Missing first issue of Pop Cult FOUND!

In February 2006 the first issue of Pop Cult, Essential Reading Material for the Bathroom, hit the streets of Southampton and Winchester. It was one of the first of a new group of publications to reintroduce the short story as an art form. It succeeded on a local (and now global) level at making people read by giving them excitement and something they wanted to read.

It’s creator, Keegan Wilson, wanted to make the type of magazine he would read, the type of thing that would leap off the page and grip its reader by the throat before dragging them towards a conclusion (of sorts). Humour was (and still is) very important, so was surrealism, and an element of dangerous realism and edginess, as well as a representation of the unhinged and demented.

‘Pop Cult’, he would often say, ‘should be the entertaining drunk at the bar – maybe on the verge of violence, or maybe not – recounting tales to an audience held to him by his charm and their curiosity and fear.’

Yet the first issue of Pop Cult turned out to be much more than that. With its distinct black and white design, Pop Cult effortlessly mixed contemporary short stories and articles with illustrations to complement the writing, and it still continues to do so.

The most surprising thing about Pop Cult is that Keegan and his talented band of writers and illustrators (the Pop Culteers) do it for no financial reward. Their interest is purely artistic.

The first issue was lost. One of Keegan’s many faults is organisation and, I suppose, he should be credited for not losing the rest. However, a digital version of the missing first issue has finally turned up. Read it here: Pop Cult issue 1.

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