It is no news that November has been a month of some drastic ups and downs. Around the world we’ve experienced great changes and losses over the past four weeks, but thankfully we received a range of uplifting, insightful and encouraging pieces of post through our letterbox making us a smile, even if we were feeling a little uncertain or just a little grumpy from the cold. From advent calendars that introduced the excitement of Christmas, to publications on food, cinema and typography, and even an album that got the studio dancing, here is November’s Things.
Mr Bingo’s Advent Calendar
Bingo’s back. “Fuck chocolate” the illustrator announces as we reach the advent calendar season of Dairy milk madness. “A group of naked people slowly revealing themselves over the duration of a month is so much better (IMO).” As certainly the most hilarious package to arrive in the post in this month, we urge you to ditch the choc this December and buy a Mr Bingo calendar instead. In his signature cheeky (and consistently slightly offensive style) Mr Bingo has created a scratchable advent calendar, using the same coating as scratch cards, which reveals his cheekily illustrated nude calendar, a bit like an illustrated Calendar Girls.
In the words of the magazine’s own team, “Shelf Heroes is a film magazine like no other”. This mag acts as the adblocker of publications, “No adverts, no trailers, it is a magazine about the magic of movies themselves, shaped by cinema fanatics”. With each issue titled with letters of the alphabet rather than numbers, this is issue E, and a platform for some of the most exciting upcoming creatives to showcase their cinematic talents. “Illustration, fiction, poetry, a comic, an article – whatever encapsulates their feelings towards the movie watching experience.”
Making Memeries by Lucas Blalock
Making Memeries is a book bound like no other. Each spread by photographer Lucas Blalock is backed onto thick cardboard and is published by Self Publish Be Happy. The publication explores the idea that before the internet “the act of taking a photo was often intended to make memories," and now with the digital art revolution “we live in a culture of the perpetual present, in a meme-driven world where photos can effortlessly be shared, but where they most often disappear into digital oblivion”. This concept is housed in a book that in itself is a treasure to hold, just like printed photographs passed down from parents or ones from a recent holiday, which as Lucas points out within Making Memeries is now considered "a rare treat”.
Badvent Calendar by Kate Hazell
On illustrator Kate Hazell’s website she admits to being “guilty of a pun or two”, a habit she elaborates on in her new seasonal publication Badvent Calendar. Now, it’s probably no news to our readers that the It’s Nice That staff love a good pun (which you’ve probably spotted across our headlines and tweets) so Kate had sent her Badvert Calendar to the right place. A book with 25 christmas-themed puns, such as last “Last Christmas I gave you my fart”, “Pistmas Elf”, and “Three wide men” had us embarrassingly chuckling even when we knew we shouldn’t have.
This magazine acts as “Your guide to the extraordinary” in both Portuguese and English. In the editor’s letter Soraya Tengan admits, “I have taken Sao Paulo for granted for many years. I have always felt that all other cities in the world were so much cooler. Look at NYC! Or Tokyo! Or London!” However this zine is a journey with Soraya as he learns to understand that “Sao Paulo has everything I love from these cities with a huge plus; we have one of the most diverse cities in the world where you can feel that everything works pretty harmonically”. From there the zine explores food culture, from the eating habits of Paulistanos, what’s on their shopping list and even the best global food to taste. All put together in a delicious yellow and blue printed A5 zine that has got us desperate to travel to Brazil.
Love Songs: Part Two by Romare
Archie Fairhurst is a London-based producer, performing under the name Romare, who released his second album Love Songs: Part Two on Ninja Tune this November. Within his music Archie mixes snippets of samples and nuggets of his own creations to create a layered album of accomplished and fresh references. His stage name is taken from Romare Bearden, a collage artist whose pieces reflected the troubled lives of the black community during and after the Civil Rights Movement. Like the Romare Archie adopts his pseudonym from, the musician uses the collage technique in music but also on his album sleeves. Each of Archie’s releases have been illustrated by the musician himself, who layers tracing paper on top of collages, neatly illustrating their character into thin lines. Archie’s capabilities as an illustrator and producer make us very envious but also got our foots tapping under our desks.
At The Table, issue two
This month we received the second issue of At The Table, a British food culture magazine. Each page in the publication is a delectable display of illustration and photography features displaying the best British grub available. From a feature on the perfect catch, the Victorian appetite and even a humorous article by photographer Jamie Freeth on his series Street Food, which is quite literally food littered on the street.
Circular 19 by The Typographic Circle
Within the designer and co-editor’s letter on the opening pages of the 19th issue of Circular Domenic Lippa apologises. “Creating an issue of Circular is not as easy as it may look. It is always late – sorry.” This attitude of honesty towards taking time in appreciating typography is a characteristic you are guaranteed with a publication by The Typographic Circle. Each issue is consistently relevant but also thoughtful. This issue includes Vincenzo Angileri, Laura Bradley and our very own Will Hudson in conversation with Rob Alderson. Yet the opening feature within the magazine is one to be equally savoured, as magazine expert, influencer and owner of MagCulture Jeremy Leslie interviews the editor of The Happy Reader, publication heartthrob Seb Emina. Within the interview you are able to get a real sense of how much Seb loves his job; it’s obvious he feels lucky to be in his position which is very refreshing but even more so, inspiring. “I’ve always enjoyed the commissioning and shaping and editing of other people’s work. I’ve always been a massive reader as well, and quite a bookish person. The idea of doing something that would have a more playful and open approach to reading, rather than the usual literary magazine approach intrigued me.”
Looking Good: A visual guide to the nun’s habit
A very sweet and bijou book made its way through the It’s Nice That letterbox this month that illustrates “figures of fondness, fun, strictness, purity and grace”. That’s right, it’s a book about nuns and the clothes they wear. In this collaboration between Graphic Design&, Cambridge theologian graduate Veronica Bennett and illustrator Ryan Todd, Looking Good: A visual guide to the nun’s habit takes us on a journey of sisterhood around the world, providing an insight into the thoughtful wardrobe Catholicism provides. “From Julie Andrews in The Sound Of Music to Nobel Peace Prize recipient Mother Teresa, nuns occupy a special place in popular consciousness,” the author writes. In terms of content Graphic Design& go into immense detail of not just the classic habit, but the broaches, rosaries, shoes and even the pets different sisterhoods adopt. It makes for a fascinating, insightful read.
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.