Such is my tumbling mind that I’m on a self imposed Reddit ban and limit my Youtubing to two videos a day. I always want to know more but I have to stop myself. I can read the IMDb trivia about a film I’ve just watched, but can’t allow myself any further searching, because link-click becomes link-click becomes link-click becomes 3am. Homesick is the result of the same restless – but importantly, productive – curiosity.
Yes, it’s a deep-dive particularly interesting to the culturally aware, but unlike hitting ‘I’m feeling lucky’ on an obscure Google search, the findings shine from the page like a torch cutting through the darkest corners of a museum. It illuminates Caroline Baker – Fashion Editor at Nova, a true and original influencer – and we’re able to delight in a selection of her cutting edge editorial and glimpse her personal with a fun letter from Helmut Lang. It illuminates Brian Sanders, a pioneering illustrator prolific in the 60s and 70s, and there’s beautiful reproductions of some of his best work (the Hitchcock/Psycho House portrait is my favourite) alongside a shot of his old passport, where “Profession: ARTIST” gets top billing, before Place and Date of birth. It’s curios like this that makes Homesick so charming.
Reagan Clare posits herself as Homesick’s ‘Creative Director’, a title which feels curatorial in nature, and feels a good fit for how the magazine comes off. There’s a sense she fosters facts, is genuinely curious about culture in the widest possible sense; there are no bounds to the mediums that fascinate her. ‘Creative Director’ doesn’t feel as dictatorial or grandiose or opinion-imposing as “Editor-In-Chief” and as such the content of Homesick feels personal, handpicked – something I appreciate, and would like to feel more often.
The idea that this research resulting from the physical – trawling through dusty files, scrolling through old VHS tapes, exploring notes in the margins of old books – ends up in someone’s hands, not viewed on a screen, means the magazine’s 'archival' provocation justly lends itself to the physical form. Clare’s background as an archivist and image researcher – a dream job for someone who would happily dwell in a rabbit-hole – means that subjects are handled deftly. We feel like we’re looking at a snapshot that’s fallen out of a book, like someone forgot they put it in there as a makeshift bookmark.
Homesick suggests you’ll find things you couldn’t or maybe wouldn’t find on the internet, so there’s a refreshing release – ‘oh, I haven’t heard of them before’ – when considering the lineup. Homesick purveys a pop culture landscape free of celebrity and gladly devoid of modern day instagram influencers. As I read, it plays on my mind that Clare and her contributors have found out more by picking up the phone and actually talking to someone, asking them about themselves, than even the deepest dive online might yield – I mean, of course though, right? It’s too easy to forget that with the world at our fingertips.
There is one tricky thing for hungry millennial minds reading Homesick from cover to cover, and that is to resist the urge to Google a subject’s body of work to find out even more. If only we all ran archival magazines enabling our insatiable desire for information.