March 26, 2014

Zine: Cherry Mag #1
The only diary you're allowed to read that's not your own.

The first thing I can do when I begin flipping through the pages of Cherry Mag is blink; the pictures and graphics are layered with words and in such vibrant colors that I think if I look much longer my eyes will explode. But they don't, in fact, and that moment of disorientation fades quickly and doesn't return. It is instead replaced with a strange sense of familiarity, as if, hey wait a second, I've written that, and thought that, and drawn something like that – is this my diary? No, you goose, it isn't your diary but for that bizarre second, flipping Cherry's pages leaves an overwhelming wave of deja vu washing over you.

Elisabeth Dunne seemed to create Cherry on a bit of a whim – "So, this issue is a bit all over the place as I didn’t set a very strict theme at all because I didn’t want to limit submissions," she says in her editor's letter. "I just wanted to see what I got but it’s now ended up in a bunch of people going what are we even doing???!!!?!?!?!?!?" It's jumbled, it's busy, it's all over the place, but above all, it's stimulating, it's exciting - it's eye candy. And although its been Tumblr-criticized for too closely emanating Rookie, it's more going with the flow that this wave of pro-girl-creativity has started. There's glitter, there's confetti; it's like a birthday party made of paper, which makes it all the more readable. 

Cherry Mag is filled with a host of mediums, even sound (wildly fun playlists, hello) - photographs, poems, essays and top 10 lists, all surrounding the all-arching theme, "personal." And even though that theme might feel vague, all of the pieces featured in Cherry are, well, personal to their creators. In a way, we're doing the unspeakable: diving into someone else's diary, reading their thoughts over their shoulder and they're letting us. The amount of thought and detail that went into creating this zine is massive, readily apparent from every section, so you don't feel so bad about seemingly prying into another person's personal life. This diary was meant to be read.

Read the full issue of Cherry Mag here.

Written by Molly Morris