We like to know what our wonderful customers think about the magazines we sell at Magalleria. Some people know exactly what they want, others are opened minded. We asked Tom Corneill what he thinks of a shop favourite, Canada’s Hobo.
Hobo is a big magazine. With its minimalist title in large font and its sheer volume (it stands at 37cm x 28cm) it takes up a large space on the shelf and commands your attention. The issue I have in front of me features Jeff Bridges and who is locking eyes with me. He is the only thing filling the magazine’s cover.
The first thing I will say about Hobo is that at the outset I have no idea what it’s about. The magazine’s homeless-tinged title clashes with its millionaire cover star and the back and inside covers do little to enlighten me, with luxury sponsors taking up every inch. So I delve a little deeper and the sponsors become a little more interesting; there are full-page ads for less familiar brands and that speak not only of their product but of ethical, world-friendly production values. There are several adverts for charities. This is a magazine for the activist.
The common thread through its design aesthetic is quality; every page is beautiful. The photography is superb and has a generally rustic, outdoorsy feel. I see a varied range of pictures – people, old cars, beehives – all presented on thick, matte finish paper. It feels like luxury but the content itself is in fact very down-to-earth.
I usually read magazines to escape, seeing them as a window to other worlds. While there is a degree of escapism in Hobo there is by contrast a grounding quality too. The subject of the pictures is rooted in nature and in the ordinary. Near the beginning there is a whole page which simply asks each contributor a few short questions such as who is their favourite music artist. It has a wonderfully personal quality and brings you into its family feel as soon as the text begins.
What I liked most about this issue - other than its generally earthy vibe – is the cover feature itself, an interview with Jeff Bridges. It touches on several of Bridges’ projects highlighting his sense of compassion and his anthropological work. He seems to be a force for good and wants to educate people on how they can make the world a better place. But it’s the writing style that captures me: rather than being neatly edited for the magazine it is printed as a transcript, including the mis-hearings and pleasantries of an actual, human conversation. It feels very ‘real’.
The size may be an issue – this isn’t an easy one to pack in your work back and whip out on the bus – but other than that I can’t think of a reason not to recommend it. It was a nourishing read.
Tom is a writer, musician and watchmaker based in Bath. When not playing with words or watches you might even find him in his daytime alter ego as an Investments Consultant.