The illustration magazine celebrating the most important meal of the day: Breakfast
Featuring illustrators from all over the world including Haein Kim, Hunter French and Des Skordillis, Breakfast is a newspaper as packed, satisfying and tasty as a Full English.
- Olivia Hingley
- 30 January 2023
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” No, these aren’t the distant words of your mum as you walk out of the door for school, having once more skipped the now soggy bowl of Cheerios waiting for you on the kitchen table. These are the words of Johnny Video, founder of the small publishing press Kobayashi Books, and passionate lover of breakfast. In fact, Johnny is such a lover of the first meal of the day and all that comes with it, that he’s created a newspaper entirely dedicated to it.
Detailing why he loves breakfast so much, Johnny outlines its universality, its ability to bring the family together and simply, it being a “beautiful” word. Aptly, in a time when paper print publications are incredibly hard to come by, Breakfast takes the format of a newspaper – Johnny is purposefully playing on the long standing custom of people most commonly reading newspapers at breakfast. Printed in a traditional newspaper format, the recognisably grainy pages immortalise each of the unique pieces, and present them in an entirely new light, away from the screens of our phone.
Johnny’s desire to start his own publication is rooted in childhood memories. Born in Mexico city, his mother was a preschool teacher and poet, and Johnny tells us his house was full of books – his mother regularly reading to him and his brother. His grandfather was also an avid newspaper reader, and each week he would save the supplement of comic strips for Johnny to read. Later, Johnny recalls how, in his youth, he thought he was “punk”. This lead him to make his own photocopy zines, and participate in local zine fairs, DIY and comic fairs, where he met like-minded individuals and “discovered the amazing world of independent publishing, where everything is possible”. It was during the pandemic when Johnny says he “got bored of the Risograph trend” and decided to start his own publishing-house and publish his own newspaper, to “honour my grandfather and childhood". And this was when both Kobayashi Books and Breakfast were born.
To source contributors for the magazine, Johnny spent time searching Instagram, speaking to “talented people” at independent book fairs and online “on sites like It’s Nice That” (honoured!). Most importantly, Johnny wanted the magazine to be “eclectic”, and found work from illustrations at any stage in their career, prioritising what felt “honest, fresh and different”. After sourcing the illustrators, Johnny would then give them the details – outlining the theme of Breakfast and asking if they would like to create a comic, recipe illustration or activity – then giving them the freedom to complete the commission as they wished.
Bright and bold, both covers of the two editions of Breakfast fit the theme perfectly, while being entirely different in style. For the first, Tim Comix created a lively breakfast scene full of bugs, bananas and blocky lettering. Whereas for the second, Inés Estrada’s candy-coloured cover recreates the stick-on dress up dolls, a staple of many a noughties childhood. There’s also likely a few illustrators you’ll likely recognise through the two editions of Breakfast. For the first edition, Hunter French illustrated a parade of breakfast items making their way across New York, wishing everyone a ‘Good Morning!’. While in the second edition, Des Skordilis submitted a hilarious ironic, sketchy piece involving a fake cereal Depresso’s. Haein Kim also opted for an imaginary cereal, Chomp, featuring one of her distinctive characters devouring it with abandon.
Discussing the future Johnny days that despite the current climate – “global warming, war, social crisis, inflation” – he still aims to publish at least three more editions of Breakfast. They will be, in Johnny’s words, “bigger”, “longer” and “more experimental”. This experimentation appears to be taking place with some tech interference, with Johnny musing on the potential of having some pages generated by AI or AR, “to make a newspaper magazine that both humans and robots enjoy”. Whatever they may look like, we know for certain that they’re going to be truly delicious.
Kobayashi Books Press/Breakfast: Mexico City (Copyright © Haein Kim, 2020)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.