Is print dead? Not if you’re the fearless editorial geniuses behind bi-annual sister publications Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman. But what influences the influencers? Editors Gert Jonkers (formerly of Butt Magazine) and Penny Martin (formerly of SHOWstudio) share with us their favourite magazines of all time including British Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and lesser known periodicals dedicated to 80s businesswomen, kitsch menswear and plant erotica.
GERT JONKERS, FANTASTIC MAN EDITOR
The legendary magazine that artist Peter Haley published between 1996 and 2006. It was a great source of inspiration for us, especially in the early years when it was such an amazing representation of what was new and different in New York City. Even if you weren’t there it felt like you were there to see new things happening.
How odd that many of our favourite magazines are based in New York City – or perhaps it truly is the world capital of media. Vanity Fair is just a very enjoyable read; it’s intelligent gossip mixed with a bit of politics and a financial scandal here and there. The only downside: too many covers featuring Marilyn Monroe – who really cares about her these days?
THE NEW YORKER
Perhaps an obvious one – who in media doesn’t like a well-written piece? It really is a magazine to be jealous of, even if some issues end up into the paper bin unread – it’s just too much, once a week such a pile of good reads. I’ve even started liking cartoons thanks to The New Yorker.
The sadly discontinued seasonal catalogue promoting the ridiculous offerings of mail order fashion brand International Male. It was such a happy display of the most awful garments, and proof that fashion can and should be fun.
PENNY MARTIN, THE GENTLEWOMAN EDITOR
BRITISH VOGUE ’73-’77
1973-’77 was arguably British Vogue’s zenith; when art director Terry Jones was experimenting with the colourful type and photography he went on to publish as i-D. It didn’t hurt that Revlon were sponsoring gatefold front pages – giant platforms for some of the most glorious covers ever produced.
WORKING WOMAN MAGAZINE CIRCA 1980s
One of the many UK titles launched in the early ’80s aiming to target the working woman consumer, it was edited by Anna Wintour’s stepmother Audrey Slaughter. Its amazing spreads of women swinging their briefcases are uncanny precursors to what Wintour did to modernise British Vogue at the end of the decade. Clunky visuals were Working Woman’s downfall, though – a salient reminder that serious subjects need seriously fun design.
The charming Spanish biannual that focuses on a different plant each issue. I find this an incredible teaching resource; what at first looks like a whimsical style periodical turns out to be a precise study of magazines and their different editorial genres. They get extra points for tackling the tricky territory of plant erotica.
Gert Jonkers and Penny Martin will be speaking as part of this year’s Semi-Permanent creative conference in Melbourne. You can purchase tickets here, for more information visit the Semi-Permanent website.