Friday, 27 February 2009

Independent / Obscure Magazines

A spread from Vs magazine.

As details of the Colophon 2009 International Magazine Symposium just popped into our inbox (it's a three day event where loads of small, independent magazines come together - sounds like an amazing event to cover, too bad we can't make it to Luxembourg where it's held), we thought we'd take the opportunity to explore some interesting independent/obscure magazines:

1) Metal

Hailing from Spain, Metal takes an interesting look at contemporary European fashion, art, and design, focusing particularly on smaller brands and designers. It's available online from American Apparel (where you can see some more scans of their spreads).

2) Yummy

"The short story of a burger and a diet coke bottle who wanted to be supermodels for Vogue." And if you're still not convinced, it's a magazine that celebrates "democratic design and avant-garde food," and has had the seal of approval from Colette and Paul Smith:


Cederteg are a series of limited edition magazines, from Sweden (like many cool things), which contain the work of cutting-edge writers, photographers and artists.

4) Vs Magazine

Vs is a cool high fashion magazine with a minimalist layout (similar to 10/10 Men's, which we also love), which comes out twice a year, and is edited from Copenhagen, New York, and Paris.

5) Acne Paper

Despite sounding like something medicinal, Acne Paper is actually the magazine from the Swedish denim brand/design collective. It's ".. an eclectic yet coherent mix of portrait, fashion, and art photography as well as interviews, memoirs, and prose.. by moving effortlessly between high and popular culture Acne Paper is a glamorous and intelligent magazine celebrating personality, authenticity, and style."

6) Slurp

Slurp is a striking entirely black-and-white fashion magazine, which is a rather exciting idea.

7) Apartamento

Apartamento documents creative people's chaotic living spaces, along with essays about how these people interact with their homes, and why they love them.

8) Electric Youth

Hot from Spain, the deliberately trashy looking (and rather homoerotic) Electric Youth magazine (or "magateen" because of its age demographic) contains pictures of the beautiful, cool kids in town (both girls and boys, though the editors seem most keen on the latter). Interestingly, it almost inadvertently parodies its subjects and their 'cool' lives, exposing a sort of fickleness and lack of substance that exists behind its bright, hyperactive spreads. Sold online at American Apparel.

9) Picnic

Tel-Aviv based Picnic comes out twice a year and it contains no writing, instead communicating a series of visual messages through photography, fashion, architecture, astronomy, graphics design, baking.. it's like a slightly odd assorted look book, which links "logical thinking with fantasy and the sub-concious."

10) Meat Paper

Likely to upset vegetarians, Meat Paper is a magazine all about... meat! Not literally, of course, ("We like metaphors more than marinating tips. We are your journal of meat culture."). What we like is the fact that it's wonderfully quirky and original, and it's an 'art' piece in itself. In issue 6: "... a world-famous Belgian artist tells us what it's like inside a suit made of steaks, and where the bulls go after the matador has struck. And we tackle the thorny issue of whether bacon and chocolate really belong together."

Don't get us wrong, Meat Paper does 'gross us out' a bit, but it's pretty cool at the same time (albeit in a slightly troubling way).

This is by no means an exhaustive list of interesting smaller magazines,
just some that have caught our eye. There are SO many of them, covering art, fashion, architecture, photography... if only we had the funds/time to buy and read more. Are there any obscure magazines that you read which we haven't mentioned? Anything else we should check out?

In other magazine news, POP (which was Katie Grand's fashion mag before she left, along with her entire team, to start LOVE) is apparently not defunct, and is going to be revived by its publishers with Dasha Zhukova as its editor. Zhukova, the partner of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, has no experience in magazine editing, and is better known as an art collector. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper Zhukova embarrassingly couldn't name a single artist she liked (claiming she was bad at remembering names), despite having spend hundreds of millions buying up art AND even opened her own gallery in Moscow! Let's hope her fashion knowledge is a little more up to scratch..


The Colophon 2009 website has information about the event, and a useful directory where you can look up independent magazines and see interviews with their creators.

Colette and American Apparel are good places to buy independent magazines (including many of the ones mentioned here) online. You can see more scans from some of the magazines here on the Apparel web store newsstand area.

Related Posts:

LOVE magazine
SuperSuper magazine
HE magazine


  1. These are the kinds of magazines that I'd keep for years and look back on them consistently- thanks for the exposé. I really wish you could get more of these magazines on a quick trip to Barnes & Nobel instead of paying so much for them online.

  2. Wow i just came across this blog, it's really great! i'm going to follow you.

  3. thanks, glad you like the blog :)

  4. That's an interesting take on Electric Youth. I agree that there's a little more to it than what's on the surface (I'm trying my best to avoid using meta as a prefix here), and it's made all the more evident when you realize it's the brainchild of Luis Venegas who also produces the wonderful (and hefty) Fanzine 137. I think that the bit of substance contained within is most evident in the issue of EY! he had direct control over (Spain).

    I enjoy Metal and Acne Paper as well, but I haven't looked into the others. I'll have to do that. I'm also a fan of Butt, which while not really a fashion magazine, is one of the most interesting reads out there right now. It's cheeky and dirty while also intellectually stimulating at times too.