Big Stir Magazine No. 4

Big Stir Magazine No. 4 (August 2019) arrived in today’s mail, and all I can say is color me overwhelmed. I’ve been enjoying the artists on the Big Stir label, and knowing that they had a companion magazine made me instantly curious.

I clearly remember buying a spanking-new copy of Cream’s “Wheels of Fire” when it was brand new, in 1968. I eagerly pulled off the shrink wrap to reveal the magnificent foil cover, and when I opened it, I was greeted with an explosion of psychedelia. That memory immediately came back to me when I opened the latest Big Stir Magazine.

The fourth issue represents a major upgrade to a larger size, more pages, and full color from cover-to-cover. The first thing you see when you open the magazine is a “Non-Editorial from the Paisley Pergola in Burbank, California.” The changes to the magazine are addressed, easing the concerns of those who feel that “slick” is often a synonym for “sold out,” saying “This is still anarchy. Absurdist anarchy. Slick, commercial absurdist anarchy.”

That’s a reasonable and accurate assessment. It’s 72 pages filled with stunning artwork (with the whole enchilada designed by Champniss of London, a well-known and heroic figure in the Big Stir universe), plus comics, fiction, reviews, reflections and more. If you can remember the time when music magazines were cool, this effort will warm your heart. It’s the equivalent of parting a beaded curtain leading into a room adorned with black light posters and lava lamps, and sinking into your favorite bean bag chair to enjoy every page.

I’m not going to peel this one apart page-by-page, because I don’t want to ruin your fun and the thrill of discovery I promise you’ll find inside. One little excerpt from the credits on page one tells you most of what you need to know:

“Big Stir Zine is lulled into a false sense of security, then bashed over the head by Rex Broome, Christina Bulbenko, Joseph Champniss.”

It’s page after page after page of sheer joy, and I challenge anyone reading this to tell me about a time in our history where large doses of joy were more needed than right now. It’s so positive, such a celebration, such a willingness to dance naked in the rain that the biggest mistake you could make would be to miss out on it. Order your copy today.