Acetone - a magazine
Black ink on my thumbs!
How long has it been?
Twenty years? More..? At least since Tracks ditched newsprint, whenever that was. Turn of the century maybe. The sight gave me a little buzz after a couch session in the afternoon sun.
The cheap ink was provided by Acetone magazine, the latest medium-hopping project from Big Sky Limited, the collective of surfers and artists loosely based out of Andrew Kidman's home on the North Coast of NSW.
I've made light of the Big Sky Renaissance Men - and women, sorry Michelle - before, but for those unaware they shape boards, make films, make music, and write books, all under the Big Sky name. And now they publish a mag too.
Ostensibly, issue 1 is to promote Kidman and Ellis Ericson's recent film 'On The Edge Of A Dream', a matter for which Kidman makes no apologies.
"The mag is free," screamed Kidman, "What the hell are they gonna complain about?"
No doubt people will find something, because when it comes to feigned grievances, humanity is underrated. As an online editor I can vouch for it.
As an editor I also know my history, and when it comes to cross-promotion, surfing is postively littered with it. In 1962 Surfer was founded, not as a magazine, but as a program to accompany John Severson's surf films, while Tracks was largely used as a vehicle to promote Morning of the Earth. It's not even the first time Kidman has done it as I have in front of me Litmus the magazine, which I paid $9.95 to Burraneer Bay Newsagency in 1996. I paid the money - $16.27 adjusted for inflation - and still they tried to sell me stuff inside.
Aside from the promo, there's some weird reverse disruption going on here. Kidman and Sam Rhodes, who I assume is editor, throw a monkey-wrench into the internet, all that bite-sized info and eye-watering backlit glare, by running long interviews and articles in Acetone. The sort of stuff you need to make sure you're atop a comfy cushion before you get started, preferably with a tea and scone within arm's reach.
When I first read it I mind-edited out all the bits I wouldn't run - a bad habit borne from online brevity - till I slowed down, sipped on my tea and let the words flow. Didn't check my email once.
There's a bunch of interviews, a cryptic crossword by IG Lord Surfcore 2001, and assorted shit up the back, classifieds and whatnot which'd be equally at home in Viz.
Issue 2 of Acetone will probably promote 'Beyond Litmus' and as Kidman told me, "It'll come out when it's ready."
This is the part where I'm supposed to state where Acetone is available but I don't really know. Worth looking for but.