Interview by Lotta Fjelkegård, Bold.
If you can't find a good magazine to buy in the stores, then start one of your own, it's the DIY fanzine way to solve the problem. That's why British journalist Calvin Holbrook founded Hate
LF: - Could you please give us a brief background on how you got started working for Face, Sneak and 19?
CH: -I trained as a journalist at the University of Westminster in London. First off I worked in radio and then I moved on to be the Clubs Editor on the UK's gay title Boyz which was pretty awful - having to say clubs were great because you relied on their advertising, rather than being able to give a totally subjective view. After that I travelled around the world a bit, then landed a job at 19 magazine, for teenage girls. Then, after working with an awful editor that was so slow that we had to work till 3am on press nights, I decided to leave and freelance on lots of other magazines.
LF: - When and why did you decide to start your own publication?
CH:- The concept for Hate began two years ago, while I was still at 19. I was fed up with writing about celebrities - I'm not really interested in Posh Spice's eating disorders - so it was a way of venting my frustration. I also felt that my job was not very creative, so being the designer of Hate allowed me to enjoy doing something visual; something new and interesting.
It was about giving people like me, who want to read a funny, topical publication the chance to read one - I don't think there are many magazines in the UK that actually make people laugh.
LF: - Why ”Hate”?!
CH:- Hate is an anagram of Heat - which is the best-selling celebrity title here. It's quite clever. I borrowed their logo and swapped the letters around to form my own.
LF: - How many issues so far, and how often do you plan to have a new one out on the stand?
CH:- Three issues so far, and it's just a very occasional publication - three or four a year for next year I think. Until I can make a living from it, I still have to work in the boring money jobs to exist. Not for long though - I have just launched a range of Hate greetings cards which are going down
LF: - An elevator-pitch for Hate would be?
CH:- Smash Hits x Viz x Private Eye!
LF: - Your readers are... ?!
CH:- Young, intelligent, creative, cheeky, trendy, fashionable, alternative - people that are not interested in mainstream life and seeking something different.
LF: - Why do you think that we, as a society, are so fascinated by ”celebrities”?
CH:- I think people that are obsessed with celebrities have not got enough stuff going on in their own lives to fulfill their happiness quota; it's dangerous. Celebrities breed an 'I want' condition, where people read about their lifestyles and aspire to it. We read about things they have, and want them, at any cost. It's bad news. A survey in the UK said that instead of wanting to be dentists or doctors or artists, most kids now just want to be famous. Not for anything in particular, just 'famous'.
LF: - Can you give us an example of a ”Hate”-slant on an article, vs a ”19”-slant on an article based on the same material.
CH: - Well, perhaps 19 would do a piece on 'how to steal her style' and talk through some skimpy outfit that Kylie was wearing and tell you where to buy her things. With Hate we would take someone in a really awful outfit and just take the piss out of them instead!
LF: - As you're doing everything on Hate yourself; writing, lay out, editing etc, how do you go around planning your work with the upcoming issue? Have you planned one issue ahead, or several?
CH: - Well, because production is quite random and I work freelance, I just takes weeks off work and sit and bash it out from home. I am starting to think about the Christmas issue right now. I have had a few people asking if they can contribute to the next issue so that is good news - more contributers are always welcome.
LF: - Are there any topics that you'd consider off-limits for Hate, and if so, why?
CH: - Nothing is off-limits for hate.
LF: - What hardware do you use [to produce Hate]?
CH: - Well, I have an eMac with just a 17 inch screen, a Canon scanner and printer. That's it! I copy the publication at the printers and it has a real zine look which is how I like it. If anyone wants to sponsor the magazine and buy us a lovely long Mac monitor, that would be nice! :)
LF: - And what programs do you work with?
CH: - Quark, Photoshop. That's it!
LF: - What font(s) have you chosen, and why?
CH: - Er, well we use many fonts but I guess my favourite is American Typewriter. It looks quite 'newsy' and is perfectly formed. It is my favourite ever font? Are you going to ask me about kerning next?! :)
LF: - What are your plans for Hate?
CH: - I want to produce more issues per year and have them be more available throughout the UK and abroad. I have also launched a range of Hate cards and t-shirts will be next which will appeal to those of you who like the magazine. I'd like to build up sponsorship so I could produce more copies and from the next issue we are going to be not only anti-celebrity but include more general photography, writing and random things!
LF: - Where can our curious readers find their own copy? And if a store wants to carry it, how do they proceed?
CH: - Check out hatemagazine.co.uk You can pay via PayPal but the price shown is for the UK. Anyone from outside UK should add extra for the postage. I would love shops to contact me - just write to firstname.lastname@example.org
LF: - Besides Hate, in your opinion, which are the most interesting magazines in the Uk right now?
CH: - I really have stopped reading them but I do enjoy the following occasionally:
* Cheap Date. This is all about charity shops and thrift and is
well-designed and looks cheap. It was one of my inspirations to start Hate!
* i-D is the best style/culture mag and has managed to survive the recent
culling of The Face, Sleaze, etc. It is the most relevant.
* Marmalade is another growing style mag which is beautifully designed - I
like it for that reason - they cut out pieces of text and mix with imagery
and then photograph it, placing it onto the page, creating a unique sort of
* Butt is great, but that is from Amsterdam. I love reading the interviews
and I got naked for it as well!
LF: - Can you name three books everyone should've read?
CH: - Don't read books.
LF: - Three movies you'd like to recommend?
CH: - New movies? At the moment I can only think of one called Kontroll. I saw this the other day at the ICA. It's about the underworld of the Metro system in Budapest and focuses on a gang of ticket collectors. Sounds dull - it's not. Amazing, fast pace and gruesome. Don't go and see Deep Water, the film about the divers that get stuck in the middle of the ocean. The press raved about it here but I found the dialogue awful and it did not manage to scare me in the slightest! BORING!
© 2004 Lotta Fjelkegård and Bold.
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