Electric Sheep – another loss for print…

Published On January 11, 2010 | By Joe Gordon | Film TV & Theatre, Reviews

Electric Sheep Magazine – Winter 09

Edited by Virginie Sélavy with assistance by Alex Fitch, Sarah Cronin and Toby Weidmann.

esm0409

The latest print edition of Electric Sheep magazine was released in December 2009. But it’s not just the latest , it’s also the last. Financial realities have forced Electric Sheep out of the print game. It’s continuing online, but to me, it’s just not the same – I like the feel of print in my hands.

And the loss of Electric Sheep in print is a real shame as it’s is full of well written, thoughtful and insightful articles on a huge variety of cult / lesser known film making subjects. Or, as Electric Sheep puts it so well – “the film magazine that explores the darkest corners of the cinematic basement“.

This issue, like the previous ones, sports a wide variety of articles, reviews and features. All lovingly and effectively designed – stylish yet readable – exactly as it should be:

es contents

(A simple way to give you a view of both the variety of material in Electric Sheep and the solid design sense through the magazine – the contents page.)

This issue puts the spotlight on the cinematic outlaw in all it’s forms; bikers, gangsters, vigilantes, terrorists, femme-fatales, thieves, and renegade film-makers are amongst the subjects covered. The most important  thing, whether or not you’re familiar with the films, is that each piece is informative and eminently readable.

In addition to the “I Fought The Law” theme there’s an interview with John Hillcoat about his adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Alex Fitch sits down with Who script editor Andrew Cartmel to talk about The Prisoner and there’s even room for a quick article on the art of Polish film posters. Varied indeed.

As you would expect there are reviews and articles on a host of new releases, most of which I’d never heard of, many of which I’ll now be looking out for – that’s always a good sign.

There’s also a big link to comic art in the choice of artists to illustrate several of the articles; with work from  Daniel Locke, James Stringer, Matt Sheret and Julia Scheele. But best of all, there are two comic strip reviews by Hannah Berry (Britten and Brulightly) and Mark Stafford (Cherubs).

esm sidewalk(Hannah Berry’s review strip of Preminger’s “Where the sidewalk ends“.)

esm whirlpool esm daynight
(Left; Mark Stafford’s review strip of Preminger’s Whirlpool, right; Julia Scheele illustration for an article on Day Night Day Night.)

esm krimi esm bikermovies
(Left; Daniel Locke illustrates the Edgar Wallace films article. Right; James Stringer illustrates the Biker Flicks)

A magazine like Electric Sheep may be something that has a minority appeal but it, and many others like it, are welcome additions to bookshelves around the country. With the loss of Electric Sheep, our choices narrow that little bit more. The reasons are multitudinous I’m sure, but sometimes the balance sheet wins out over the heart and all the best will in the world.

The good news is that Electric Sheep is still available in it’s online form. Bookmark it, add it to that feed reader. It’s not for everyone. Indeed, there’s not even the faintest possibility that you’ll find everything in it’s pages to your taste. But that’s the whole point with something like this, covering a wide range of things very well; alternative things, weird things, wonderful things. You might not like everything here, but there may be something you’ll absolutely love.

Long may Electric Sheep continue, in whatever form it takes in the future. And maybe, who knows, one day we’ll see it return to print. Fingers crossed. But in the meantime, enjoy this last issue.

It’s just £3.75 in shops and available online at wallflowerpress.co.uk. The magazine continues online.

Richard Bruton.

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is ForbiddenPlanet.co.uk's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

One Response to Electric Sheep – another loss for print…

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