Huck 80: Our favourite covers

Huck 80: Our favourite covers
In preparation for the release of our 80th issue we asked staffers past and present to tell us their favourite covers and the stories behind them.

We are but days away from revealing the cover of our 80th issue. 

To reach such a grand number is, if you’ll excuse us, a phenomenal achievement for any magazine, not least an independent one. In a landscape that is increasingly hostile, we’re proud to have been paddling against the flow for this long, and we have no intention of stopping any time soon

To mark this auspicious moment, and because we’re not allowed to show you the cover of 80 just yet, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite covers from the last 17 years. 

Creating a good magazine cover is a challenge. There is an art to it. It must be striking, such that it stands out amongst all the other volumes it sits with. It must encapsulate the essence of that magazine and the story of the issue. It must entice without revealing all of its secrets - drawing you in without giving everything it has up. We’re biased - but across the years, and the many different iterations of Huck we’re proud to say that we think we’ve met that challenge. But don’t take our word for it, have a look for yourself!

Issue 06

I was obsessed with big wave riding and Laird was THE GUY. Our shoot and cover pretty much nailed it for me. The guy could do no wrong and he was made of stone, a superhero doing unimaginable feats of daring do. Then I met him in Hossegor, in a cafe, whilst he was sat with some OGs of the scene. Me like a schoolboy trying to get his sponsor oxbow to pay for a cover. Unforgettable. His wife Gabby Reece just reposted one of my IG stories too. Still obsessed with the ocean and that is not going to change.- Steph Pomphrey, Special Projects / co-founder

Issue 18

I was a few months into my internship at Little White Lies when we put out a double cover with Huck celebrating the film Where the Wild Things Are and its unassuming maverick director, Spike Jonze – not so much a teenage hero of mine as the single greatest influence on my perception of what was cool. This was a guy who had shot music videos for the Beastie Boys, Pavement and Weezer, made a couple of incredible, totally unique feature films, Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, and had a major hand in two of the most seminal moments of early noughties alt youth culture, Jackass and Yeah Right! (for my money the greatest skateboarding video ever made). And now here he was, being interviewed at length about his career for a magazine I suddenly found myself associated with. Oh, and Spike even made an appearance at our issue launch party in Shoreditch, although many of us in the office only found this out after the fact. Huck #18 was also (I believe) the last issue edited by Vince Medeiros, who continues to serve as the guiding star of TCO’s publishing arm. So kudos, V-dog, for going out on such an epic high - Adam Woodward, LWLies Editor-At-Large and Groupie

Featuring Spike Jonze on the cover, illustrated by Geoff McFetridge, Huck 18 was my last cover as editor of the mag, before I handed it over to the far more talented Andrea Kurland. Spike: dirtbag BMXer and skater turned Hollywood director. The quintessential autodidact and an embodiment of the magazine's mission: that you don't have to be validated by some established institution to be who want to be and create things in your own image. It's about punk and DIY, about being resourceful. Surfing, skating, filming, designing... paddling against the flow - Vince Medeiros, Founder and Publisher

Issue 21

In the days when there was literally nothing better than taking your first breath of air as you crowd surf out of the mosh pit at a Deftones gig. And “the guy who lost his shoe...!” This issue made me fall in love with Huck: the way it always makes you feel something and never ceases to tell you something new - even when you think you're into something! - Chloè Dyson, TCO Lab

Issue 30

In highschool, my crew and I were obsessed with Andre the Giant has a posse....which in turn led us to be obsessed with Shepard Fairey. It must have been when I first moved to London, but I remember coming across the issue with Shepard on the cover, and thinking “well, this must be a cool magazine”. (It's possible that I picked up a free issue at a party at 71A..who woulda thought 8 years later, I'd be working there!). I also remember wondering if I'd made the right decision to move to London and was, of course, missing my friends...and seeing something that reminded me so much of home helped solidify my feelings that London wasn't all that different and I would fit right in. The rest is herstory! - Sarah Rimassa, Creative Producer

Issue 35

The first time I walked into Huck’s offices, the team were in a frenzy of activity, trying to pay tribute in magazine form to Jack Kerouac’s era-defining Beat novel On The Road. You can trace Huck’s DNA straight back to Kerouac, The Beats and their irrepressible energy to get out there, discover the world, ridicule conformity and be the spark for change. Huck Issue 35 came complete with a flowing pullout, an homage to the 120-foot continuous roll of typewriter paper on which an amphetamine-fuelled Kerouac hammered out his original manuscript. Huck’s very own Merry Pranksters captured the Beat’s ‘cut-up and cause chaos' energy perfectly in the issue and showed why their ‘first thought, best thought’ philosophy of improvisation and their rejection of the system – all systems, in fact – are still relevant today. That was way back in 2012, I was a humble intern and managed to squeeze two tiny pieces into the front of the mag. The creativity and original-thinking at Huck mesmerised me then – as it does to this day. It redefined how I understood what journalism could be and Huck has since taken me around the globe, reporting from Brazil to India, Ukraine and beyond. Over ten years later, I’m still here, frantically hammering at the keys and there’s still nothing else out there quite like Huck. Here’s to the next decade. Furthur! - Alex King, Senior Editor

Issue 42

Bought this issue when I was an eighteen-year-old art student in Leeds. Would’ve bitten your hand off if offered a chance to work on an issue of Huck back then. Probably thought Kim Gordon was a surfer or some such, was more on board for the art direction, DIY type and skate pics. Here a decade later, I’ve just finished working on #79 with Han, Tertia and Josh. There’s an eighteen-year-old art student that’s learnt a powerful lesson about hand-biting somewhere in the intervening years - Liam Johnstone, Designer

Issue 63

Fun and surreal. Different from many of the other covers which often feature simple portraiture. Like the addition of the title and secondary type - Han Nightingale, Designer

Issue 68

For me, the Flying Lotus issue couldn't have come at a better time. I was heavily into the Brainfeeder roster of movers and shakers and found a common thread between these Artists and the man himself. They are aliens! Super beings who create the most intrinsic, multi-layered, sound bending and genre defying art. We owe them a lot. Big up! Kay Ogundimu - Designer

Issue 72

It shows an explosion of fun, lots of movement everywhere and feels like you are a part of the event. It's a pic of people partying but the colours are very rich and deep. Feels like a nice break from the other covers as this one contains 6/7 people all moving about, instead of one figure. It was also my first HUCK issue so am biased - Emma Balebela, Designer

Issue 75

The re-establishment. We’d had a year of the pandemic and life was slowly coming back, punctuated with not one, not two, but three covers and a logo refresh that (quite frankly) was a long time coming. For me this cover symbolises new energy. Plus all three cover stars are pretty great - Tertia Nash, Design Director.

The Zarah Sultana cover of issue 75 was my first ever cover story and felt like a huge moment for me. It was an honour to be asked to write it by Niall, our then print editor, and I’m very proud of it! As Tertia says above, this issue, which was when we moved to being twice yearly and to being a bigger, fuller volume, feels like it really encapsulates the new energy and possibility that was happening as we slowly came out of the pandemic - Ben Smoke, Digital Editor

Issue 78

I wrote my first ever piece for Huck in Issue 4 and remained in the magazine's orbit ever since. I absolutely, totally regret not changing my plans when I said I was "already busy with something" when I was asked to do the cover interview with Adam Yauch in 2008. Let's forget that yeah? I've always loved Huck and all it stands for so it was a total delight when, 74 issues after my first piece for them, I was asked to be editor. I jumped at the chance. I can't really choose any other cover but my first issue as editor can I? So my favourite cover is with Denzel Curry, one of the most talented of rappers of recent times, and a true 'Huck' person. discussing his journey from growing up in 'Murder Gardens' in Florida to where he is today. He gave the brilliant writer Atoosa Moinzadeh a whopping 10 hours of his time and the photos taken on the streets of New York by Matt Salacuse were fantastic. What a debut for me - although I do have to say that Mia Khalifa, cover star of Issue 79 was an absolute dream to work with and that is a very close run second place as favourite cover - Josh Jones, Print Editor

Issue 79

My first day on the job and I was immediately introduced to Huck Magazine with Mia Khalifa on the cover. I thought to myself - holy crap, a whole ex porn star on a cover - this is the mag for me. I hopped onto my scooter and rode out to the only store in Cape Town that sold copies of Huck. I got my hands on the issue and with each page turn I was transported to a global underground scene, music, culture and the most candid and grittiest photography I have seen. Day 1 of working on Huck doing paid media and selling mags online and my only thought was "now this is a mag I can get behind" - Pam Lourenco, Paid social media manager. 

“I have this specific memory of when Josh [Jones, current Huck Print Editor] taped up a few options for Mia’s cover and we had to vote on which we thought was the best. I just remember thinking how incredible it was to be able to work adjacent to people who believed in giving other people the platform to talk and represent who they truly are, and also correct the narratives that have been actively misconstrued.” - Tara Brewer, Account Executive TCO London

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