Meat: The Magazine

I love magazines, and not just because I've spent about half of my career working for 'em. I love what magazines can do: the mix of text and graphics, the portability, the serendipity, the deep dives. I've worked mostly online since 1994 so I certainly welcome our new digital publishing overlords, but there are some things a print magazine does very well, even better than digital, just as the physical pleasure of devouring an LP or CD package is different from, sometimes superior to, clicking on an MP3 file in iTunes.

Magazines can surprise you. Even at this late age, there are so many magazines that there is one about pretty much anything. Hence Meatpaper, which Boing Boing has sort-of covered twice before (in the comments of 1 and 2). Meatpaper identifies itself as "your journal of meat culture" and it sure is. How did the meatiest country in the world develop a taste for soy? Did you want to know how meat figures in punk or soul music? Is rabbit farming sustainable? Where can you find a good brain sandwich? The answers are all in the most recent issue, given weight and context by vivid images that tell stories of their own and complement the ones the texts tell. I never wanted to read a magazine about meat, but my life is enriched because I did.

How do I know about Meatpaper? Because I subscribe to Stack America, a superb curational service that selects independent magazines and sends 'em out every other month. (It's the stateside offshoot of a service that started in the U.K.) At a time when some aging mainstream print magazines are trying to convince readers that dead trees are still a commercial endeavor (wishful thinking), it's reassuring to come across an outfit that realizes that print magazines aren't just useful. They're cool. They're art. As noted on the Stack America blog, they're "independent, creative media at its finest."