This Volume

Volume 14 of Smith Journal is full of people with extraordinary trophy cabinets.

One of them is Ray Brown, an Australian tailor who went from working in a Brisbane tailor shop to defining the look of ‘80s hair metal. He still has a couple of platinum records from the old days, but no one could say he’s living off past glories; his indestructible threads continue to make rock stars around the world fall to their knees.

Ken Warby's got a couple of specky accolades, too. Back in the mid-‘70s, he set the world water speed record using a boat that he built in his backyard. Almost forty years on, he and his son are trying to make something that will go even faster.

Foley artist John Simpson’s set of gongs takes up a whole shelf. He’s recorded sound effects for everyone from Peter Jackson to Steven Spielberg. That said, his studio doesn’t exactly scream Hollywood; it sits in the middle of a remote paddock four hours north of Adelaide.

As far as unusual workplaces go, though, Simpson’s building doesn’t have anything on the one used by Dennis Wingo. He and a team of ‘technoarcheologists’ operate out of an old burger joint on the edge of a NASA research centre. Their mission: preserving the history of humanity’s adventures in space.

If all that wasn’t enough, the mag also includes stuff about the U.S.S.R.’s only advertising agency, an Arizonan entomologist who’s been stung by nearly every creepy crawly under the sun and the secret mission to send Winston Churchill a platypus during World War II. 

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Across the ditch: volume 14 should hit stockists in New Zealand on March 15. Ask your local if it's not on shelves then.

Overseas readers: We'll be with you in April, but if that's too far away you can order a copy online and we'll send it straight out.