Brace yourself: Smith Journal volume 23 packs quite a punch – and it’s on sale in Australia and online today. Inside this issue you’ll find a blacksmith bringing mystical Viking swords back from the dead, learn how to make a skyscraper disappear (without blowing it up), meet some World War II survivors who all have stories to tell, and look back at Fantômas, the archetype for pretty much every pop culture bad guy since 1913.
Curious about what NASA has in common with black magic? The answer is surprisingly spooky. As is a bunch of winged insects that can suck blood and hypnotise bees. Or an element that scientists love but can never touch. (They’re all in volume 23, too.) Oh, and those masked men on the cover? They were inspired by Johnny Idol, New Zealand’s first professional Mexican wrestler. He says success in the ring is as much about crafting the perfect costume as it is about pummelling your opponents. We’ll take his word for it.
We talk with comedian Ronny Chieng about his love for Tom Hanks and basketball, meet a secretive hacker collective that fixes clocks under cover of dark, learn about the army of rats making the world a safer place, and come to terms with the fact that in the original film novelisation of Star Wars, Yoda was blue.
But wait, there’s more! You’ll meet a climate maverick trying to solve global warming with plankton, a smell detective dedicated to preserving the pongs of history, and the propaganda artist who captured the ideals of Communist China on his canvas before fleeing to Australia. All this, plus a look at the business empire built on fake vomit, a brief history of Kurt Cobain’s favourite item of clothing, and a crash course in turning giant slabs of clay into cars. Sound up your very sophisticated alley? Go grab a copy now.