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This ain't no fuckin' zine, man…this is a legit, full-color, glossy magazine printed on serious paper stock and its too thick to roll up and smack a dog with. It's like Juxtapoze or something, but with one incredible twist … every page isn't full of the worst, most inhuman crap you've ever read


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They Live! The Thing! In The Mouth of Madness! Escape from New York! Ghosts of Mars! If you don't like Ghosts of Mars -- Fuck You!  John Carpenter has had a bigger impact on our lives here at Dagger HQ than our parents, 9/11 and Jesus Christ and unlike that pack of bozos his influence has been entirely positive. Why? Because he's a ride or die motherfucker and he makes movies with actual, honest to god ideas in them

This isn't an interview where we ask him what it was like working with Kurt Russel and then invite him to plug his upcoming album (although maybe we should have done the last thing, because his music is excellent). We talk about politics, philosophy, the individualist hero. His ethos and our ethos. It's the Dagger mission statement

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The unofficial theme of this issue is mothers. We got two long comics on the subject -- Subhumanoid, a 29 pager composed on a time-skipping 9-panel grid, is by Dagger's editor and chief, Don Jolly, and Mother's Meat, clocking in at 30 pages, is by our beloved publisher, Matthew H. James. These are personal, distressing stories, and you can't read them anywhere else.

Dagger is also proud to feature some shorter strips by Doug Skinner, whose comics have appeared in Nickelodean Magazine and R. Crumb's Weirdo. He's also been published in Fate and Fortean Times and he's a hell of a good musician. Check out his work at www.dougskinner.com.

Last but certainly not least, this issue features a short story by Io Perl-Strahan. She's shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art twice, and she's only sixteen…what can we say? The kid's a straight up, no-bullshit genius, and we're lucky she's slumming it with the rest of us. 

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Max Roderick works as a line cook in South Carolina. He's delivered sandwiches, run kitchens, stocked shelves -- and all the while, he's been writing poetry. Big, three-ring binders full, year after year, day after day, and since he isn't just some powderpuff with an English degree and a soul of deep confusion his work is actually about something. He also wrote a crispy post about Wonder Woman in this issue.

p u r e  s a v a g e r y

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Look, that ain't hyperbole. We got Billy Norrby here, providing the cover and few interior illustrations. Billy does oil paintings for a living, and he's shown extensively both in the U.S.A. and Europe, at venues like the National Arts Club of New York and the Phillips De Pury Auction House. This shit hits like a mack truck, man, and once it hits Billy doesn't let up. He just keeps backing over your mind, running it over again and again and again until it's not just blow but blown out, totally squeezed, a stain of brain on the pavement but even though you're dead you're begging for more Billy Norrby brutality from where you've ended up – in HELL. He's a good painter, man, his work is all over this page


Matt Rota, whose work appears alongside Max's poems and elsewhere in the magazine, is a professional illustrator whose clients include pretty much everybody -- the New York Times, the New Yorker, the L.A. Times. He's been decorated by the Society of Illustrators, Spectrum, American Illustration and more. But his work in this issue doesn't rest on pedigree. It's deeply felt, meticulously rendered and undeniably unnerving. If Billy hits like a Mack Truck, Rota comes on like ten unexpected hits of acid, slipped surreptitiously into your paper cup of Hi-C orange. Before you know it, the MacDonalds flies into the sun and you're fighting snake-men with a pipe 

There's a story and illustrations by Micah Blacklight in here too, a piece called "Loosed." Here's the thing about Micah. There's nobody like him, anywhere. He's got a totally individual, highly polished and constantly experimental sense of writing and visual art that kinda reminds me of a 1990s role-playing book run through some kind of quantum accelerator and evolved to the point that its psychic powers have become a problem for the government.


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