This is the first zine I have looked at since the production of my own zine, and so even though this isn't forming part of my research, I am still keen to add more printed works to my ever growing library whilst supporting members of this fantastic community,
I can't think of a better way to continue to support the community by purchasing Charlie Thom's debut zine: latent image. latent image is a charming A5 monochromatic zine that shares 24 scenes of which Charlie has produced over the past few months. The scenes themselves are designed to show the connections and differences between man-made and natural creations.
I'll start where I typically do: the paper choices and production of the piece. I'm a real fan of the paper choice for this zine. You can tell that Charlie has used a paper stock that compliments the great contrast of the images. Not dissimilar to Spencer Reed's MY CITY, this zine feels like it's almost an indie production. The paper is consistent throughout, with only a slightly thicker cover, and is staple bound, but this isn't a negative thing. I think the finish makes it a delightful addition to my collection; it's definitely unique.
I then wish to reflect on the images. As previously specified, the zine features 24 images of which are allocated to a single page each. This means that the images are presented in pairs. Charlie has carefully considered the relationship between the images, similar to that of Jules Le Moal's From Montmartre With Love. The couples of images are placed in a way to accent the similarities or differences. There's a few in particular that I'd like to share with you, though I'd like to encourage you to experience this zine for yourself.
This first pair is very aesthetically pleasing. I am a particular fan of symmetry and geometry work, and so obviously I like these images, but there's also a wonderful balance to the spread as a whole. Even though they both feature arch shapes, they have contrasting elements. The left image has a great amount amount of negative white space, whereas the right has a lot of dark detail. I think it makes for an interesting viewing experience.
This second spread may be my favourite. There are a lot of components that come together to make a brilliant. This spread also features a lot of geometry: vertical lines made by the columns, arrows on the plant bases and the odd quadrilateral shape that features in the foreground of both images. There's an odd back-and-forth with these images. Naturally, I find myself looking at the left image, then the right, then I'm forced back to the left by the arrows, then the leading lines of the left takes me back to the right. Because of this relationship between the two, I find myself searching for new elements of the images that compliment one-another. It's very well thought out.
I think it's apparent that I like this narrative. As we live in a world that is slowly becoming more man-made than natural, I think it's interesting to reflect on this change. In many of the example images, the natural creations appear to be second to the industrial structures, which somewhat reflects the sad truth. I think it's important to reflect on key issues, and I think using your art to make a statement about that is part of it, particularly when it's tastefully done like Charlie has.
Before I sign off, I'd like to share my thoughts on this last page. I have found that including a brief "about me" or "about this project" section of a zine can go a long way to help shape the narrative. The fact that this is on the rear cover allows you to perceive this zine on its own before viewing it through the lens of Charlie Thom. The way in which is presented is also clean. I can't put my finger on exactly why this page appeals to me so much, but it does.
Now before I mention where you can purchase it and how much the zine is, I just want to share a final thought: I think it is important that we, as the community, support the new guy. Not only does it help support the longevity of film, but it also help builds up the artists that make this community special. This means I think it's worth supporting Charlie's debut zine, but even if it wasn't his debut zine, I would still recommend it. I think it's a charming addition to anyone's zine collection.
As for where you can purchase a copy, you can do so through DMing him on Instagram. As for the price, they're only £4.59, and that's including free UK postage. Alternatively, it's £5.59/$7.19/€6.19 for those international and those prices also including shipping. Make sure you grab a copy before they all sell out by viewing his Instagram here.