I first discovered Nude magazine in 2005. I was working in the Southwark area of London and tucked away behind Waterloo station, on Lower Marsh just off The Cut is a super cool little retro shop called ‘Radio Days’. This is where I picked up my first square bound copy of Nude, it was in its relatively early days then and on a free promotion in this shop. It called to me and I’ve looked out for it ever since. (I even subscribed when I eventually moved away.)
Nothing beats a real alternative magazine, especially one like this, that was dedicated to all things counter-culture. Over the years it has featured such varied subjects as Vinyl toys, subversive art from the likes of Jimmy Cauty, Jamie Reid, and Billy Childish, inspirational new emerging illustrators and designers, alternative comics, indie-press and fanzines, off kilter movies, music, (including memoirs from the ‘beautiful losers’, the bands that never made it), and fabulous photos of alternative lifestyles, from female Teddy boys, to roller derby divas to British underground wrestling and street art tag teams. Diversity was very much in the order of contents. It’s even had interviews with some of my comics heroes including Alan Moore, Charles Burns and Daniel Clowes.
Nude always seemed to feature things I was just getting into, or conversely just barely aware of- like it was reading my mind and feeding me ever more suggestions of things I might like. It often made me feel like there was a secret London with lots of interesting things going on to those in the know. It also featured great book reviews. It was like a new friend with lots of similar interests, but it was way cooler than me!I didn’t always read it cover to cover, but it’s the kind of magazine you keep and treasure, and I often find myself going back over old copies and discovering things in its pages that hadn’t interested me before.
Like I’ve said, the magazine was a real treasure and I was sad to learn that this year would see its very last issue. This recession has meant tough times for everyone, and magazines, especially independent ones are destined to suffer more than most. But after almost a decade Nude has had a good innings and its creators are ready to move on to new things. I was glad I got in touch with them when I did, as I am very proud to have been invited to contribute to the mammoth celebratory issue Bare Essentials: The Best of Nude Magazine, where you can find my personal top ten best of UK comics & indie creators cobbled from my own ten years experience in the UK comics scene.
Go on, check it out, I urge you. Before you miss a little bit of Indie Publishing history. You’ll be glad you did….