Back in issue 169 of Computer Arts we told you about a new independent magazine called Popshot. They were matching new poets with up-and-coming illustrators and producing something the literary world hadn't seen before. What started as an interesting creative project has become an inspiring publishing success story. With sales growing each issue, Popshot isn't only available online anymore, but is stocked at over 45 locations around Britain and exported to 18 countries.
Freshly redesigned, issue eight has just been released and it's dedicated to the theme of birth. "Popshot has been redesigned and relaunched with a new remit as 'The Illustrated Magazine of New Writing'," explains founder Jacob Denno. "This basically means that instead of it being a strictly poetry and illustration magazine, it's now got short stories and flash fiction in it as well, elevating it to the dizzying status of a 'literary magazine'."
But don't worry, the illustration is still in there and in the new issue you'll find work by Chris Thornley, Rupert Smissen, Darren Hopes, Peter Strain and many more. The combination of new writers, an open attitude and excellent visuals has positioned Popshot at the forefront of British literary publishing, contributing hugely to its reputation.
The next step was to introduce short stories to the mix - Denno was inspired by French surrealist Roland Topor and Roald Dahl, as well as the trend for flash fiction - and a redesign. "I suddenly started looking at other areas of the magazine that I thought needed to change. Subsequently, the logo was redone, the cover and interior templates changed allowing the layout to become more fluid, footnotes became endnotes, the website was revamped and so on," Denno says.
The magazine has kept its uncoated paper, vegetable inks and perfect-bound spine. "The kick I get out of producing Popshot is knowing that I've helped create a platform where I can put other writers or illustrators in front of people, and get their work seen. As the magazine has grown and more copies have gone into more bookshops in more countries, with more subscribers week on week, it's a real joy to know that not only are people paying their hard-earned money for what we're making, but more of them are doing it, and the platform is getting bigger and bigger."
Issue eight costs £6 plus P&P and is available from the Popshot website. A while back, Popshot also launched a printshop, selling some of the most popular illustrations printed in the magazine as Gicle prints. These limited edition prints can be purchased for £45 each, including work by Sam Green, Tom Hovey and Esra Rise.