Ethan Switch - Wednesday, 29 March 2006
For all the supposed worth of newspapers, warmth is a hard fought quality for those rugging it up night after night in the cold harsh reality of homelessness. Even batches hot off the presses cool in a relatively quick fashion. Their barren pages quick in turning cold and crinkly. And how many homeless people use newspapers as blankets today anyway?
Sample collection takes various issues from the year of 2003 and 2004. One roach leg the only sign of decay underneath twenty or so kilos of other magazines. Average reading time falls just under an hour.
Quite the thick texture to the pages themselves, it's a wonder the ink doesn't smear itself from the sheer face of it all. A granular feel to an otherwise smooth stock. Between a sneeze and drooling with grains of sand thrown in between. Though never that rough.
Grainy on the fingers, rough on the fold, Work From Home is a magazine that feels like a backyard operation making good use of free paper. Loose ink takes no time at all in staining the fingers, black by turn's end. For that it leaves an impression.
Heavy advertising onslaught from small time businesses and franchises; as would be the case for a magazine targeting this niche. However, the presentation and flow of the ad space crams a lot of words and exclamatory points in so small a space, there is a palpable fear of any creative use of white space.
Reading the content against the advertorials at times gets tricky. The lay out of both working to blend in and cause both to lose out at times. Articles even cut themselves short on pages to be taken out by their knees, others watch on as the pigs cram in to use the milking machines when the cows have gone to pasture.
Not a single issue features any hint of a regular editor. Each instalment of the magazine is under the guise and reigns of a new face, a new editor, every time. For the mere transgressions of revolving doors, this works to open up the scales of operation, allowing a new take on the small world of small business.
For those looking to read between lines for the sake of stirring, it's a confidence issue or of the last editor having done a runner and made off with what ever referrals they were looking to make from helming the publication in that month.
There's no sense of "finish" when turning the last page.