Shelf Heroes issue H
Delivered to Stack subscribers in  Nov 2018

by Grace Wang in November 2018
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Like all good magazines, Shelf Heroes is a publication born out of love and which runs on a pure passion for its subject matter. Focusing on films, the magazine dedicates each issue to a letter of the alphabet, taking a deep dive into movies new and old, challenging writers, illustrators and artists to create something based on the cinematic worlds they love.

Having made its way to the letter H, packed with exceptional new writing and vibrant illustration, you’ll find Hellraiser alongside Honey, I Shrunk The Kids and La Haine cosied up to Heavenly Creatures. An eclectic cornucopia with no genre barrier or sense of High Cinema stuffiness, Shelf Heroes makes an ideal companion for film fans — from devotees to casual observers, there’s something for everyone.

Read on for our interview with editor Ben Smith to find out more about the eclectic magazine.

Ben Smith

Job title

What is Shelf Heroes?
Shelf Heroes is a film magazine like no other. No adverts, no trailers, it is a magazine about the magic of movies themselves, shaped by cinema fanatics. Each issue is centred on a letter of the alphabet (currently ‘H’), and creatives are invited to watch a film that begins with that letter and ‘go create something’. Illustration, fiction, poetry, a comic, an article – whatever encapsulates their feelings towards the movie watching experience.

What makes it different to the rest?
We don’t have reviews, interviews or any of the usual features you get in cinema magazines, instead it’s a ramshackle collection of personal responses to movies.

Who makes Shelf Heroes?
Shelf Heroes is designed and published by me, but it is really made by the hundreds of contributors who share their passion for film in every issue. Illustrators, writers, professionals, students, keen amateurs – everyone is welcome.

Who reads it?
Film fans. Illustration fans. Alphabet fans.

Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
I work as a freelance graphic designer, so a similar field but I barely get a chance to smell printed paper these days. From issue to issue I always do new little bits of merchandise. Basically things I’d like to receive as a film fan and collector of ’stuff’. T-shirts, postcards, stickers, badges, patches and that kind thing.

What would you change about Shelf Heroes if you could?
It’d be awesome to do bigger issues, with more pages and more space for contributors. It’d also be interesting to work with a larger creative team so I could share the workload slightly.

Where do you see Shelf Heroes in five years?
Issue Q and R!

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