Lots of indie football goodness 

An indie mag newsletter by Dan Rowden

Issue 12 — June 22, 2018
Football special!

Well here we are again! It's time for some independent publishing to interrupt your day 💥

So the World Cup is finally here. Even if you're not a football fan, you can surely feel the buzz and excitement that the World Cup brings. Most of the football mags in this here email use football as a way in to another subject; it's enough to get you excited about print.

There's seemingly a of football-focussed indie mags going from strength to strength at the moment: Mundial just released their biggest issue ever with 21 different covers; Season has reached 5 issues and aiming for bigger and better things; OOF recently broke even from purely pre-sales; Top Corner graduated from newsprint. Read more about these mags and more below!

(Note: I tried hard to get more non-UK-based magazines involved but struggled to get responses.)

I'm obviously rooting for England in the World Cup (how far will we go this time?). I hope your favourite teams are doing OK (sorry to all Argentinian fans!).

Cue the football puns!


P.S.: More more footie mags for you to check out: SHUKYU (Japan), Soccerbible (UK), 8by8 (US), 11Freunde (Germany), Pickles (UK), Howler (US), Póg Mo Goal (Ireland)

Caricom and Top Corner reveal their favourite World Cup memories

To kick off (ha!) this football edition, I asked a couple of magazine makers about their favourite World Cup memory.

England v Colombia

“The best thing about watching the World Cup as a young kid is your ability to remain oblivious to things that happen outside of the games. I had no idea that Ian Wright had missed out on the England squad through injury, or that Gascoigne’s omission caused him to smash up Glen Hoddle’s room before he was restrained and given a Valium. All I knew was that matches were on, constantly. While England vs Tunisia had been screened in my year 5 classroom, my literal childlike excitement was tempered by the amount of sunlight allowed on the screen. I can remember Shearer’s first and Scholes’ second, but the fragmented recollection is also glazed in a dreamy, nostalgic haze.

“My first vivid memory of a World Cup game, therefore, was England’s second group match against Colombia, an occasion marked by Beckham’s (a player I modelled my playground and school football team game on) reintroduction into the team. As a football obsessed kid, I’d walk to my local park, either alone or with my best friend Domenico, in any weather, and imitate Beckham’s free kick and crossing technique. Adopting his now iconic trademark stance (right arm aloft, body slanted to the left, instep lovingly wrapped around the ball) I’d aim for tree trunks, fence stanchions, bench seats—anything tricky or extremely difficult—again and again. I must’ve looked mental.

“In any case, when Beckham stood over the ball in the first half, I could tell the position and distance were advantageous for him; his time had come, and in a small way, so had mine. In my minds eye I can still see him peeling away in celebration, arms pumping, his expression flooded with all the transcendent euphoria you would associate with scoring that calibre of goal on the world stage.”

—Calum Jacobs, founding editor-in-chief of Caricom

Caricom “explores the space where the Black-British experience and football intersect”, responding to the lack of diversity in football reportage.


Joe Cole’s goal vs Sweden 2006

“England’s naughties ‘golden generation’ is now the butt of jokes and the cause for nationwide introspection, but it wasn’t always like that. I picked this moment as it’s maybe the high point of personal giddy optimism for the national team. Everything since seems tainted somehow. On a personal level, this was the first tournament game I’d properly watched in a pub, sneakily getting sixth formers to supply me with the sweet nectar of Carling Black Label.

“England had won their opening two group games and so almost certainly already through to the knockout stages. 30 minutes into their toughest game so far Joe Cole casually has a pop with a looping volley into the top corner from 35 yards. This was Joe Cole, a mercurial talent whose early promise would be reduced to dust, scoring one of the best goals in tournament football, playing from England’s so called ‘problem position’. We dreamt, we failed and just like drinking Carling, we tried not to do it again.”

—Adam Sharratt, creative director of Top Corner

Top Corner is “an alternative look at the saturated world of Association Football”, and just released their 8th issue, the World Cup issue.


Season makes it five!

SEASON merges fashion and football with a female focus. It's a huge favourite of mine (not just because of the illustrated football stickers that you can stick in its pages ☺️).

As the magazine reaches its fifth issue—the Religion issue—I talked with Felicia Pennant, SEASON's founder and editor, about football's effect in the fashion world and what the magazine is on to next.

Dan R: Season is a “fashion and football zine.” There are some cracking kits for this World Cup; which ones stick out for you?

Felicia P: I'm English and Nigerian and therefore biased, but those kits definitely stand out for me. Kudos to Nigeria’s kit designer; that staggered zigzag print in green and black is a stroke of genius and it looks great however you wear it. Timelessly on trend, the fact that the print is streamlining is another bonus. I’ve seen so many non-Nigerians wearing it. The away kit is a minimalist’s dream; the quieter option but still impactful in a gorgeous green with neon green accents. I love the England training shirt I wore in the campaign, the mosaic like blue/red panel graduating to white. It’s fresh, bold and again extremely versatile.

DR: In what ways do you see football affecting fashion and creative culture?

FP: Footballers becoming models, designers and influencers is an obvious one. Bobby Moore, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Hector Bellerin all embody the connection in their era with Bellerin actively using his social media channels to boost this profile and express his other interests.

In every issue of SEASON there is a “The Football of Fashion” feature because I noticed that in every fashion month, there seemed to be at least one collection that referenced football. In issue 05 we’ve taken a closer look at Koché’s SS18 and PF18 because the Paris based fashion label collaborated with Paris Saint German.

We also do a “Covet me” feature highlighting the most desirable football and fashion products. In issue 04 we featured Gosha Rubchinskiy x Adidas and in issue 05 Umbro x Christopher Raeburn. There’s been a really exciting wave of World Cup capsule collections: Nike x Off-White, Nike x Kim Jones, #YOOXSOCCERCOUTURE, Louis Vuitton… again cutting-edge design-lead products dictating what’s tasteful.

I think the significance of the football shirt or jersey and scarf has definitely affected fashion and culture. Both sentimental symbols of fandom have become meaningful sites of experimentation far beyond football clubs which is great from a design point of view. From Vetements to NSS and Urban Outfitters, fashion and/or concept versions have been made and worn by the masses but their authenticity is problematic. What brands like OWN do is amazing and rare: coming up with simple, original and clever idea that executed well. Their Hawaiian football shirts are so great.

DR: It’s hard not to look back at ‘90s kits with awe. Will we be doing the same in 20 years time about modern-day kits?

FP: I think so because they represent our time and moment in football culture. It’s a matter of taste as there’s something for everyone. If you like minimal kits, Nike have done them well for a last few seasons for example, and the World Cup kits have been bolder than I can remember; Japan’s pinstripes are on point! Kits now have to function on the pitch with performance technology, but also on the street in terms of a distinctive design that doesn’t deviate from official guidelines.

Also, the difference between gender fits and necklines seem destined to be talking points with hindsight. But those are the just official kits. The rise of fan-made concept kit designers like SETTPACE who are utilising social media also fall into the same bracket and can be admired for their creativity.

DR: You’ve now reached your 5th issue and established SEASON in the game. What is your aim for the magazine and also the following you’ve built over the last few years?

FP: I guess to raise awareness about and keep building on what we do. Learn, improve, collaborate and innovate. We're an inclusive creative platform and community, which I really want to get across in the print issues, events and anything else we do.

The initial aim to showcase and empower women in modern football culture by giving them an honest voice and sharing their stories, opinions and style stays the same. So does the exploration of the evolving interplay between fashion and football and emphasis on diversity and unpacking important issues. SEASON champions women but men are a big part of our and football's narrative; we talk about male players, men's football and work with male talent as well as female. There's a new feature starting from issue 05 that spotlights men supporting women in football.

We're working towards bringing our community together in real life as well. We teamed up with Carabao for #SEASONmatchdays, inspired by the Women at the Game initiative, to get groups of women to go the game together. We also hosted a zine-making workshop and 'Fashion of Football' panel at adidas' Creator Base earlier this month and we've got more get-togethers and events planned during the World Cup.

Issue 5 of SEASON is now available. Highly recommended ⚽️
(Scroll down for an exclusive discount!)


Football culture from around the world

Glory is a beautiful magazine, which visits a different country each issue and goes deep into each country's football culture. Destinations have so far not been your typical footballing nations, which makes the magazine a really interesting proposition.

I asked co-founder Ryan Mason to select a stand-out image from each of the first three issues, which covered the Faroe Islands, Kosovo and Sweden.


This photo was from a place called Eidi at the very north of the islands. The pitch seems to be at the center of the community for this football-loving country. 10% of the country's population attends international home games.


A tifo displayed at Kosovo's first ever World Cup qualifier home game against Croatia.


I was lucky enough to get taken to the location where Malmö fans create their tifos. It was fascinating to see how much time and effort goes into creating these works of art.


Pick up the three issues of Glory at glorymag.co.uk


Origin Story: OOF

A newcomer from earlier this year, OOF is an art magazine that looks at football from a different perspective than most. Already at issue two, it's hit a sweet spot with its art+football focus. OOF is clearly a fan favourite.

Justin Hammond, co-founder and associate editor, sent over the second issue's editor's letter to help explain why the magazine is here and what it's attempting to do...

“Football is the quintessential communal experience. Across the world—in stadiums, bars and living rooms—countless millions of people experience collective emotion through the teams they support. As one, they feel the ecstatic joy of a goal scored, or the crushing pain of a brutal defeat. It’s mass experience, communal emotion on a huge scale. Every day, football does with ease what art constantly tries to do: it makes people feel.

“And because it plays such an important part in the everyday life of so many people, it has been a recurring topic in fine art for centuries. From Flemish landscapes filled with children kicking around animal bladders to multi-screen contemporary video installations, football acts as a symbol: a metaphor for national obsession, passion, physicality, belief, and any number of human emotions and experiences.

“But it’s not a one-way relationship: art’s job is to deconstruct the world, to help us figure out what everything means, to offer new perspectives. Artists peel back the layers of meaning in this obsessive sport, and help us make sense of something bigger and more ungraspable in the process. Hopefully OOF goes a little way towards laying all of that bare. Football and art have been intertwined for centuries, we’re just trying to unravel that a little bit.

Get your own copy of OOF at oofmagazine.com

Mundial issue 14

A cover for every World Cup. Goal!

Mundial, a football mag from England now on its 14th issue, went mad for this World Cup and created a solid result of 21 different covers 🚀 Maybe not a surprise, this issue sold out online before it reached stockists 👀

If I'm right, this issue is Mundial's thickest yet, and with a number of extra-time projects such as Hotel Mundial, it seems the team have a lot of promise for the future.

Baggio's missed penalty in 1994 is my earliest World Cup memory so I went for his classic ponytail (above); which is your favourite?


You can find Mundial at selected stockists.

15% off SEASON!

A discount just for Coverage readers

Felicia from SEASON is offering Coverage readers 15% off issue 5! 🎉

Use the code WORLDCUP at season-zine.com/shop/

'ave it!


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