Something To Read
Who doesn't love a good magazine? The heavy weight in your hand, from page after page of quality content printed onto high quality paper. Long form reportage and stunning photography are best. Well, that and something which can also make you smile.
That's the criteria for magazines that get put on sale in the thingandwhere store. They have to be things that are actually worth sitting down and reading. The ability to offer something which is worth spending your precious time on - but without the wholesale commitment of a book, film or Netflix series - is the draw of a good magazine. There's nothing wrong with those pastimes, clearly, but a magazine still feels like a treat when you pick up one that you like, one that you've been wanting to get hold of for a long while.
Here's what fits the bill for us:
This magazine is so good that it started as a men's lifestyle fanzine, printed on an inkjet in the attic of co-founder and editor Mark Smith, and grew into a fully fledged magazine sold all over the world. It birthed and paved the way for plenty of other publications and websites to write about casual culture, menswear, football and music in their style. Mark and Neil (Summers), the founders and editors, have gone full-time in the past year or so, complete with swanky offices in the up and coming Ancoats area of Manchester city centre.
But, don't worry, they still have all the same amount of humour, cheek, swagger and swearing that you have always found in the pages of Proper. And it's still edible. (It's not edible.)
Aimed At: People who like expensive down jackets but only usually walk to the pub. Size: Fits in your coat pocket. Article Length: 2 & 5 minute reads. Total Pages: 115
Union is another independent magazine, but it cuts a different wave. The history of the magazine is kind of like an antithesis to the rise of Proper, with the founders of this magazine stepping out of the world of big time magazine publishing and starting their own thing because they felt it needed to exist. James Cheadle, of Loaded, wanted to bring back long-form, hard hitting photojournalism. And they don't hold back.
LSD news, biker gang fights, ex-spooks who think they're Jesus, barely-professional PGA golfers who live rough... their cameras delve deep into the other side of life and gets put together into a brilliant glossy magazine.
Aimed At: People who enjoyed those occasional investigative features in Loaded and FHM as much as they did the sexy bits. Size: Looks good on your coffee table. Article Length: 2 & 7 minute reads. Total Pages: 122
And we also have issue 2. It includes another round of heavyweight features:
Californian free-divers, Nottingham's breakdance culture, BBW (Black Bike Week), a man convicted of killing his own mother (!), the source of eternal life, a big-time pool hustler, a Northern Soul photography featue, loads more and, of course, it gets put together into a brilliant glossy magazine.
Aimed At: People who enjoyed those occasional investigative features in Loaded and FHM as much as they did the sexy bits. Size: Looks good on your coffee table. Article Length: 2 & 7 minute reads. Total Pages: 134
Launched online four years ago, Breaks Magazine focuses on skate, fashion and music. The past 12 months has seen a step up in focus and desire, resulting in the release of Issue 1 which is the team's first print output. There is something raw and engaging about this publication.
For the price of a pint and half of lager, you'll be amazed at the quality of features inside. They cover skate and sneaker culture (Footpatrol team and Lucien Clarke and Arto Saari are interviewed) and discuss important things like how crap twitter is nowadays.
Aimed At: Could probably still kickflip if they put their mind to it and still can't resist a good pair of trainers. Size: Slim enough to carry amongst other stuff in your work bag. Article Length: 5 minute reads. Total Pages: 98
Victory Journal (Various Issues)
Victory Journal is a phenomena. If you have seen it in the flesh, you know how great it is. If you're new to it; seriously, check it out.
It blends art and sport into one beautiful, extremely large, super-luxe sports paper. Rather than news stories, however, each edition focusses on subcultural angles of sport: fans, danger, money, villains, heroes, history. And puts stunning photography in full bloom thanks to the sheer size of it.
Each issue also has a handful of well written and well crafted pretty-long reads in there too. It's a bugger to ship, hence the higher cost, but well worth it.
Aimed At: Anyone with an interest in photography and sport. If you like nice clothes and coffee, and are a sports fan: it's for you. Size: Enormous. A broadsheet on heavy paper. Article Length: Photo features are captivating and offer repeated viewing. Written articles are 7+ minutes with around 5 per issue. Total Pages: Issue Two 40 pages; Issue Three & Four 64 pages; Later Issues 164 pages.
Lisboa: A Tale Of Two Cities
This is a photo documentary self-published by ourselves. A living reportage photography snapshot of 24 hours in Portugal's capital city.
A city full of history, culture and stunning architecture. With fantastic people and a progressive attitude to drug addiction; with both combining to make a truly unique city. Tourists, locals and recovering drug addicts and their dealers all coexist, side by side, and the city changes as the day progresses.
Aimed At: People who like to travel and enjoy street photography. Size: A4. Article Length: One short intro but it's a photography piece. Total Pages: 20