*Cover art is the manifesto by Alvey Jones, Jade Fusco, Gustave Morin, Meghan Forbes, Ian Mclellan Davis, Hannah McMurray*
I am a lover of literature, and of the special literary treasure that is the lit mag. Lit mags, literary journals, zines, and some graphic novels have so much overlap — and it is the publications that blur the lines most that win my heart. I found one such gem back in the summer of 2014 on accident. A Facebook friend of mine is an incredibly talented photographer in New York, and did some work for harlequin creature. I was mesmerized by their website and immediately sought out back issues of their journals.
They were amazing.
It is difficult to describe the work, and their website’s attempt captures only part of the beauty:
harlequin creature is…
a place for all kinds of interesting and peculiar creatures to convene and share their literariness and artistic underbelly.
a journal sure to be unconventional in today’s overwhelmingly digital age, and, at the same time, very much in touch with a nostalgia for an earlier era, when the factories of pittsburgh and detroit were still bumpin’ and steel was in. with a circle of friends that spans from los angeles to ann arbor to new york, every single journal is hand typed on high quality paper. each copy is then hand bound, and a limited number include artwork by a featured artist.
a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation founded in 2012 in the state of new york.
I wanted more, and so I asked founder and editor-in-chief Meghan Forbes and co-editor Hannah McMurray for an interview. We conducted the conversation through snail mail from Chicago to Michigan and back and from Chicago to Germany and back. This seemed most fitting because, you see, every copy of harlequin creature is hand-typed on typewriters. They accomplish this through “typing bees” where volunteers come and type for hours. This means that every single copy of each issue is unique.
The interview is presented in it’s original, though cut up and pieced together, format. Each image has the text typed up in the alternative text field for those of you using alternative internet reading devices.
Definitely check them out, and I suggest preordering their next issue because these sell out fast! What can you expect from Issue 6?
It was an absolute joy to correspond with Meghan and Hannah of harlequin creature and I’m preordering Issue 6 for my youngest brother today!