So what’s the verdict on this second magazine? (I’m sorry, I had to say that again, I’m really that excited.) Well, it’s packed full of good reading material.
Like bite-size Mars bars (just enough to give you a sugar high without making you sick), sometimes the best bits of a magazine come in small portions. And Subtext delivers plenty.
We have editor Gill Court’s vignette on pajamas, socks and feminist men; we have a feminist analysis of Sunday opening hours and we have a short sharp rebuke to the ‘hymenoplasty’ industry.
Or you can get your teeth into more substantial articles, including excellent analyses of gender and crime, beauty rituals, raunch culture and women’s magazines.
From this you might get the idea that Subtext is more of a journal than a magazine. And, well, there’s some truth in this. But they’ve also included some more journalistic pieces, including an interview with Pretty Girls Make Graves and another with Turkish women’s rights activist Serap Cileli.
This is a zine with substance.
But. First issues of magazines are almost inevitably a little rough around the edges. That is unless they’re published by Conde Naste, in which case I wouldn’t be eulogising a feminist publication, I’d be criticising a bored, tired cliche. Unless the world turned upside down and no-one told me.
So it’s important to approach this magazine with the words ‘first issue’ and ‘no financial backing’ in mind.
The team behind Subtext is not made up of professional journalists or graphic designers.
Don’t expect Pulitzer prize winning copy, don’t expect page layouts like its more established sister publications in the US, Bust or Bitch. Certainly don’t expect glossy pages, pictures, photos or colour, and don’t be surprised if some paragraphs of text span several columns.
The important part is that this is a good start.
You can buy Subtext through the website.