163 // on paper | oh comely | tori's tales: 163 // on paper | oh comely

26 January 2014

163 // on paper | oh comely

the perfect combo - a notebook (to jot down inspiration), oh comely, a cuppa
Up until a couple of years ago my magazine consumption consisted of weekly flimsies (in all senses of the word) and monthly hefties (thanks to the abundance of advertisements) devoted to celebrity. Now, there's nothing wrong with an indulgent flick through said mags every now and again (I mean, there's only so much one can read on a tea break) but my interest in them waned and when I no longer found satisfaction from parting with my pennies on my weekly trip to the local shop, instead of searching for something a little more on-par with my tastes, I gave up magazine-buying (and thus, magazine-reading) altogether.

Fast-forward to the present day and I've (only just) realised that magazines do exist outside of the poorly-stocked local convenient-store shelves (who, inconveniently, offer a measly selection of quite frankly terrible reads, all rather dog-eared and thin-of-page) and that one can, in fact, choose from a whole host of interesting and independent magazines whilst in the comfort of one's home - whilst bum is firmly planted on seat and finger on the not-so-obvious button of a laptop. There are plenty out there to choose from; so many that my quest to choose just one to quench my need for a quicker-read fix - that is,  for those times when I don't necessarily want to dive between the pages of a book or I can't enjoy a good bloggy read because the situation in which I find myself could result in disaster where a laptop is involved, i.e. when I wish to read in the bath, because said lap for the laptop to sit atop is situated underwater - certainly took great effort on my part (please sir, can I have them all?).

Tori's Tales, oh comely, magazine, print, paper, independent

That is where 'oh comely' (whose tagline - or slogan? - is 'keep your curiosity sacred' - how divine is that?!) comes in. I saw it's name mentioned in a couple of spots across the interwebs (along with some others I'm very keen to pick up as-and-when I can) and thought I'd give it a go - the beautiful photography featured on the website of this month's issue, and the enticingly-awesome subtitle 'Different, interesting women are our heroes', was more than enough to draw me in, and after happily placing my order I awaited it's arrival with decidedly-bated breath.....

Tori's Tales, oh comely, magazine, print, paper, independent, photography, portrait series
background // words - Hannah Zeilig, image - Stepan Obruchkov, pg 104
foreground // ayesha by francesca: a portrait series, pg 70
It's quite the befitting name - the design is so captivating, and it's flashes of colour and stunning imagery such a visually-delightful feast for the senses, that I'm doing my best to savour it by sticking to reading just a few pages at at time (not in order - never in order) so my reading-experience isn't over too quickly. The issue itself, in-keeping with the aforementioned subtitle, features not only a plethora of female interviewees but interviewers and contributors too - from illustration, to words, stories and photography. One of the main topics-at-hand is 'a conversation about bacon' (I'm not quite sure why? It's possible I have missed the reason due to my delving in at random points, or maybe they don't feel as though one is needed?) that gives rise to a whole host of interesting articles including; 'does the patriarchy worship at the altar of bacon' (a discussion between Anna Godfrey - one of oh comely's contributors, a writer and recent Bristol-grad - and Carol J. Adams - writer of The Sexual Politics of Meat - centred around why the latter believes being a feminist and meat-eater shouldn't go hand-in-hand); 'how's your hot dog, mr hot dog', an article that features signage 'so delicious it wants to eat itself' and 'what meat means to me' - a women's inner-debate-and-meat-filled trip down memory lane. 

Tori's Tales, oh comely, magazine, print, paper, the selfish giant, clio barnard
outside the giant's garden // an interview with clio barnard, pg 49
There are a few articles I've yet to get through only for the reason that I'm enjoying the very first read too much to gulp it down all in one sitting. One I have already read was an interview with Clio Barnard, who wrote a favourite film of mine from 2013, The Selfish Giant, about the film and the motivation behind it's story. The piece certainly made me think twice abut the way I had, admittedly rather two-dimensionally, interpreted the story and it lead to a couple of discussions with the boy about our impressions of the film (and so-forth). Despite only tackling about half of the magazine so far I have found that, as I am always striving to be a better (more interesting and well-rounded) me, oh comely (and no doubt many other independent publishings out there) has offered me a fantastic opportunity to become just that, by supplying it's readers (definitely this one here) with articles that are thought-provokingly-provocative; they most certainly got me thinking and wondering and pondering, and and what more, really, could I ask of it?  


  1. I have been reading Oh Comely since the beginning and always find myself in awe of their words. The creative stories inspire me to write and the photographs are always beautiful. Glad you have found the magazine too, lots of inspiration to be drawn from it :) xx

  2. have been reading this for a year, got two year subs woohoo! loving this mag as much as you do :)

    Katrina Sophia Blog

  3. What an amazing review and magazine! I must keep a look out for this! I'm the same I like to read a magazine pages at a time. It sounds so interesting, so much more than most mags x

  4. The tagline alone makes me want this magazine! I too have lost interest in magazines, I don't enjoy reading any of the magazines that I can pick up in the supermarket or the newsagents anymore. I rarely buy them, when I do it might be because I want the free gift (shame on me!). The contents sound very interesting from what you've mentioned of them, the meat debate one I'd have to read to understand I think. I wonder what makes you choose to dip in and out rather than read front to back? I'm one of those people who couldn't possibly do that, the thought of it alone makes me want to pick up a book and go through it front to back (strange!!!) and devour each item and picture in the order it is ordered for me. I've really been enjoying reading my books again, and would love to try out a new, independent, magazine. One I've been pondering for a while is Lionheart magazine (http://www.lionheart-mag.com/). I love the fact you can buy cookies for the office on the Oh Comely shop. When I'm less poor after hopefully less frivolous spending in February, I will definitely pick up one of these delightful magazines after the tough decision of which one. January has been such an indulgent month, I think after months of buying presents for everyone else I needed to get some retail therapy out of my system! xxx

    1. Oh gosh, I feel mean now that I read magazines out of order because I always forget that people put a lot of time and effort into the layout and here I am, messing with their hard work!! I'm not sure why I do it, I just always have - unfortunately it's so ingrained in me now that I don't think I'll ever read front-to-back, as laid out, though I will try!!

  5. Blimey, this is refreshing. I hate mainstream magazines. This looks like the way forward :)

  6. I've heard quite a lot about this magazine before. :) More and more independent magazines seem to be coming out of the woodwork and I need to read a few. ♥ The photography looks beautiful in it!

    Abigail x

  7. Awesome feature on oh comely! I subscribed when it first came out, have loved it ever since (and felt so proud seeing it in whsmith) x jazzy at hivenn.co.uk

  8. I LOVE Oh Comely, such interesting articles and beautiful imagery, I love keeping them to reread too, they are such lovely sources of inspiration!
    Carrie xxx

  9. love this post tori! lovely photos too. i never read articles in order either. also, when i'm browsing/looking for an article to read, i always do it from the back to front! i don't even know why, i've just always done that!

  10. such a lovely post! oh comely is my favourite magazine, its so different from everything else out there and much more interesting x


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