9th Art Magazine: creative comics

We all doodle. Whether it’s when sat in a tedious lecture or during a long phone conversation with your mother, doodling provides a welcome distraction for many students. Yet the results that this activity produces may vary greatly. I, for one, doodle a great deal producing artwork of the most conceptual kind. In other words, the page ends up being covered in what can only be described as an indistinguishable blocks of biro-coloured…stuff. But for those who are a little more skillful in illustration with even their quick procrastination-fuelled doodles turning into pretty impressive artwork, there is often little opportunity to display their creative work to a wide audience. 

It is here where 9th Art magazine comes in. A student-run magazine, run by Magdalen College PPE-ists Roxy Rezvany and Henry Course, with the aim of provide a forum for aspiring illustrators to display their work, is the first student based publication of it’s type in Oxford. The opportunity to submit artwork is open to all, with contributors including students, Oxford residents, middle-aged accountants by day/illustrators by night, school-aged students and even people living in Cameroon. 9th Art is truly a wide community centered around one common passion – drawing.The magazine is distributed freely to audiences in Oxford, and more recently Cambridge. ‘Lots of people ‘doodle’ or draw…and many of them don’t even [think] their drawings are good enough for submitting to publications. That’s why we are all about giving anyone the opportunity to submit artwork…and about giving as many people access to looking at the images as possible’, says editor Roxy Rezvany, explaining why the free and extensive distribution aspect of the magazine is key to its goals.

Yet free distribution of an embryonic publication, with the second issue due for release sometime in 3rd Week, poses an obvious problem of finding appropriate levels of funding and advertisers. Currently the distribution system involves Rezvany and Course carrying all three thousand copies of the magazine and hand delivering each and every single one of them. The magazine remains undeterred from the aim of ensuring that the content offered is available widely and freely, having organized a club-night at Babylove last term to generate both funding and awareness and with the hope to hold their official launch event in the coming future to promote 9th Art further.Despite the fact that the magazine is in its infancy, the 9th Art project is growing fast, with the addition to the team of a new Cambridge editor as well as a new creative director. The content theme too looks set to reach new mediums of comic illustration, with 9th Art recently having signed a director of film and animation, with other film features including that of a team of street interviewers asking people for their reaction to the latest issue, to be posted online.

Take a visit to the well-designed website, navigate through the graphic illustrations that guide you through the content, and you will find the magazine’s mission statement, which claims that ‘9th Art [is] harnessing the UK’s bright-eyed, thriving comic culture by taking it from its disparate online wilderness to the contents of a glowing publication’. The magazine team describes 9th art as a community that ‘is open to anyone who likes what they see and wants [them] to keep on doing what [they’re] doing’. The magazine certainly represents a democratic, non-hierarchical environment, where anyone can contribute and anyone can involve themselves in determining the direction of the publication.

The magazine provides a great creative outlet for pretty much anyone who wants to get involved. With research studies claiming that doodling is good for aiding concentration and memory, especially when faced with the most irksome of tasks, it seems as though 9th Art is all the more relevant for students. Doodling is said to keep the mind engaged, while preventing the more distracting daydreams that one is often inclined to drift into in occasions of extreme boredom. 9th Art may not only be providing a productive, fun and creative outlet then, but also helping your degree.

If you too want to get involved in the magazine, either within an editorial or creative role, or indeed in any other way, email [email protected] or visit www.9thartmagazine.com for more information.