Photography Tyler Udall

your step-by-step guide to the new issue of mushpit

From sexy centrefolds to musings on the rent crisis, i-D Contributing Features Editor Bertie Brandes and Charlotte Roberts introduce us to their latest Mushpit instalment: The Crisis Issue.

by Bertie Brandes
24 October 2016, 9:15pm

Photography Tyler Udall

Welcome to a step-by-step guide to the new Mushpit. Yes, we somehow made another issue! After a long year of minor political differences, varying degrees of moody selfies, outraged tweets and obscure Instagrams, we decided our readers were probably in need of a bit more confusion. Introducing: the Crisis issue. Grown large and heavy (like you, and us) since its initial zine incarnation, Mushpit is now an A4 atrocity of fake advertising, satire, pure meanness, pure niceness, bad advice, generally more bad advice and lots of cool looking pictures. If you liked it before, you'll love it now! If you hated it before, why not buy it to see if you love it now and if you've never heard of it, buy it twice! Still independently published, still art directed by the bendy font genius that is Ben Freeman, still the same price as two coffees (ok maybe three coffees...inflation) except now it's even better than before. In case you don't believe us, here we have broken down some of the key components to The Crisis Issue including a profound insight as to why we have resigned from the New Labia party.

1. We have a really good centrefold in this one...
In case you were unaware, Mushpit prides itself on having a sexy male as light relief in the centrefold (ikr, who'd have thought) of each issue. Happily for all of us, this time we've really outdone ourselves. Gracing our pages is the eternally divine Sean Nicholas Savage, a Canadian singer who makes deep, magical music about music and magic. Shot by Tyler Udall and with illustrations by Russell Maurice, we highly recommend tearing these pages out and sticking them on your wall.

2. You can find out if your indie mag is niche or norm...
What would Mushpit be without a lot of fairly oblique and self-referential features? Here you'll see we've written a checklist to find out if your indie mag is niche or norm. Quite useful to about four people, but an appropriately cutting read for everyone else. Loads of white borders? An alt art director? A relative that works for a talent agency? Cross your fingers… you might be niche.

3. You can read into London's (FLAWED) late night licensing...
An unassuming back page to some, a binge-drinking bible to others. Prosecco-saint Scarlett Maguire has delved into licensing legislation in our fair city and found out that Goldman Sachs and Abbey National still have their 24h licenses while Fabric and Peoples Club most certainly do not. A concise list of places to get drunk in the capital after 3am, all in one soluble and easy-to-digest format. Thanks Scarlett!

4. There are more fake ads...
To make things even more difficult for ourselves, other than publishing an independent bi-annual print magazine in 2016, we also remain proudly (sort of) ad FREE. Instead, we spend loads of money making fake adverts for ridiculous products that don't exist, because the world needs them. This time we've done a brilliant series with Milo Reid about the absurdity of bottled water, which is finished with a very special back page. We won't ruin the surprise for you but rest assured it's genuine ;)

5. There are TWO Quizzes...
There's never been a Mushpit without a quiz, since issue 1 when we wondered which Britney are you? This time we ask whether you're a bleeding heart liberal or a vodka, lime socialist - and then delve into the archives to figure out which Mushpit era you are.

6. You can read an interview with Spare Rib...
We are very excited to publish an interview by the perennially annoying Martin T. Hadley who spoke to Sue O'Sullivan, one of the early editors of Spare Rib. As old friends, they had a fascinating discussion about publishing, feminism and "safe spaces" which we feel very privileged to have in the mag. Serious moment pls.

Photography Edith Bergfors

7. There is fashion…in a non fashion way…
This issue has some beautiful stories from Joyce NG, Dexter Lander and Edith Bergfors which all play very differently with the crisis theme. We also shot in an incredible abandoned office space-cum-chicken factory one glorious bank holiday weekend with Raphael Bliss and Victoria Higgs, and some painfully good-looking models Yasmina, Gabriel and Isobel. 

8. You can read up on new age mush-politics...
New Labia is gone and Vodka, Lime Socialism is IN. You heard it here first. T-shirts to follow.

9. You can lament at being Generation Rent...
As ever, this issue deals with things very close to our hearts and insane rents is what keeps us awake at night. Expect innovative solutions and a rallying cry to rent strike.

10. There's crisis-4-all...
Think of this issue as a practical guide to the multiple crises of this year, with no practical information but lots of jarring and colourful pages to distract you from everything else going on. Relationship breakdown? Brexit panic attack? Dunno what food group to give up next? We got you.

Photography Vinca Petersen

Pre-order the new issue here and definitely come to our London launch party at the Horse Hospital on Friday 28th between 7pm -10pm, kindly sponsored by Smirnoff and Gordon's.

Read: the editors shaping the future of magazines.


Text Bertie Brandes

Bertie Brandes
The Mushpit
Charlotte Roberts
fashion interviews