This Lad's Mags

Meme I spotted a meme somewhere and it seems like a good way to fill some of this endless reams of blank space. Here is a list of the magazines I read:
The Guardian Guide

Which I think counts despite being 'free' and 'diminutive'. Mostly for Charlie Brooker's Screen Burn and Jonathan Bernstein's ariel view of America both of which are pleasingly mean spirited when Michael Holden or Katie Putrick aren't filling in for them. Joe Queenan's writing is also excellent.

Radio Times

Despite having listings magazines everywhere, this has become a Tuesday habit, largely, again, because of the writing -- Andrew Collins, Phil Jupitus, Stuart Machonie, Alison Graham. Since Collins took over the film section it's become almost as indispensible and right headed as the Time Out Film Guide and there's a pleasant sense of irony throughout the magazine, even if the actual cast listings have a habit of dropping spoilers all over the place or feature a synopsis of some programmes so detailed, it's almost not worth watching.

Empire Magazine

Although the news section always seems to be playing catch up nowadays -- especially if you're subscribed the RSS feed on their website -- Empire has recently turned a corner and has returned to being the magazine for film fans -- the recent succession of in-depth interviews with directors and stars being particularly good. Strangely less likely to agree with their star ratings of late -- unusually harsh on some films or charitable with others -- although some of the writing, again has been very good indeed, their Superman Returns review in particular was worthy of praise.


Of the genre mags (see also Dreamwatch, Starburst and TV Zone) feels the most authoritative, and is also the least po-faced, willing to alienate large sections of its readership if it really doesn't like something. Calls a spade a spade, but praises when its due. Never has a good word to say about Charmed. News section always somehow manages to include material that hasn't already cropped up online and I almost always agree with everything in their kingly review section that covers everything from film to dvd releases to books to comic books to audio plays to anime to toys. Great columns too from Dave Langford and Jayne Nelson.

Doctor Who Magazine

No real surprise I suspect. It's the organ, but unlike some official magazines willing to criticise the mothership and its spin-offs although I do with they'd have someone other than Matt Michael reviewing the Big Finish audios. He seems to have a deep set palpable dislike for them and I don't think he's ever given one a positive review, even the now classic McGann second season. If you ever wonder why most Doctor Who 'news' or 'gossip' stories turn up in the tabs and online at the same time each month, it's because they've been culled/stolen from here, often Russell T Davies' Production Notes column in which he writes about making the show or one of his regular interviews -- although often they're taken wildly out of context.

Doctor Who Adventures

Gosh this is a cruel meme. But it's 11:10pm and I'm in a reflective mood. Although I'm about twenty years over the target range, and even though it has a messy layout, dayglo design and is editorially less well structed than Doctor Who Weekly way back when, the free gifts are often fun and functional and the comic strips are excellent and totally mad. A rough synopsis of this last story had The Doctor and Rose turn up for the first live theatre performance of Dracula meeting Bram Stoker and his wife who turned out herself to be a vampire. Then the real Count Dracula drops in from Transilvania but it turns out that she's actually been turned by -- get this -- the vampirically infected Oscar Wilde -- who is locked up in jail after a 'scandal'. The Doctor breaks into the prison and frees Wilde and they then jointly get to the bottom of the 'issue' (alien Vampires) which involves the timelord drinking all of the infectious syrum, using his biological make-up to transform it into an antidote then burping it into the air to cure everyone everywhere of the afflication. Absolutely bonkers.

Sight & Sound

This list is longer than I thought it would be. S&S covers everything Empire only skirts past and is my source for indie and international films. Has the brilliant habit of treating every film release with the same authority, memorably once giving the Pokemon film a positive review. Almost always has a feature on some film I've never heard of that will have me clammering to see by the end even to the point of contemplating a trip to London to the only cinema in the country that's probably showing it (the LoveFilm queue being the next option). One of the three reasons I wanted to go back to university and study film.
Nothing too surprising there I hope. I stopped reading computer magazines when they became too expensive which was also wierdly roughly the same time that Yahoo! Internet Life closed. Frankly there's a real gap in the market for a great magazine about Shakespeare in a similar style to DWM -- with director interviews, archives about theatre, film & tv productions and a massive review section -- authoritative but accessible. You'd be surprised how many people call themselves fans of Shakespeare as though it's a tv or film franchise).

Most of anything else I find online somewhere.

Because tagging is the way of these things, I'm passing this on to...


... and anyone else who knows me ...


  1. So nice that there are men who don't read Maxim in the world! Unless you're keeping that quiet... ;)

  2. You didn't mention Grace Dent in The Guide- she's hysterical...

  3. Anonymous4:49 pm

    Oops, just realised I mis-read the title of your post. Was going to say they were the geekiest(?!) selection of lads mags I'd ever seen *lol*

  4. I barely noticed I was tagged. You can read my answers at