Every once in a while, we come together collectively as a culture to celebrate one of life’s least prestigious yet most impressive achievements: the successful artistic representation of adolescence. It’s a delight we all savor when a movie or a book or a television show actually pulls off the daring and oft-bungled attempt to show what it’s like being a kid.
A non-comprehensive list of notable examples may include The Catcher in the Rye, Superbad, Malcolm in the Middle, The Breakfast Club, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. These artistic examples are all popular and enduring because they exude and honor awkwardness, powerlessness, anxiety, and, most importantly, the small triumphs that mean the world to the protagonist which the adults (who are sometimes just background noise amid the pages and frames) don’t even care to notice.
Why do these shows, books, and movies utterly take over the zeitgeist? I’d argue because they’re rare.
It is difficult to remember what it’s like to be a kid. To capture that feeling when you’re on the cusp of knowing right from wrong, in a truly nuanced and intuitive way, yet you’re also constantly running into situations in which doing the right thing feels impossible. It’s a frustrating time. But it’s also glorious, and not just because “you’re whole life is ahead of you.” That’s the mistake that adults make.
Adults think that because you’re young, you don’t feel the weight of the choices you’re about to make, and that you start with a clean slate. But the artists who speak to kids know that children feel just the opposite – you don’t have the ability to comprehend the weight of your decisions, but you feel them afterward anyway. Adolescence is less like looking down a vast stretch of open road (as many adults like to imagine) as it is waking up on a raft in the middle of the ocean. The whole thing seems endless, terrifying, and annoyingly wet.
So why am I talking about this in our first editorial?
This magazine is looking to publish stories that capture this childish feeling, but along the horror bend. Because the people out there who remember being young remember how utterly fucking terrifying it is. If you’re looking for stories like those described above, with a horror element mixed in, give this issue a try. Have your mom buy a copy for your older sibling, so you can secretly read it. Or better yet, steal one. I own this thing, and I promise I won’t get mad. (legally, you might have to take some things up with Amazon)
And if you write stories of this nature, keep sending them to me. I promise I don’t bite. In fact, my rejection letters have been described as near-pleasant. I plan on making a plaque that says that and hanging it on my wall.
And if you somehow haven’t done so yet, go watch The Breakfast Club. It’s a real banger.