Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Support Your Local Zines

I'm in Smoke #16 waxing psychogeographical about the Central Line. Specifically, I've written an elegy for the Leyton Roar, an important part of the Underground's aural architecture, which disappeared in mysterious circumstances some time ago. If you're not familiar with Smoke, it's a quarterly(ish) zine about London, with fiction, humour, photography, illustrations, and short observational pieces. You can get it in Foyles, the Tate Modern bookshop, places like that - but I'm horrified to read in an announcement this month that fully half of the shops that used to stock Smoke (and zines like it) back in (say) 2004 have now closed, including Borders; obviously their sales have suffered. This apocalyptic state of affairs has forced them into a major retool, and it looks like they're toying with a new format or direction. I look forward to seeing it, but the news is a horrific reminder of just how bad things have got for independent culture in the city.

I was due to discuss some of the problems facing print, and the evolution of electronic media, at the British Creative Exchange event "Creative E-Zines & Design Publications in Progress". However the event has now been called off, because the chairman was injured in a car accident yesterday. Those of you who had already bought tickets should be able to get them reimbursed fairly quickly. The BCE tells me that they may reorganise the event at a later date.

5 comments:

Matt Tempest said...

Will read the piece, but not a fan of SMOKE - bit sixth-form poetry, and put together by Oxbridgers ( no offence).

Will said...

I think it's possible you're focusing on the worst of it. I've been buying it since the first issue and find it generally extremely entertaining. But obviously I have higher levels of Oxbridge antibodies, what with being a tab.

Matt Haynes said...

Oi, Mr Tempest! I'm not Oxbridge (Leyton High School and Physics at Bristol, if you must know...), and can't think of a worse insult... which is why I'm breaking my golden rule of never replying to comments on blogs! There's also very little poetry in Smoke - most issues have none at all. But you should see how much we get sent...

Matt (person who puts Smoke together and founder member of the Make All Oxbridge Graduates Pay Double Tax For Life campaign )

Will said...

Fine. I'll take my sixth-form poetry to The Idler in future. Except they probably wouldn't have me (state school).

dinoibo said...
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