A news-type publication with a curious twist: The Lemming and its feast of illustrative content

Gabriel Carr and Dylan Hatton discuss their collaborative creation, envisioned as “something that could be stained with coffee rings on your dad’s dresser,” now in its fourth issue.

Date
22 June 2021
Reading Time
3 minute read

The Lemming is a new publication dreamed up by Gabriel Carr and Dylan Hatton – two recent graduates who studied illustration and journalism respectively in Manchester. The project came about (drunkenly) one night as a way for the creative duo to “shrug off our 20-something ennui” through the medium of stories, comics, illustrations and essays, all wrapped up into an amalgamation of creative expression. Now in its third issue, the hand-produced publication has evolved from a zine-like specimen inspired by the likes of Aubrey Beardsley and Private Eye to a sprawling “news-type publication with a curious twist” featuring an ever-exciting range of voices from film critics to poetry.

Both from Derbyshire, the pair grew up approximately 20 minutes from one another, before embarking on degrees in Manchester. Fundamentally, The Lemming came about as a way for Dylan and Gabriel to showcase their work. Influenced by a broadside publication Penny Thoughts, local to Manchester at the time, the pair set out to make their own mark on the independent publishing scene at the intersection of writing and illustration.

Gabriel describes his vision for The Lemming as “something that could be stained with coffee rings on your dad’s dresser, but at the same time prodded by slightly confused grandmas in the garden chiminea.” With Dylan in charge of copy and Gabriel taking on the role of art director, the two saw the project as a way to relish creative expression. For Gabriel, this meant indulging in all his favourite visual artists from the 20th Century agitational Soviets such as Mayakovsky and Rodchenko to Charlie Hebdo (“a rousing source”) and of course, Private Eye, the latest issue never far from Gabriel’s desk.

GalleryGabriel Carr and Dylan Hatton: The Lemming (Copyright © Gabriel Carr and Dylan Hatton, 2021)

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For the first three issues, Gabriel enjoyed working on the visual side of the project. But for the upcoming fourth, they’ve realised it’s no longer sustainable, and they’ve decided to open up both copy and illustration contributions to others. That being said, Gabriel reflects on his highlights from The Lemming thus far, telling us, “my proudest moment so far is seeing my pages being printed for Wriggly Arms in issue three, and also having Dyl’s grandfather compare my work to Ronald Searle, adding that ‘he needs a bit more whipping’ – a not-so-subtle reference to Searle’s time as a Japanese prisoner of war during World War Two, charming!”

So far, The Lemming has seen a host of stories take hold of its pages, framed by bold monochromatic editorial design. From macabre shorts, a film essay on modern horror by Josh Senior, a poem by Joe Lansley, episode reviews of I May Destroy You by Emily Kelly to an arrest critique of the long arm of the law by Beth Jones delving into how the law protects the state’s interests and a calm deconstruction of questionable government initiatives by Joe Conway; The Lemming is a feast of content featuring activist causes and the light-hearted.

While Dylan has provided the majority of the writing in issues one to three, he’s “still fairly unhappy with it” but sees it as a humble opportunity to “only improve.” Planning to move to Italy to work on his writing while Gabriel applies to artist residencies, the future of The Lemming is set on a similar course of development. “In terms of our intention,” Dylan finally goes on to say, “only recently have we decided that this particular moment in time calls for nothing less than activism. In future issues, we will be including more political commentary and informative pieces about dire political situations across the globe.” With three issues under their belt, Gabriel and Dylan admit there are still some teething issues to hone, but none of that can stop the pair from using “this vehicle for the furthering and propagation of content that must be heard.”

GalleryGabriel Carr and Dylan Hatton: The Lemming (Copyright © Gabriel Carr and Dylan Hatton, 2021)

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Gabriel Carr and Dylan Hatton: The Lemming issue #3 (Copyright © Gabriel Carr and Dylan Hatton, 2021)

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.

jo@itsnicethat.com

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