It is slightly worrying to note that it’s exactly a year since Magazine Scraps #1, but then I have written an entire book in the ensuing time. Of which more anon…

But here are two or three utterly random snatches from my 20-odd years in magazine publishing – or certainly, my many years of active videogame journalism, particularly Total Advance magazine, which I ran pretty much solo from the age of 22. I thought I could get away with anything… but sadly I couldn’t get away with not making enough profit every single month, and so the mighty title was slain, to the wailing of a dozen or so thousand stalwart readers, leaving me washed up on the shores of Pokémon World…

But anyway, these were wilder, shinier times…

First, a couple of the traditional ‘write any old bollocks’ Professor boxouts we could get away with back when gaming was obligatorily fun:



Secondly, from a year or two later, TA issue 34, a slightly more factual (i.e. less testicle-flavoured) item from the Yoshi’s Island review, concerning the act of infantilising famous characters, a la Baby Mario…


… And here’s an exclusive from the same issue. These magazines were created at the now defunct (or transmuted into Imagine Publishing) Paragon Publishing, based down in Bournemouth, where I lived from 2000-2003. And the sad truth is I never lived anywhere with so little of historical or cultural interest – okay, now I live in Bath, so I’m a bit spoiled, but Bournemouth was only built less than two hundred years ago as a London overspill, so it’s little wonder that there was nothing much there of note but terrible clubs filled with stags and hens, and old folk’s homes.

The one major exception was Mary Shelley’s grave, which was literally just opposite the offices, and very often the location for a lunchtime or otherwise extremely taboo smoke with friends, and of course it was also very much a Goth hangout. One of my few favourite spots in the town, Goth or not.

And of course, an irresistible scoop for any young journalist looking for a boxout for their Frankenstein-featuring Monster Force review…




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