“It was the closest to death I have ever been.”
“The Eighty-Eight is a beautifully designed collection of riveting reads and random curiosities containing essays, stories, poetry and pictures curated by Jamie Cullum.
Volume two features authors Evie Wyld and Rebecca Hunt, artists Matthew the Horse and Sergio Membrillas, as well as an appearance by Ben Folds.” (Excerpt from the88journal.com)
The great thing about studying on a magazine journalism course is that we have our own mini library of magazines.
When I was having a look through them, I spotted this curious looking object. It is smaller than glossy magazines, and is heavier in the hand.
On opening the front cover, I was literally greeted by the word “Hi!” and that’s when I decided I would take it home to read.
In some ways, the design and thought process for this magazine was much like New Philosopher in that each page presented a different area of thought and imagination, and provided me with constant entertainment and a sense of wonder as to what I would turn the page to next.
The pages are accompanied by a smattering of delightful and rather quirky illustrations and pieces of art which made me feel like I wasn’t just reading this for the words, but for the pictures and artwork too.
Two aspects of this magazine really stood out. The first was the recurring comic strip called ‘Moderne Luv’ which tells funny little stories of two odd-looking characters (are they sausages, are they arms? I’m not sure). The comic strip is by Ohara Hale and really sets the tone of the magazine as a fun publication alongside more series pieces of journalism.
The second thing that I loved was the booklet of a story called ‘Donuts’ written by Duncan Macmillan. It was a brilliant read, and there was something inspiring about having it in a separate booklet rather than part of the actual magazine.
The first half was more of the creative/arts half which included short stories, creative non-fiction, odd but entertaining poetry and some truly beautiful illustrations. This aspect of the magazine does carry on into the second half, but this time it accompanied more informative articles that had a more serious tone to them, yet still managed to uphold the curious and adventurous nature of the mag.
But the best thing about discovering this is that it has made me view Jamie Cullum in a whole new light. I recognised his name as a musician, and I loved his contribution to this volume, and I didn’t realise there were musicians out there who would have a hand in curating such a quirky magazine.
Some of the articles towards the end didn’t appeal to me as much as the articles in the first half, and that’s the only reason why I’ve given this 4/5 stars.