Save Our Souls #1
Edited by David Ziggy Greene
48 pages / colour / £7
Released December 2015
Review by Tom Mortimer
Save Our Souls is a new magazine that aims to provoke thought and conjure laughs. Recently released after a successful crowd funding campaign, Save Our Souls comprises illustration, comics, and written articles focusing on contemporary issues.
A bold flair for professional experience runs through the comic pieces and illustration, unsurprising considering the pool of talent from which it draws. The journalistic side I find slightly harder to judge, but it does excite me. First hand accounts re-coax an association of news with personally experienced events, and there’s a greater sense of reality in that but also a more accessible narrative, a tone perfectly echoed in the accompanying comic work. This approach is written into the ethos of the magazine by editor David Ziggy Greene, whose rendering of events for Private Eye should stand as a clear indication of creative journalistic embrace.
With such a high standard of ability from the first to last page, it’s difficult to pull out highlights or favourites, but I’ll make comment on a few…
Mark Stafford (perhaps best known for his collaboration with David Hine on The Man Who Laughs) delivers a gut thrust of a piece, rich with a bitter, dark humoured pairing of some of the worst scenarios people are experiencing across the world, juxtaposed against the positive thinking expressions of motivational posters or work team building exercises. Under this initial shock-contrast lies an interesting concept, at least to me, about the gaps between increasingly artificial sentiments and the necessary coping mechanisms for survival.
There’s a softer contemplation from Ersin Karabulut’s ‘Monochrome’, with themes of assimilation and negotiations over identity. The story feels dream-like in it’s surreal framing of relationships between grey / ‘colourless’, and colourful people but within its weaving there’s a sense of a very real world connection.
Perhaps the most abstracted from any sense of reportage are John Cullen’s shorts (which open and close the magazine), but in creating manic re-imaginings of ‘How To Eat Jaffa Cakes’ or ‘How To Make Tooth Paste’, even here we’re brought back to a form of ‘the every day’. Cullen is playfully whacking with an imaginative hammer products that are recognisable to a majority of the population and possibly even carry something comedic in themselves through their banality.
Overall, Save Our Souls‘ first issue lays some very strong initial foundations, and with the support and recognition it deserves it will continue to be a publication of guaranteed interest and quality.
You can order a copy of Save Our Souls #1 online via PayPal. For a little more information on the project, you can visit the Indiegogo campaign page, and keep up to date on the latest news via Twitter @saveoursoulsmag