Let’s go way back… way back to when printed matter ruled supreme. No digital formats, no online resources & no Instagram. Just pure printed type on paper.
I was obsessed back then by books, comics & magazines, rarely poking my nose above the ephemera parapet. It opened my eyes & stimulated my imagination in ways that nothing else at the time could – from inspiring me to have a frickin’ huge painting of Cardinal Wolsey above my bed (which my mum loathed – bonus points all round!) to the loss of hours, even days, recreating full-blown tableaux of pop stars & Bunty cut outs on my dressing table.
To be honest, prehaps I didn’t have the most normal of childhoods. Dragged from the secure comfort blanket of being raised by my aunt & grandmother, surrounded by cousins, to living as an only child with my mum & stepdad in a foreign country. It’s no wonder I retreated into my paper & ink netherworld of fantasy & glamour, especially as most of my friends were local kids & language was sometimes an issue.
In order to wallow in my weekly publication fix I had to place an order at the local NAAFI for mags to be shipped from the UK. Every Thursday I would rush to pick up my copy of Bunty comic – confession time, I was only interested in the cut-out fashion on the back page – I’d also order a copy of Sounds music paper (now defunct) & NME music paper (also now defunct). As a 9 year old I must have looked pretty random walking around with Bunty, Sounds & NME tucked under my arm, but these three publications from a different country really were the backdrop to my childhood that gave me passions that last to this day.
I’d love to know which publications are still stamped into your brain from childhood & whether you feel they’ve influenced your later adult life. I still love Bunty & I’ve created a li’l homage in the artwork for this piece.
If you fancy a play, you can print the cut-out doll & outfits from here.