Hope you've been catching Raleigh's Hatchet each month. Committed to covering the art galleries, bars and bands of the Triangle, Hatchet covers are always unique. But what was most fun last month was their Fiction Issue. Cool!
San Francisco's Valencia Street must have some magic dust: The McSweeney's / Believer family continues to push the limits of sharp magazine publishing. McSweeney's 13 was tapped by Time magazine as the Best Comix of 2004 for the Chris Ware-edited issue of graphical storytelling, while Believer won the Utne award for debut mag. Both periodicals featured tucked-in zines in recent issues--buy one get one free. Printed in Iceland, the McSweeney's Icelandic offering was especially curious: never doubt Dave Eggers' will to skate the edge.
Watch your local newsstand shelves for the latest European periodical trend: pocket-sized magazines. The New York Times described the redesigned Glamour as Britain's best-selling monthly after its makeover to pint size. Is Vanity Fair next?
A pair of staple-bound, DIY zines, Atlanta's Kiss My Grits and Adam Hall's The Incredible Pete, showed up in town last month. We found a pile of Expressions: Globalization and Space from ECU in Durham, too. It's always a good sign of spring when funky product starts sprouting where Best Buy and Wal-Mart circulars used to pile up.
Also out on the shelves is the latest issue of North Carolina Folklore Journal. In addition to folks from all over the Triangle, the fall-winter journal features essays by Cathy Larson Sky, Carmine Prioli, David Cecelski and Amy Davis.
And this week, check out the latest Rolling Stone. Carrboro journalist Bob Moser delivers a sad, moving story about "The Murder of a Boy Named Gwen." The magazine gives Moser a full six pages, with photos illustrating the life of 17-year-old transvestite Gwen Araujo, "model-thin, with sultry eyes and pouty lips," whose name was Eddie as a child. Moser describes her lonely life and death at the hands of the "Three Stooges," who killed Gwen fearing that having sex with her made them gay. Interestingly, Gwen's high school was rehearsing The Laramie Project, the play about the hate-murder of Matthew Shepard, the week she disappeared.
Contributing writer John Valentine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.