Friday, 20 June 2008

Magic Sam

Here’s some more archival material: the covers of the complete run of Ken Bolton’s Magic Sam. I don’t have specific dates for these but the magazine ran from the late 1970s into the early 1980s. It’s a gestetnered affair with screen-printed covers and artwork from the years before general computer use changed the appearance of journals utterly. It’s still the finest example of this kind of production that I’ve seen. Some editors embraced the ratty nature of gestetner and produced magazines that walked the low-tech talk (I think here of Paul Buck). Ken, with his toes in the art world, wanted to do something that would look as good as was possible. The covers and most of the internal designs are his own (with occasional help from a few artist friends).

Issues #3 and #4 (with the near-identical covers) appeared together. One of them even contained a ‘free 45rpm record’:

All of this was done from a house looking out over the Tasman Sea at Coalcliff on the coast between Sydney and Wollongong. A corner of the living room sagged perilously, its foundations eaten away by erosion. The floor was, likely enough, carpeted with visitors, down for poetry readings in the ‘Gong sleeping overnight. They might be roped into helping Ken and Sal Brereton if Magic Sam was coming out. Ken later went on (in Adelaide) to edit Otis Rush though, with the physical production taken out of his hands, this magazine (though always terrific with its content and the art work within) lacked the classy hand-made feel of its predecessor.

1 comment:

PB said...

Hi Laurie,
I left this note on the wrong blogpost.
Here it is, in context.

Great to be reminded of how vital Magic Sam magazine was.
Visitors to Graveney Marsh might like to check out back issues etc of Magic Sam's sequel magazine, the offset printed Otis Rush at this site