I’ve just finished reading the second issue of The Den: A Regional Queer Magazine. Based in Newcastle, Editor Nick Kelly and Director Trine Deans have complied 80 pages of articles, art and photography that tackle contemporary local and Australian gay issues.
Published in A5 format, The Den is a refreshing alternative to the ‘schmick’ and gloss of more standardised publications. The magazine includes articles, interviews and creative writing across a diverse range of subjects; from a silent LGBTIQ protest inside a church to the re-imagination of Frankenstein’s Bride and suspension by piercing.
I loved the creative punch behind this magazine and there’s a nice edge to the collection of articles inside. You’ll also find interviews with young musicians and artists that are both thoughtful and enlightening. Nick and Trine have created a great platform for some highly creative voices within Newcastle’s LGBTIQ community. That said, a more comprehensive edit and layout review wouldn’t go astray. However, it’s only the second issue, and for me, it’s the essence and intent of the publication that matters.
There was a strong female focus and I suspect this is the intended audience, although this wasn’t explicitly stated. Apart from the editing issues mentioned, I had no trouble reading the magazine from cover to cover. There were some very relevant pieces on all things LGBTIQ, particularly the interview with Phoebe Hart: Orchids, My Intersex Adventure.
The Den reminded me of a publication I might have read when coming out many years ago, and for that reason, I developed an instant fondness for it. I’m also a huge fan of local publications like this, which cater to local readers and showcase the work of new writers and artists.
There’s some work to be done to improve readability and layout, but not at the expense of content or taking a more mainstream approach. I’ll certainly be looking out for the next issue. You can check on the latest from The Den crew online at www.denmag.com.au.