Recorder is a brand new music print magazine celebrating artists through artwork, illustration and literature. From The Beach Boys to Frank Ocean, ABBA to The XX - it represents the meeting point between music mag and comic book. Every issue will be limited edition, highly collectable and focus on one artist. We are asking for your help to publish Issue 1: David Bowie (with foreword by Michael Sheen)
- Foreword by Michael Sheen
- Cover Art by Brazilian Pop Culture Artist Butcher Billy
- Lily Cole writes on Life On Mars
- Music Portraiture Helen Green contributes famous Bowie illustrations
- U.S. Graphic Designer Jonathan Case re-visits the Lets Dance video
- Jim Sturgess writes on Golden Years
- Boys Keep Swinging new short story by John McManus
Confirmed Stockists: Magalleria, Rough Trade, Crash Records, Strange Adventures, Gosh! Comics, Coffee Table Mags, Orbital Comics.
As Featured On:
Inspired by the 80s "Golden Age" of pop weeklies in look and name, Recorder covers each subject with a smile on its face including infographics, charts, lyrics, comic strips, life stories and short stories - looking at our favourite artists in a brand new way. Moving away from traditional "making of the album" magazine features, it delivers fresh work from the best new creative talent through the prism of the established artistic force, creating a compelling world of fact, fiction and fantasy.
Last year vinyl sales grew for the eighth successive year, sales of physical books increased for the first time in four years, while comic books have enjoyed a year-on-year increase in sales since 2012, perfect conditions for a new type of music magazine - now we need your help to make it a reality. We've made a pilot - Issue Zero - and are looking for the funds to make a complete 80-page Issue 1.
One event at the start of last year pulled the plans for Recorder into sharper focus - the loss of David Bowie meant there was only one place to start. One man for whom Bowie's chameleon existence resonates is actor Michael Sheen who has kindly written a beautiful foreword for our first issue.
"He was electric fluidity, the ultimate quantum performer, a universe of possibilities taking one thrilling temporal form after another" - Michael Sheen
Each issue of Recorder is bookended by two key Lyrics from the featured artist - some well-known and others more obscure - themed around a start and ending point. The first issue picks When I Live My Dream from Bowie's 1967's self-titled debut to open with and quotes Dollar Days from 2016's Blackstar to close.
The Life Stories section flips music mag convention on its head, hearing less about the writing and recording of songs but rather how - as they journey around the world at different speeds through different eras - they touch different people's lives. It begins with one of three brilliant depictions of Bowie throughout the issue from illustrator Helen Green (Billboard Magazine, Studio Canal and Sky Arts) before actor & activist Lily Cole celebrates Life On Mars, Italian MP and LGBT activist Ivan Scalfarotto recalls the joy of hearing Absolute Beginners for the first time, actor Jim Sturgess writes on Golden Years and GB Paralympian Gold-Medalist Peter Norfolk remembers the magical night he led out our athletes to Heroes at the Olympic opening ceremony of 2012.
"The lyrics are peculiarly English and evoke a kitchen sink melancholy. A time and place where shops still closed half day Wednesday"
- Lily Cole, Actor and Activist on Life On Mars
"The hairs go up on the back of your neck then you realise the thundering beat is Heroes. How suitable for the superhumans" -
Peter Norfolk, GB Paralympian Gold-medalist
Our Short Stories section sees the best contemporary writers from around the world pen brand new fiction from the starting point of just a Bowie song title each. So Lucy Caldwell (winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish literature) tackles As The World Falls Down, John McManus (recipient of the Whiting Writer's Award) takes inspiration from Boys Keep Swinging, Rachel Swearingen (whose stories have appeared in VICE, The Missouri Review & American Short Fiction) chooses Valentines Day and Melbourne-based Mark Brandi (The Big Issue, Australia's Radio National) opts for Fashion - each one the literary equivalent of a hit 45rpm record.
"She knocked me to the ground, grabbed my ankles and dragged me across their yard, muttering under her breath words so strange and angry and beautiful. I was spellbound."
(Extract from Valentines Day by Rachel Swearingen)
Acclaimed American graphic-novelist Jonathan Case re-imagines events in New South Wales on the video set for 1983's Let's Dance for the first episode of our time-travel Comic Strip, The Recorder (the complete and full-length version will appear in Issue 1).
Our Infographics section puts Bowie's ten No.1s worldwide up in lights, compares his UK v US album success and revisits Top Tens from different eras in different parts of the world (UK 1972, New Zealand 1983, Finland 1997) as a reminder of how he intersected at least three different musical movements - Glam Rock, The New Romantics and Britpop, without necessarily having it all his own way (meet Roy C, Audrey Landers and Pandora, everyone).
Dan Tickner is a Music Supervisor and Writer who has worked in the music industry for several years (ATC Management, Vice Records, Warner Records), and came up with the concept for Recorder Magazine. Remembering the halcyon days of the pop weekly he looked back at the glory days of mag culture and wondered - could the same sense of anticipation be recreated today with a bi-annual?
We wanted to tap into that most under-rated of emotions - anticipation - and recreate the feeling of excitement when your favourite pop weekly used to come out. We also wanted to produce something collectable and tangible featuring a different artist each time that fans could value in the same way they would a limited edition vinyl re-issue.
How Can I Help?
We've put together a pilot edition - now we need your help to make the fully-formed Bowie Issue 1 a reality. More Life Stories, Short Stories (published in full), Lyrics, a complete and extended version of The Recorder cartoon strip and more Top Tens. We need to pay our talented contributors, graphic designer, printers & distributors and get you - our backers - a pristine and collectable first edition of Recorder this Spring.
What Are The Rewards?
The first 500 copies of Recorder Magazine will be limited edition, individually numbered and are available to purchase now. You can also submit your favourite Bowie track along with your name & country to feature in a unique piece of artwork to appear in Issue 1, become the proud owner of a Recorder Tote Bag or purchase the Recorder Bundle featuring all of the above.
The Recorder "Patron" package includes one of only 25 exclusive Issue 1 covers (see below), your listing as a Lifetime Patron in this and every edition going forward as well as the Recorder Tote Bag and your favourite Bowie track listed (optional).
Questions & Contact
Director: Dan Tickner // Videographer: Gleeson Paulino // Starring: Liam Johnstone & Cyril Kamber // V/O: Josh Adley // Music: Grand Pavillion The Maelstrom
With Special Thanks To:
Lights Of Soho & Wise Buddah
Risks and challenges
As with any brand new endeavor, our timeline may potentially slip. The plan is to have the full Bowie Issue 1 with you in the Spring. However, there is an outside chance it could be delayed if, for example, we face unforeseen manufacturing hiccups (our printer can’t meet our desired production schedule) or shipping takes longer than originally forecast. We will however obviously do our best.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
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