Jeremy Leslie has almost four decades’ worth of experience in magazines, whether as an art director, author, or the founder of magCulture, the blog he started in 2006 to cast a critical eye over the wider magazine scene. Since then, it’s evolved to include a physical store in London’s Clerkenwell, which also functions as an events space and studio, a podcast, and London and New York-based conference, magCulture Live.
As the magCulture brand grew, so did wider interest in the flourishing indie mag scene. Leslie himself wrote several books examining how the phenomenon flew in the face of the rise of digital, most notably his 2013 publication The Modern Magazine. In the process of putting together an event to celebrate the book’s release, he also inadvertently planted the seeds for magCulture Live (previously known as ModMag).
“One of the features of the book was about a dozen interviews with heavyweights from the publishing world, and I thought it’d be good to try and get them all together for a panel discussion,” he says. “It just snowballed and became a whole day conference. Like a lot of things, I sleepwalked into it rather than came up with a big plan.”