by Penny Martin .

Fantastic Man II

The launch party for the second issue of Fantastic Man was held at Black Frame last night and it was great to see what all the fuss is about. At first sight, the magazine has the feel of a grown-up men's title from the late 70s: something Norman Mailer and Charles Bukowski might have contributed to...were the tone not so devastatingly camp. The writing doesn't take itself too seriously and the photographers (Viviane Sassen, Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm (really excelling themselves), Benjamin Alexander Huseby, Jason Evans) are all well-chosen. The particular masculinity depicted is quite complex and interesting, without relentlessly pastiching the classic menswear photographers, which is so very, very rare. The trick, I believe, is the paper stock. It lends that nostalgic, faded tone, allowing the content to be mercifully free of retro. Find yourself a copy. I think you'll find it's very good.