I’m somewhat ambivalent when it comes to themed magazines. At its worst a theme can feel stifling, but at its best it’s actually a portal which opens up a whole world of intriguing content. And so in these cases – though a magazine may profess to be about one thing – it’s really about lots of different things loosely attached (but not tethered) to this theme.
So it is with Winter. The new publication from Kevin Braddock (who was behind the brilliant and much-missed Manzine) Kati Krause and Ana Lessing is inspired by the season from which it takes its name, and was dreamt up over dinner in Berlin where its three creators live.
It’s a magazine “in which writers, photographers and artists express their diverse and often contradictory feelings about the dark season,” and its March publication date is because “it is not made for winter, but was created from it.”
It brings together an amazing cast of creative talent from writers (Warren Ellis and Teju Cole) to illustrators (Sergio Membrillas and Enver Hadzijaj), artists (Emma Grün and Maïa Beyrouti) to photographers (Nuria Rius and Corinna Sauer). The joy comes from the sheer diversity of topics; electricity and the colour white, survival and Peruvian rain, the Winter Moonwalk (one of Kevin’s pieces) and the woods. The quality of writing and imagery is equally high (a rarer accolade than you might think) and so at one moment we are treated to a short story from German playwright Benjamin Lauterbach, the next a superb still-life series from Wittkowski &Bammert of shrink-wrapped summer accoutrements like sunglasses and swimming trunks.
With eight different paper stocks (representing different types of snow) contained within its 128 pages, the design values are considered and impressive. The only question is how do they keep mining winter for coming issues? They won’t, Summer follows later this year and Autumn and Spring in 2015. We can’t wait.