News: New Comedy Magazine Launches

Stand & Deliver

New Comedy Magazine Stand & Deliver has just been launched. Issue 1 costs £5 plus postage and features Tony Law on the cover. It also features quite a lot of Tony Law inside. An interview with him, some of his doodles and a children’s story written by Law.

That’s not all though. The magazine also includes a piece on comedy in Germany, a piece on dressing up in comedy and a comedians’ guide to festivals. Other comedians featured include Seymour Mace, Matt Roper, Gavin Webster and Jojo Smith.

The magazine, edited by Ian Wylie and designed by Danielle Gilbert, certainly looks good, with lots of original illustrations. The team behind it has a very strong visual sense. As well as printing an illuminating interview with photographer Dave Brown, who has worked with The Mighty Boosh among others, they’ve also come up with the concept of the mag being like a gig, with “running order” instead of contents and Law as “Headliner”. I not sure how seasoned pros such as Jojo Smith and Gavin Webster will feel about being billed as “Open Mic Slot” though.

It’s a brave, ambitious move for a number of reasons. I’m old enough to remember a few comedy magazines that launched in the 1990s. That was a time when people actually bought magazines in large numbers. And the mags launched then with quite a push still closed down. More recently print versions of The Fix and Mustard boasted strong writing and fascinating long articles for comedy nerds but still closed down.

Of course, comedy is bigger business now than in the 1990s, but then again Stand & Deliver is going for a more niche area. I doubt if Michael McIntyre or John Bishop will be appearing on future covers. I think this is more aimed at Invisible Dot-type acts such as Tim Key or maybe at a push Stewart Lee if he’s not considered too mainstream. The first edition also features an overview of the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society. A Daniel Kitson interview would be a good fit and a great scoop if they could get it for Issue 2.

So will the almost perversely old school Stand & Deliver survive in the digital age? It’s hard to say. It’s a shame they couldn’t get the first edition in the shops and out to everyone in time for the start of Edinburgh as that might have given it more of a kick-start. The aim is to start by coming out twice a year and then see how things go. I doubt if it will make fortunes for its creators, but if it can survive for a couple of years it will be doing better than most previous attempts. And it certainly deserves to succeed. In the spirit of its gig-style approach let’s hope there is an encore.

Order Stand & Deliver here.

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