Volume 20

It’s issue 20 of Smith, and to celebrate we’ve gone a bit rock ‘n’ roll. We chat with Spinal Tap’s Harry Shearer (also the voice of half of Springfield) about what turns his dial to 11. Plus we ask a bunch of design and font pros what they think of classic metal and punk logos, and they get a little brutal: apparently Poison is a “typographical trainwreck”.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a pickle and wondered What Would Henry Rollins Do?, wonder no more: we ask the ex-Black Flag frontman to share some advice for those times when you want to punch the world in the face. Also – as you can see from our cover – we have modernist stamp collecting! What could be more rock ‘n’ roll than that?

There are some mind-blowing moments as well. We discover what Aboriginal astronomy – a burgeoning field fusing the scientific method with 60,000 years of Indigenous knowledge – has to do with modern street maps. We learn how one man made an online library containing every book that has been, can be and will be written. And oh yeah – did you know that the American Civil War once came to Melbourne and may have destroyed the whaling industry? Neither did we.

All this, plus a chat with a guy known as the Jerry Seinfeld of Saudi Arabia, a grimly poetic photo essay on Spanish hunting dogs, a look at historically accurate sword-making, an investigation into Venus fly-trap conspiracy theories (really), a brief evaluation of Antarctic dunnies, a look at underwater logging, some in-depth stories from foreign correspondents, a philosophical meditation on the nature of zero, and (almost forgot) instructions for creating your own paper-based version of Jurassic Park.

Read it and your brain won’t be the same afterwards.





Across the ditch: Volume 20 should hit stores in New Zealand on September 19. Ask your local if it's not on shelves then.

Overseas readers: We'll be with you in shortly (click here to find out when), but if that's too far away you can order a copy online and we'll send it straight out. Like, right this very second.