Starsky & Hutch, Tank Girl & Booga, Little & Large
My personal relationship with the poster magazine.
We’ve been self-publishing poster magazines for over a decade now. It seemed the most democratic way of getting signed Tank Girl prints out there into the world - an easy to ship, personalised item that could suit any pocket. We’ve tried out many other formats over the years, little and large, but the poster magazine is the one we keep returning to. This may be down to my early encounters with poster mags, starting way back in the 1970s. The first one I ever bought (or, rather, was probably bought for me by my mum) was The Starsky & Hutch Tribute Giant Fold-Out, published by IPC in 1976. I was madly in love with Starsky & Hutch when I was ten, and apart from the odd article in the TV Times, photos and information could only be sourced from the fan-targeted publications in W.H. Smith & Sons newsagents. I can remember pouring over the facts and interviews in the fold-out pages of the tribute mag, and the huge inside poster blew my tiny mind. I pinned it up in my bedroom, where it stayed for the next ten years.
Then came Star Wars. A lot of Brits claim to have first watched Star Wars in 1977 - this is mis-remembered by most, as the movie only played in a few select UK cinemas before 1977 was out, and it didn’t reach the provinces until weeks or sometimes months into 1978. I first saw it at The Odeon Cinema in Worthing in late January 1978, but it was teased for some time before with the release of the paperback novelisation, the MAD Magazine spoof, and the first two issues of Star Wars Poster Magazine. By then I was used to the format; poster magazines were something I loved and looked forward to. After Star Wars the floodgates opened and my bedroom walls became host to fold-out movie and pop posters from Grease and Raiders to Abba and Adam Ant.
We first tinkered with our own fold-out style posters back in 1988 (Village Under Threat, a zine-style mash-up), and even included one free with Deadline back in 1991 (the lysergic-tinged Dig The Slowness/Sunflower). When the idea to go back to DIY/guerrilla/self-publishing occurred to me around 2005, poster magazines were already on the back-burner of my brain, eager to burst out and do their thing.
It’s been great fun coming up with new and interesting ways to wrestle with format, and we’ll continue to champion the poster magazine for years to come.
In fact, I think I’ve got an idea for a new one brewing right now…
Back in five.