Jane Stuart – Writer

Writing about real life Up North: football, ale, food and mental health – with a good dash of humour.

Football Magazine Review #1: Escapismo

This week I have been reading Escapismo magazine, edited by James Gamlin. This is a new bi-annual publication with the subtitle Capturing the Beauty of Football. Issue 1 has sold out but I took receipt of a copy of Issue 2 last week.

My first impression of the magazine was that it was a work of art. It is printed on high quality paper and is visually stunning. Flicking through the pages, the artwork and photography used is striking. The colours are beautiful too, with the article on Manchester City printed on sky blue and white pages.

This magazine is a wonderful showcase for some very talented artists.

Interestingly, there are no adverts in the magazine, which adds to its appeal. It is 104 pages of pure content.

On the whole there is some room for improvement in terms of written content. I’ve recently been using Yoast SEO to analyse my blog content in terms of readability amongst other things. This picks up on things such as sentence length and use of the passive voice. I am now much more conscious of the former when it comes to editing my work. However I wasn’t entirely sure of what was meant by the passive voice…until I read Escapismo.

The articles on Manchester City, AC Milan, Everton and England are generic overviews of these teams. Whilst littered with hyperbole, they lack the passion and granular detail required to engage with me as a reader. Technically, the sentences are too long and the passive voice does not hold my interest. I want dramatic action and hooks!

“In both of the previous tournaments, there is the sense that England would have beaten Argentina and the Czech Republic had they reached the final, although when it comes to discussing the final in Russia, there are far more contrasting opinions on how The Three Lions would have contended with France had they progressed instead of Croatia.”

The articles on CD Cala d’Or and Sassari Torres provide Escapismo with interesting and unique content. I would love to see more such articles in future issues. Having recently read The Miracle of Castel di Sangro, I am now hungry for stories of lesser-known clubs from around the world. They are often the most interesting.

There’s a great interview with David Jones from Cult Kits, which for me is the highlight in terms of written content and deserves a higher billing towards the front of the magazine.

The typesetting was discomfiting in places. This isn’t something I’ve given particular thought to in the past but I do like symmetry. Perhaps it’s me and this has been designed to be young and cool and different but I don’t want to feel uncomfortable when I’m reading something – I just want to relax and enjoy it. Perhaps if the content was intended to make the reader uneasy – say covering the rogue owners in football or the recent plight of Wigan Athletic or Bury – this typesetting would be more relevant. But Escapismo is intended as a celebration of the beauty of football, so this didn’t work for me.

The magazine would also benefit from a thorough proofread, as it does contain the odd grammatical, typesetting and spelling error (e.g. Ruud Hullit).

Escapismo is a young magazine with a great deal of potential and there was a lot I liked about it – the artwork and photography are magnificent. However, I think it requires some stronger written content, a thorough proofread and a few tweaks to the typesetting before if can begin to justify its £10 price tag. But all those things are quite easily rectified. This is certainly one to keep an eye on – and I look forward to seeing what Escapismo delivers in the future.

If you’d like to buy a copy, you can do so at the link below:

https://www.escapismo.co.uk

NEXT UP: The Boy On The Shed by Paul Ferris


Please do keep your football book recommendations coming! Also, if you’ve written a book you would like me to review, please do get in touch.

Don’t forget you can also read about my awaydays with Blackpool from the 2019/20 season right here


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