Call us biased, but we believe print is not dead. Judging by D.C.’s healthy magazine and zine scene — from cult favorite The Runcible Spoon to the just-launched The Intentional — we’re in good company. Dirk Keaton, an organizer of DC Zine Fest, corroborates that printed materials “have a real emotional and cultural relevance. It’s the same reason people collect vinyl records even though they have iPods.” These notable publications make their homes in the District.
Who it’s for: Do-gooders with an eye for design
What it costs: $3 per issue; $20 yearly
What to expect: This good-looking, conscience-soothing quarterly, founded in 2010, illuminates social issues on both a national and local scale. Boost the local economy by patronizing Bittersweet’s list of noteworthy H Street businesses (Winter 2013), and learn how you can help fight child-sex-trafficking in “Defending Human Rights (Fall 2012).
What’s in a name: “The word ‘bittersweet’ describes the type of stories we’re telling,” says editor Kate Schmidgall. “Would we love that there was no need to fight homelessness, poverty, abuse? Of course. But that’s not the case.”
Where to purchase: Find stores or subscribe online.
Who it’s for: Intellectual millennials
What it costs: $12 per issue; $40 yearly
What to expect: The Intentional launched Friday after a successful Kickstarter campaign in August. The inaugural issue includes drawings from Brooklyn-based performance artist Gio Black Peter and a personal essay about a young woman’s selfish struggles after an old friend asks her to be a bridesmaid.
What’s in a name: “The Intentional is all about being thoughtful in the way you live, in terms of how you act and how you interact with others,” says editor Kate Jenkins. And no word captured the idea of conscious living quite like “intentional.”
Where to purchase: Online
The Runcible Spoon
Who it’s for: Lovers of wacky food and indie zaniness
What it costs: Between $3 and $9 per issue
What to expect: Founded in 2010 by Malaka Gharib, this quarterly-ish zine publishes recipes for maggot-poop cheese (Fall 2012) and sour-patch hot dogs (Spring 2013). Occasionally, you’ll find useful features like a guide to the city’s brunch buffets (Summer 2012) and how to make your own bitters (Spring 2012). But mostly, The Runcible Spoon is a platter of stream-of-consciousness essays and illustrations from artsy-types.
What’s in a name: The 19th-century poet Edward Lear made up “runcible.” Dictionaries define it as a spork-like eating utensil.
Where to purchase: Washington’s Green Grocer, Seasonal Pantry, Meeps and online
Who it’s for: Fashion elite who prefer their photos large and their journalism long-form
What it costs: $10 per issue
What to expect: “The mainstream media in D.C. wasn’t covering this artistic, young scene that I was part of,” says Nicole Aguirre, the photographer who founded Worn in 2009. “So I just decided to be the change.” The biannual magazine has a few articles per issue, alongside pictorials of men in natty hats sitting in fields, or women in leather dresses standing next to portable toilets.
What’s in a name: The title “comes from the idea of having this T-shirt that’s your favorite T-shirt that you’ve worn a thousand times that just feels like you,” Aguirre says. “That’s my definition of style.”
Where to purchase: Find stores or buy issues online.
With Fiona Zublin (Express)