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Lemon Magazine

by Ami Kealoha in Culture on 22 February 2006

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From the creative duo of Kevin Grady and Colin Metcalf, the team behind the lauded multi-format Gum Magazine, comes the bi-annual Lemon magazine. They call their second art-, culture-, and design-obsessed publication with a food-related title, "pop culture with a twist" and envision it as something like LIFE Magazine's little bro. If their debut "Supernatural" issue is any indication, it's a winning combination for many reasons, not the least of which is their indie ethos and for-us-by-us approach—the upshot feels like two creative types spent a year calling all their favorite artists, reinventing magazine concepts and layout, and drinking too much coffee.

Featuring a bug-eyed model on a cover printed with a transparent fleur-de-lys-type pattern, the premiere includes interviews with heavyweights like artist Jeff Koons and designer Rick Valicenti and a fanciful comic book-style spread on Aesop Rock, Annie, and Fischerspooner. Most of the issue keeps to the theme, especially Bill Armstrong's ghostly images, the results of Grady and Metcalf's project that tasked designers with illustrating Tarot cards, and a loosely-narrated column by the controversial author JT Leroy. Interspersed with full-bleed 60s Op-Art and lemon-scented inserts, the new magazine is a playful and sophisticated way to get a dose of culture in a just-unconventional-enough format.

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