Headpress was founded in Manchester, England, in 1991, ostensibly to release a film by cult German director Jörg Buttgereit on VHS. With revenue from the sales of that film (Der Todesking, limited to 500 copies), the publication of a magazine soon followed.
The long-running Headpress journal covered a variety of topics, which contitute, it might be said, the ebb and flow of the counterculture in the last decade of the twentieth century. Early issues were produced using the tried and tested cut and paste method.
The book publishing arm of Headpress commenced in 1992 and continues to this day. Subject matter of Headpress books is wide-ranging and includes cult film, strange music, pulp literature, fanzines, conspiracy theories, sex and gender, occult and folklore, true crime, and pop culture in general.
Today, Headpress is run by David Kerekes, one of the three original founders.
If you’ve ever seen the original Mad Max movie you might recall the scene where a mechanic is tuning the vehicle that the titular Max will soon be driving. “Last of the V8s,” he purrs with the engine. Headpress is not unlike that engine in a world gone mad. It’s independent. It’s ravaged by landscape, But it motors on, one of a kind, like the last of the V8s. With Headpress you are on that journey.
Cover art: Nils Brakchi, Antonio Ghura, Juliet Sugg, Rik Rawling
Three decades is a long time, especially in the world of publishing. As an independent book publisher for almost three decades, Headpress is something of an anomaly.