Total Politics…

I picked up the first issue of Total Politics today, on a brief trip to Londinium.
For those who don’t know, Total Politics is, according to its own blurb, a “lifestyle magazine dedicated to all things political,” and the brainchild of Iain Dale.

I must admit that I haven’t read the entire magazine yet, so I won’t give an extensive review of the editorial content, but my first impression is (surprisingly) positive.
There’s a great range of stories covering the many aspects of life in and with politics.

There are however not enough cartoons (but then I would say that wouldn’t I)…
The strip cartoon “Road to Nowhere” by Hoby is good, and its move from Dale’s blog to glossy print seems to me very proper. It suits the publication.
Apart from that though, the only drawn content is a couple of small illustrations. Politics and cartoons have a rich history together in this country, and Total Politics should draw on the large pool of talented cartoonists and illustrators to create more visually engaging pages.

Sadly stock photography is cheaper, and too many publications like this one chose that option despite the fact that it undeniably also makes their product look cheap. The benefits of good illustration go well beyond the image itself. It enhances the reader’s experience of an article and the magazine as a whole. Bad use of imagery does exactly the opposite, and the first issue unfortunately have a few examples of this.

Total Politics is an interesting read though.
I reckon those of us who eagerly look forward to election nights, laugh at The Thick of It and happily watch BBC Parliament when there’s nothing better on, will pick up this magazine again…

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