There are two ways of looking at Later. IPC’s new magazine for the
Loaded lad who grew up is either an entertaining romp through the
reservoirs of cultural kitsch accumulated by the average thirtysomething
male - or it’s a title for sad men who last had fun during Madchester’s
summer of love.
’Fitter at 30 than 20’, ’four men who quit their jobs and got rich’,
’together nine years and we still have sex!’, ’readers’ cars’, ’15
again’ - this is what the people behind Later think thirtysomething men
are obsessing with.
They try to say life is not so bad: although you’ve been with the same
partner for years you can still have an active sex life; you don’t have
to stick with your humdrum career and it’s OK, despite your
responsibilities, to be a big kid.
It’s fun, doesn’t take itself too seriously, uses ballsy typography and
has nice touches like Vinnie Jones’s problem page and Real Women (with a
few clothes on). Then there’s the sad side of Later: ’How Clint became
Clint’, James Hunt, Porridge, the Specials, James Coburn on Bruce Lee.
They are not sad individually but the overall effect suggests life was
better in the 70s. As if fun stopped with the birth of the Premier
League and Michael Douglas movies.
Later steers clear of contemporary music and football, presumably
because that’s where Loaded is so strong. The trouble is that by
striving so hard to not be like the lad mags, you can see its workings
out. The flavour of what Later is trying not to be is stronger than what
it actually is.
But it’s early days - you can tell from the surprisingly low levels of
advertiser interest in issue one. There’s much to admire in Later, and
I’m sure readers will move with it. I just hope it finds its own voice
Thirtysomething Stefano Hatfield is the editor of Campaign.