The opposite of doom-scrolling
We’ve written before about Paperboy’s infectious optimism, and issue three continues along the same sunny path. This time it’s themed loosely around ‘The Future’, though the real unifying factor is definitely its interest in good news, rather than any serious investigation of what the coming years will hold. Or as the introduction puts it, “Whatever the opposite of doom-scrolling is, that’s what we are.”
One of the things that makes Paperboy feel so genuinely warm is its knack for shuffling in big-name contributors alongside people who might be seeing their name in print for the first time. The magazine was created in lockdown, and founder David McKendrick says that while he felt unable to help with the crisis he saw unfolding all around him, he decided he could make a positive contribution by giving a helping hand to new young talent.
In this issue that means the likes of former Esquire editor Alex Bilmes imagining a future in which Covid enthusiasts re-enact the bizarre events of 2020. Then on the next page 17-year-old Ela Briant writes a lovely account of children’s insatiable urge to be older. It’s all so personal and disarming that the two sit comfortably alongside each other and help to create Paperboy’s uniquely easy, relaxed tone.
Fashion plays an important part in the magazine too, and again there’s a distinctly unpretentious approach, focusing on staples like blue jeans, jumpers, white pants and socks.
My favourite visual piece is Life Hacks, a beautifully photographed series of hints and tips that contains some genuinely priceless ideas. I am definitely going to start using paperclips to stop tape sticking to itself.
An elegant series of pages featuring biscuits runs through the entire issue, containing trivia about when they were created and where they came from, and making me really want a biscuit.
And finally, a fortune-telling fish is placed in the back of each issue, allowing you a glimpse of the future in the palm of your hand. It’s a lovely detail, and typical of Paperboy’s playful approach to publishing. David was at our Independent Magazine Fair this weekend and he revealed that he’s already almost sold out of this issue’s copies, so if you want a piece of Paperboy, make sure you pick one up while you can.