On a recent trip to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, I came across a really neat-o 'zine independently published by WeIRD in A baD way PRoduCtions while perusing the aisles of Mac's Books on Coventry. Inside, editors "Lauren & Nicole" explain the 'zine started as a joke but, "sometimes you join an imaginary band and things just spiral to new directions." I liked these girls immediately.
The Miser is one of the few publications I've ever come across where I fall more and more in love with each page. After a candid Letter from the Editor, there's a short story/obituary to a local poet, a sampling of the late poet's writing, photography, watercolor drawings, some quotables, suggestions for sustainable living, and even a page for the reader to color on. OK, it's 2 pages. That's how cool this thing is.
Beautiful drawings by Kent State alum Nicole Lundberg
I love that everything in Miser is authentically Cleveland; meaning to me, everything feels like to Cleveland. The poems are somber, but hopeful. The photography is gritty, but colorful. The language is straightforward and unapologetic, rooted in a kind-hearted yearning. When James Mason describes the artwork of an immigrant grandparent in his piece, "Rain Drops," I am reminded of the so many exhibits I've come across in local galleries and my favorite art museum in the whole world - The Clevaland Museum of Art. It's a beautiful thing, to experience the world of these artists in such a thoughtfully-curated, unpretentious, and playful way.
I may no longer live in Cleveland, and I most definitely wrestle with my relationship to the city, but I'm grateful for these artists and happy to have found something so earnest and evocative purely by chance.
Thank you, Miser Magazine! You're a Great Find!
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