Tuesday, March 3, 2015

interview with Luke Wood from HEAD FULL OF SNAKES

Just in: HEAD FULL OF SNAKES #3, an annual motorcycle fanzine from New Zealand. It includes a flexidisc and is printed with a risograph. Like ESSES from the UK, Head Full of Snakes is an independent motorcycle magazine. We had a few questions for editor Luke Wood.

Why did you start HFOS? Is it your full-time job? How big is the team?

We started it for fun really. I had already been running a blog called Head Full of Snakes, and when I suggested turning that into a ‘zine of sorts Stuart Geddes was keen to get on board too. Stuart and I did postgraduate study together in Melbourne and had been wanting to make something together for a while. It’s just the two of us who make it. We edit it, design it, and print it all ourselves. And while it takes up a lot of time, we don’t make any money at all from it. Each issue simply funds the next one. We both have ‘real’ jobs doing design and teaching mostly. We do get a lot of help from contributors (who don’t get paid!), and then also from friends who come and help with the fairly hideous task of collating each issue before it goes to the binders.

Were you involved in publishing before you started HFOS?

Yes, I had spent a few years publishing a small graphic design journal called The National Grid, which I’d ended up doing after having been involved in designing books for artists and galleries here in New Zealand. Stuart, as a graphic designer, focuses on publication design and has worked on a lot of different things from books, to literary journals, to architecture magazines. He’s really prolific, always busy, but still manages to somehow be a really nice guy.

What is the most exciting thing about publishing a printed magazine?

In the past I would have said it was meeting people, whihc is still true, but with this one I actually think the designing and printing is the most exciting part. This last issue (#3) we actually designed as we printed it. Which was sort of nerve-wrecking at the start, but once we realised it was going ok and that it might work out it was really fun. Having the ability to print it ourselves (on a risograph) was a large part of the attraction for us to actually do it. In fact I think I could say the printing even beats the designing for fun here.

What are your favourite magazines and which ones inspired you?

Between us both there’d be a broad range of things that influenced Head Full of Snakes. When we were studying together we were both very into a small sort-of-design/literary journal called Dot Dot Dot. Despite being very different to that I think the attitude of that still runs into, or through, HFoS. Mainly in the sense that we don’t feel to tied to any sort of particular content or format in regard to a supposed audience or field of interest. Other more obvious influences would be older motorcycle magazines, especially Colors Motorcycle Magazine (1970–71), in terms of texture and form, but also in the sense that it was essentially made by the people who were involved in the scene.

Do you feel part of a magazine scene in NZ?

Not really! I don’t know if there is a magazine scene here? New Zealand’s too small to really support marginal activities like this, so most publishing here is very droll and commercial. There are zine fairs and stuff like that, but while I dig what they do, I don’t really relate to that scene too specifically.

What are your plans for the future?

We’ll be starting work on issue #4 soon, for which I’m actually going to go ride around the West Coast USA and down into Mexico and see who I meet! I’m also currently working on a couple of books. One is about DIY band posters, focusing on posters made by band-members here in NZ over the last decade or so, and looking at the effects of ‘bill-sticking’ laws, venue changes, and printing technologies. The other is a book about graphic design education that I’m working on with Brad Haylock, from Surpllus (Melbourne).

What kind of bike do you ride?

A Norton 850 Commando that’s the same age as me, a highly modified Triumph Thruxton, and a sweet lil’ Honda XL185.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

AMSTERDAM: anticipating the future

In 2030 Amsterdam will be flooded with twice as many tourists as now, predicts tourism expert Stehpen Hodes. According to Hodes this is a world wide trend that damaged cities like Amsterdam and Venice and with Amsterdam: Anticipating the future he wants to start a public discussion about this.
We made a video. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

inside EYE Magazine #89

Graphic design magazine Eye wins every possible competion since years. Art director Simon Esterson is for a big part responsible for the quality of EYE. He loves to share his encyclopedic knowledge of the design profession with students and fans. He knows how to produce a magazine with a head and a tail, where everything is in place; from the content to the typographty, ink and paper. 


Browse through Eye #89 from Athenaeum Boekhandel on Vimeo.

Friday, January 30, 2015

our evening with STACK and WORKS THAT WORK

Last night we had a Stack event in the shop with Peter Bilak from WORKS THAT WORK magazine. Steve Watson from Stack and Peter discussed how he finds the stories for his magazine, how the magazine started with crowdfunding and the social distribution Peter uses for the mag: people from all over the world order bundles of the issues and sell them in bookstores, the magazine is even going to Iran soon and there was also a social distributor present that took a pile to bring to Slovenia this weekend.

Distribution is the biggest cost for magazines, Peter explained and the total costs for making one single issue is 30.000 euro which shocked us a bit.
It was a really nice and inspiring evening with a full store of magazine lovers, makers and sellers. Thank you Steve and Peter and everybody for coming.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

inside FUET #2: Food and it's peripheries

The first issue of FUET appeared at the end of 2013, it's a funny Spanish magazine about ingredients, cutlery, utensils and the kitchen. Since then we didn't hear about a new issue and we were afraid it might be gone, we hoped this charming title would serve up a new issue in the summer. But then last week we had a great day when a huge pile of the second issue washed onto the shores of the Newscentre!
On the two covers you find a dressed up potato or aubergine. One hundred and thirty pages covering the theme icons. We made a flip through video.

the editors of the magazine say:
‘We now want to explore a universe that is familiar to most of us. We’re talking about ICONS and the relationship they have had with food throughout history.
In order to do this, we will submerge ourselves into the most succulent works of pop art and explore MartĂ­ GuixĂ©’s vision of food as another object of design. We’ll pay homage to television’s most famous chefs and travel to the disturbing town of Twin Peaks to discover its gastronomic mysteries. We’ll dance to the hypnotic rhythm of Carmen Miranda’s hips and enjoy a very special menu, developed by London studio Bompas & Parr.
The double cover of this issue is a tribute to Mr Potato, one of the great contemporary children’s icons and gastronomic toy par excellence, whose story stars in one of the magazine’s texts.’

Sunday, January 25, 2015

we had a nice evening with DIK Fagazine

We had a very nice evening with DIK Fagazine last Friday. Editor-in-chief Karol Radziszewski talked about the making of the new issue and how he found the characters he portayed in this Czechoslovakia monography. He explained what changed in the 10 year existence of the magazine and why the topic changed more to the history of queer culture in Eastern Europe. We saw photoseries of Libuse Jarcovjakova and Ryszard Kisiel. Plus we talked about the future issues of DIK, one of the plans is to cover Beirut.
Thanks everybody for coming and Nikos Doulos for taking some pictures.
Next Thursday 29th STACK Magazines and Works That Work at 18:30.

We are looking forward to the next issue of DIK, in the meantime issue 9 is available here.

More after the jump

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

B.L.A.D. #13: Bastards

B.L.A.D. is made in Berlin. Blad means magazine or leaf in Norwegian. It's a small zine about contemporary illustration. It covers one illustrator per issue. Every copy contains a dried leaf. It's very entertaining.

Friday, January 16, 2015

MAKESHIFT #11: the ritual issue

Makeshift changed it's size a few issues ago - it's half the size now but it still is full of great content. The magazine calls itself A field guide to hidden creativity and could be a cousin of The Outpost, Works That Work and Delayed Gratification. Short stories or longer articles on people doing creative things to change or push limits.
The latest Rituals Issue probably has the best cover so far.