next issue. For now, here are some pictures.

Friday the 4th of June the lads are having an exhibition opening.  details