Quick flick – Out Of Step

by Steve Watson in May 2011
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There were a few magazines at Printout! that I hadn’t seen before, and Out Of Step is probably the best of the bunch. It’s certainly the most arresting – even the shape of the thing feels different, so tall and thin that its spreads are almost square. Pretty much every story is worth showing here but I’ll stick to just a few – you can see the whole issue in an emag on the OOS site.

This is its second issue, and in his opening letter (below, opposite the contents page) editor in chief Christin Malén Andreassen says it was a tough one – “An issue that had a curse resting on its shoulders. An issue that did not want to be born. A baby who needed to be convinced to appreciate life. It came out feet first. With us all screaming.”

I can believe him – this isn’t a magazine that takes the easy route. There are some genuinely difficult photo shoots inside, including this one of the cover star; a male model who doesn’t have arms. There’s nothing to explain what significance that might have – just a semi-punning headline and some really striking photography.

Then there’s this one, with words apparently carved into models’ flesh. If this was almost any other magazine I’d say it was make-up, but in the context of the out of stepness I’m pretty sure it’s for real.

OOS is a Norwegian magazine – around two thirds are in English and one third Norwegian. I can’t speak for the Norwegian bits, but the English writing isn’t very good. It’s a shame because there are some smart ideas – for example the story below about activists against Japanese whaling (like several articles in the magazine, it starts with a hand turning the page to reveal the copy). The writer acknowledges that the Norwegians themselves are a whaling nation, but that idea isn’t clearly explored. Things get confused and it’s hard to work out exactly what the story is trying to say.

There’s lots to like though, for example that typography (you might just be able to make out “Whale Wars” on the right-hand page above). If they could tighten up their writing a bit, OOS would be a seriously brilliant magazine.

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