My life in Comics and Magazines

I’ve always loved comics and magazines. I remember looking forward to getting rolls of comics wrapped in brown paper from my Grandma – classic comics for girls of the 60s like Bunty, Mandy and Twinkle.  I particularly loved Bunty, as it had a cut-out doll with wardrobe on the back page which I religiously snipped out each issue. My brother got Whizzer and Chips, Topper and Beezer.

Then in the 70s I graduated to the wonderful Jackie.  We all read it, we all put up the posters, were educated by the Cathy and Claire problem pages, and sniggered over the photo stories.  

It was simply the best teen comic out there.  There were flirtations with Fab 208 (the magazine of Radio Luxembourg – better quality paper for glossy posters), and Smash Hits, but until I was old enough for the young adult mag Honey, Jackie was the must have.

At university, I got overtaken by science fiction and prog rock, and instead of having posters of David Bowie et al, it was more likely to be the alien landscapes and spaceships of Roger Dean that graced my walls, many of them cut out of Omni magazine, a US science and science fiction magazine that was, believe it or not, published by Penthouse! There was no smut involved, just wonderful art, some brilliant SF short stories and speculative technology of the sort that’s in Wired these days.

Once working, I turned to the women’s monthlies, Cosmo, Company and the like in my late 20s into 30s, then graduated to Marie Claire, and later even Good Housekeeping alongside a whole raft of interior design mags – Homes & Gardens House Beautiful and the ilk, my favourite being Living etc.

Alongside those, I was still interested in music and movies, and thank goodness for Q and Empire respectively which debuted in the late 1980s.  I graduated, along with Q’s editors (Mark Ellen and David Hepworth), to Mojo as my musical tastes matured, and Empire I’ve never left.

But what magazines do I read now?  Well, I’ve dropped all my subscriptions to the glossy monthlies and interior design mag having realised that the articles and trends just go round in circles and I’ve now seen and read them all before!  I’ll still buy one or two of them for a journey or holiday, but no longer feel the need to read them every month.  I do however, still read these few:

  • The Word (again I jumped ship with Mark Ellen and David Hepworth) to this fab mag for grown-ups about music, films, tv, and a few books.
  • I still read Empire
  • The Literary Review, plus Waterstones quarterly (although this is on hold with the new ownership).
  • plus an assortment of occasional literary quarterlies like The Reader and Slightly Foxed

What comics did you grow up with?

Which magazines do you read and love now?

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To explore further on Amazon UK, click below:
The Best of Jackie Magazine – The Seventies (Prion Edition)

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13 thoughts on “My life in Comics and Magazines

  1. I read word, mojo and uncut every month , get liteary review and tls from time to time apart from that some online reading I wasn’t a comic kid nme was my thing in tern years all the best stu

    • I’ve never read the TLS would you believe it. Maybe I should try it one week when something piques my interest. I was never an NME or Melody Maker type – too intimidating for me then.

  2. Our history is very nearly identical. I’ve never taken to sci fi though, and I remember reading Record Mirror before the advent of Q.

    These days pick up knitting magazines regularly, The Word if there’s something it that particularly calls me, and I subscribe to New Books and Herstoria.

    • Jackie certainly had a monopoly – there wasn’t much choice for tweens and early teens was there – but I loved it and have very fond memories.

      I got New Books when it first came out, but stopped for some reason – I think I was at odds with some of the reader reviews. Maybe I should try it again.

  3. Lovely post – brings back memories. I suppose my history is Look and Learn (wasn’t allowed anything more fun like Whizzer and Chips!), football comics, 2000AD and superhero comics, Smash Hits, NME and later Empire, Word (until virtually all the book coverage dropped out), Q and the Economist.

    Nowadays, it’s Literary Review and History Today – probably a reflection of my acceptance of middle age.

    • Look and Learn! I remember that Falaise – very worthy, but great for facts. (There is a similar one for kids now called Aquila, but it’s a bit expensive).

      Maybe we should all write to Ellen and Hepworth clamoring for more books in Word.

  4. I used to get a magazine called Robin when I was very small – and then quite a worthy magazine called Knowledge although I did enjoy the classic children’s novels in instalments that they included, even 40-odd years later I can still remember their version of The Water Babies.
    I didn’t get any of the girls comics weekly but I used to get the Diana and Bunty annuals at Christmas and loved them, before I graduated to Fab208 – I wasn’t allowed Jackie for some reason so had to smuggle it into the house!
    After that it was Company and Cosmo, Elle and Marie Claire and whatever else caught my eye – as a journalist I claimed it was research!
    Still have my magazine habit, although I have cut it down to five which are on subscription and betray my age a little I’m afraid – Easy Living, Woman&Home, Country Living & Interiors, French Property News (well I can dream…) and my dose of property porn 25 Beautiful Homes!
    Not a cool or clever magazine among them!

  5. Liz – Poor you being deprived of Jackie! I remember Diana too, but it wasn’t one my Gran usually got for me as she bought all my kiddie comics.

    Easy Living is the glossy monthly I enjoy most. I can’t look at any more interiors mags though at the moment – sadly my dreams of having a big clutter-free house with a library wing are never going to come true. I had to stop getting Conde Nast traveller for the same reason. But if you get a French gite, can I come?!

    • Oh definitely! I’ve already mentally furnished it and painted the shutters the right shade of blue – now all I need is the money and the opportunity! Oh and to persuade my other half, of course – the kids are already on side!

  6. I adored comics – with four elder bothers I was able to read their Dandys, Beanos and Eagles while I had Bunty, Judy and Diana (interspersed with the Beatles fan club magazine and just about every pony book ever written). Then I moved onto Petticoat and Jackie (both strictly forbidden at my boarding school due to unsuitable moral content), 19 and Company…
    I’ve really lost my taste for glossy magazines now which is a sadness – they were such good way of giving yourself a little treat and a lot cheaper than shoes.

    • Victoria, I don’t believe I ever saw Petticoat… I’m truly fed up with the glossies these days, and they’re not so affordable now either – can’t get many for the price of a normal pair of shoes!

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