Iceland based men are featured in a fun and playful collectors’ card set from Elska magazine. The men were all shot for the Reykjavík issue of Elska but editor Liam Campbell hopes to visit Iceland and it’s lads again in the near future. The next destination could be Akureyri.
“We decided to give cards to a roughly equal number of guys from all issues and really reflect the diversity of Elska’s first year. There’s city pics and home pics, nudes included,” says Liam Campbell, editor of Elska magazine.
Collectors’ cards with men featured in Elska magazine are now out and can be bought through the magazine’s website. Four Iceland based men are featured in the collection, men who played a vital part in the Reykjavík edition of Elska: Kyle B, Haukur G, Friðrik Á and Jono D. (Jonathan Duffy).
“We shot all of them last winter when making our third issue. I think Kyle (pictured below) and Friðrik, who my colleague Andriy found, were the first to join in. Then it took some convincing for Kyle to get his partner Haukur to join, though I’m so glad he did – he’s our red-hot ginger lad of the issue,” says Liam.
“The idea is that people will collect one whenever they buy an issue and perhaps trade them or buy the whole set. Also … the cards can be used a bit like art prints.”
Jono’s shoot took quite a different turn though. “Jono wanted to do an outdoor shoot around Laugavegur and the city centre, but when he came to meet us, he was feeling a bit fluish and didn’t want to face the cold. So we decided to shoot some nude pics at home, with him in the bedroom and me photographing him from the balcony through the reflective window. I was really proud of that shoot, and I think he looked so beautiful in it, so I knew I had to include him for a card,” says Liam and adds that the other Iceland based men also charmed him off his feet.
“Friðrik I wanted too because he doesn’t have the most typical Icelandic look, and then Kyle and Haukur I wanted because … well I just liked them. We also made a couple of other draft cards from Reykjavík guys, but these four made the final cut.”
How about the types of men featured in the collectors’ cards – are they all David-esque? “The concept with Elska in general is to feature all kinds of men, not just David-esque men, but Davids are welcome too. When we look for guys to shoot, we basically put up an open call and anyone who wants to take part can. For the recent Cardiff issue there are guys aged from 19 to 75, big guys and
skinny guys, different races, different styles. It’s quite spontaneous. For the cards, it was about having a variety of types from each issue,” Liam explains.
Which leads me to my next question – how did he come up with this slightly erotic idea? “Back after the Lisbon issue was published, we made some postcard flyers featuring one of the Lisbon boys. They ended up being really popular and people were asking for them specifically, so I wanted to make more but less like flyers and more like something you’d buy. I liked the feel of other collectible cards like Top Trumps and baseball cards, so I wanted to do something like that. I
“The concept with Elska in general is to feature all kinds of men … For the cards, it was about having a variety of types from each issue.”
suppose if we were really making Top Trumps then there should be statistics on the back, but it felt tasteless to write age, height, weight, dick size, etc. So we simplified them and just put the name, city and shoot date on the back, along with a reference to which Elska issue the boy is featured in.”
An Akureyri issue?
Even though I personally think the cards are quite erotic, Liam has a different view of them. “I think the card set for me is just a bit of fun. Every issue of the magazine sold since September includes one card randomly inserted in its pages. The idea is that people will collect one whenever they buy an issue and then perhaps trade them or buy the whole set. Also, I hope that the cards can
be used a bit like art prints. IKEA sells postcard-size art to go in their frames, and I suppose I imagine people using the Elska cards to stick in their IKEA frames instead. Or you can stick them on your fridge, use them as bookmarks, whatever.”
As for Elska magazine, things are really taking off. “Elska is doing great. There’s no budget yet for advertising or marketing so growth is slow and organic, but steady. Right now we’re in Toronto shooting for the upcoming issue, number 8. After that, it will be another Asian city, but exact details are under wraps.
There will also be a small design tweak from the next issue on-wards, just to clean up the style a bit,” says Liam who would love to do another shoot in Iceland.
“Of course there’s still hopes for an Akureyri issue or mini issue one day, but not for a while.”
How about other side projects like the collectors’ cards?
“There will be another Elska side project coming probably this winter, but that’s all hush-hush for now.”