Much internet fanfare has accompanied the launch of Mundial Magazine. It’s not for nothing.
The people who set up Stand Fanzine decided the World Cup was a good juncture at which to show the world they’re not all miserable swines who hate football. And so Mundial Mag was born in a basement Manchester bar.
I arrived late that day and sat at the back like a spare part, until eventually I offered some input. By this point, the two most prominent voices came from the two Daniels; Nicolson of Steeple Pine and Sandison of Halcyon Mag and of course Stand. Seb White, also of Stand was doing a good job of keeping everyone in check too.
In truth though it has been a genuinely joint effort, with what could loosely be termed as internet lads coming together and proving not all online friendships end up with weird sex games. Well, not that we know of.
Mundial has since become available to buy at the aforementioned Steeple Pine, with more stockists to come (including Proper) and it is fair to say it’s gone down a bloody storm.
A few short, busy months after that first chat in the basement bar on Tariff Street, the altogether more civilised surroundings of the coffee shop next door provided a backdrop to the following brief chat I had with the editor of Mundial, Daniel Sandison.
So.. Mundial…Tell us how it all came about.
There were a few people we’d worked on projects with, via Halcyon and obviously yourself with Proper. We all saw the opportunity to do something a little bit different. There was a lot of shared interest in football which perhaps wasn’t catered for by more mainstream magazines. We’re not too interested in who’s going to make which squad, or who is the most exciting left back.
More the cultural aspects rather than the actual game?
Yeah I think so. I think maybe when we were kids, everyone involved had a vested interest via England or other nations they wanted to do well, but it wasn’t necessarily those memories that they took away from World Cups. You remember Romanians all lining up with blonde hair before you remember who scored in which game. You remember what boots Zidane was wearing rather than thinking about a pass he made. So yeah, definitely, we’re more interested in it as a cultural event and maybe a bit of a party or a celebration every four years. It helps you perhaps forget about how crap your club were this year and help you just focus on enjoying football.
So how did you end up being the editor?
I suppose I had a little bit more time than some of the others involved it made sense, plus I’d done stuff with Stand in the past. With Halcyon alongside it, it came quite naturally. I’m on quite good terms with everyone involved so it was easy for everything to flow through me.
What’s going to be in it then? What are the highlights.
We’ve got some good stuff. We’ve got an extract from Pirlo’s book, which everyone’s quite impressed with. It’s as romantic and colourful as you’d expect. We’ve got some nice historical pieces about people who have been to World Cups, recounting their memories. We’ve got an interview with Ossie Ardiles about winning the World Cup in his home country and the politics of the time. There’s someone from America talking about experiencing the World Cup for the first time in 1994. It must have been a whole new world to them…
A whole new ball game…
Yeah! Then we’ve got some lifestyle pieces as well. We’ve got something on each of the host cities.
We know a lad who has lived in Brazil who has got some people to write something the place.
There’s a bit on bar culture in Brazil too. It’s a different atmosphere there so when there’s lads throwing garden furniture around it’ll be a bit of a contrast.
Who else is involved then?
Calum from the Reference Council have done a style piece, myself and Matt from Halcyon have done something with Oi Polloi and Classic Football Shirts. There’s a bit of a spread. It’s not quite as internet boys club as we thought it’d be. There’s plenty of different stuff going on.
We’ve got an event planned with Camp and Furnace in Liverpool. We’ve done something with Brazil’s national drink, which I can’t pronounce.
How many pages is it?
It’s 100 or thereabouts. We didn’t want it to be disposable. It’s limited edition with only 2014 copies being printed. Each one is being numbered and it’ll be marked with the name of a footballer who has appeared at the World Cup, so they’re all unique. It’ll be six quid, or 8 Euros and 25 cents, but we think it’ll be worth it.
That’s pretty reasonable when you compare it to some of the other magazines out there with a good production value.
Yeah and when you look at some of the other magazines that are out every month, they’re getting on for five or six quid and they’re not as collectible as this. It’ll be something you’ll want to keep hold of.
Where will it be available?
We’re going to sell it directly ourselves and we’ll also be going through stockists once it’s gone to print. We’re pretty sure it’ll be in Oi Polloi, and hopefully a few other similar places. There’s going to be some collectible cards with it too. You get six with it then you can buy the other six.
Oh is this the thing I’ve written for? Are they actually going to be cards then?
Yeah! They’re going to be limited too, 12 in total. It feeds into the collectible thing. There’s still loads of grown men obsessed with collecting stickers. We’ve done cards but it’s our own take on them and we think people will be into it.
What about you personally then? You gonna be cheering England on?
Nah? I don’t think so… I’ve been interested in England in the past. England are reflected quite well at the minute though. There’ll still be face paints and all that stuff but as a young England team they seem more relaxed and unburdened by all the pressure and nonsense that goes with the national team. For me personally, France ’98 was a big deal because Michael Owen played for Liverpool and it was great to see him doing well on that stage. Part of me believed in Glenn Hoddle I suppose, before he went a bit bananas. And the 5-1 against Germany too, when all the Liverpool players scored.
But I think as a kid I was always interested in the other countries too. For Euro ’96 we were in Salou and I remember feeling really sorry for Spain. All the waiters were getting shouted at by fellas in face paints and bad shorts. I was obsessed with Spain as a kid. I also liked Baggio in ’94. I think all this stuff feeds into Mundial. It’s not all about being worried about how England will do, it’s more about enjoying the World Cup for what it is.
No limited edition plastic St George bowler hats then?
No, no inflatable aeroplanes or chainmail. None of that! It’ll be alright to see England do well, but we don’t think Mundial will appeal to those types of people. There isn’t any banging the drum of hope for this latest generation of Englishmen. It’s a little bit more relaxed than that.