Best-selling humour comic magazine VIZ is one of Big Issue editor Paul McNamee‘s favourite reads, he reveals in an opinion piece for InPublishing magazine.
He’s also a fan of Private Eye, Q – and the Church Times advertiser section.
Celebrating the continuing success of some print magazines despite tumbling sales for many, Paul – whose own title, The Big Issue, is largely sold by street vendors – describes Private Eye‘s recently-reported sales figures (230,099 copies a fortnight) as “heartening”.
He’s also enthusiastic about the “accidental doorways” print opens, “the curios it reveals that you just weren’t looking for, in ways that increasingly sophisticated digital offerings – which nudge and pull you to things algorithms have worked out you like, moving ever further from happy accidents – just can’t.
“When print works, nothing beats it,” he declares. It remains an incredibly mobile, practical, tactile solution for communicating information.”
As for VIZ, he opines it’s “foul mouthed, frequently offensive and very funny.
“There is something special to it. Strips like Drunken Bakers and The Male Online frequently feel like they offer the best, most telling comment of the times we’re in,” he feels.
“Maybe I’m overstating. Maybe it’s just hard to beat a good fart gag. And things much more puerile than that. Reading it on a packed train is an adventure.”
Paul’s views will surely echo those of many downthetubes readers when he enthuses “Paper is vital. For publishers, for the majority of publishers, it’s where the money still remains. For The Big Issue, it’s why we exist – to give the poorest in society a product they can sell that will allow them to make a living and move up.
“Paper allows adventure. It allows for happy accident. It allows for trails in the wood that can lead to unknown joys. Every editor hopes they get to that with every edition.”
• Find VIZ online at http://viz.co.uk
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.