MAGANEWS REVIEW: Frankie, Issue 49.

Words by josie Steenhart

All good maganewsophiles know there’s much more to a good maganews than just the content.

Frankie knows this too, which is why they’ve clearly given thought to their paper stock (thick but light, with a finely mottled grain) and cover (smooth and matte and almost silky).

Moving on from wanting to give it a hug just for those two reasons, there’s also a very pretty, fresh-faced, but overall normalish girl-next-door covergirl, and the enticement of reading about Cat Power in Miami and lady explorers in Syria, China and India.

So, a travel theme of sorts. Wanderlust. We all have a touch of it. Let’s look inside then.

The Ed’s Letter, complete with a background print of sweet golden vintage wallpaper, advises – “Act like wherever you are, that’s the place to be”. Nice advice.

Eight pages of ‘Frank Bits’ give a bite-sized sample of all things cute, quirky, current and creative. Replica retro milk bottles made from pastel porcelain, jelly shoes, a book on herbs and flowers, bon bon soaps and bands with bad haircuts. Also a generous number of prizes up for grabs, something you don’t see so much these days.

The imagery throughout is lush and filtered and nothing less than captivating. There’s also a good dose of watercoloury illustration, and more of those amazing vintage wallpaper prints.

Stories cover Bat For Lashes, Grizzly Bear, Belgian lacemaking, holding a gig in your lounge, the cult of cute, balcony gardens and good movies for bad days. There’s a thorough review of ‘the best old-school ice-creams in the land’ and a recipe for mini burgers.

There’s actually a good number of New Zealand-based pieces too – not bad for an Aussie publication. There’s also quite a lot of crafty stuff, not my cup of tea but very likely devoured by many a devoted Frankie fan.

And it’s not all happiness and light either, there’s stark photos of the sex slave trade in Moldova and two quite different pieces on grief and loss.

Small things I was charmed to learn – Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) has a French bulldog named Mona, Grizzly Bear’s frontman Ed Droste has a chihuahua named Beast, dwarf lemons are just like normal ones but the trees can be kept in pots, real cowboys do exist, and humans are attracted to baby animals because they share many of the same features as our own babies – “large eyes, small mouth, enormous head and total helplessness”.

The phrase “plus much, much more” is usually a lazy way of saying you can’t quite be bothered to say what else there is, but in the case of this issue there actually is much, much more. You get your money’s worth with Frankie Issue 49.

The final page promises a “lovely one-off collector’s edition” to celebrate their 50th issue (out October 17th) and “lots of special things going on to mark the occasion”. Seems like Frankie‘s a friend worth keeping around.

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