A replica of the newsstand magazine that features briefly in John Carpenter’s 1988 film, They Live, is now available from two Swiss publishers. And readers don’t need special sunglasses to see ‘the truth’ contained within…
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Carpenter’s classic sci-fi film, everyedition and fold in Switzerland are publishing a replica edition of the magazine that the film’s protagonist Nada picks up while first realising he can – while wearing the sunglasses – ‘see’ through the gloss of consumer society and even the ‘aliens’ who control it.
The black-and-white view through the glasses is not a pretty one. Here’s the sequence where Nada looks at some innocuous-looking hoardings, flicks through said magazine and encounters a few of the extra-terrestrials. (Warning – contains various attempts to convey ‘astonishment’):
The newsstand as featured in They Live, viewed through the special sunglasses
Spread from This is Your God
They Live follows Nada as he uncovers how the ‘aliens’ have been controlling human society through mass media. Imagery from the Carpenter-penned story also famously inspired the artist Shepard Fairey to develop the “Obey” concept into an ongoing theme in his work.
Designed by Piero Glina, This is Your God is named after the slogan which appears on the dollar bills (which feature in the newsstand scene) when viewed with the sunglasses. According to the publishers, the replica edition makes use of the film version’s “iconic typography with all its flaws and special characteristics”.
*UPDATE: As mentioned in the comments below, Spanish magazine Belio had a similar idea in 2011 and also published a version of the They Live publication, which can be seen here on their site and is available as a PDF here.
Published alongside the everyedition/fold edition of the magazine, a second volume features images of the places where the billboard and signage slogans originate in the film.