letter from the editors

art by sarah schacht

Cusper was born from a need. 

A need rooted both in ourselves and in the world we’ve found ourselves in. A need for something both larger and smaller — something to hold in our hands that would reconnect us to a lost childhood dream: a candlelit adult life; a tumblr-fueled apartment; a party where every guest has something to argue; something to share; where beliefs are transferred like HPV. And to just be in the room is to inhale connection and breathe out energy.

Yeah right. But also… oh, yeah, right!?

For different reasons, from that shared dream, that shared future-laced nostalgia, we all ended up in the same place, adrift in the entertainment industrial complex. Writing but not really writing, alienated from the joys we once felt in our creative work and the promises they once held. Promises of community, of conversation, of friends and collaborators, of a better life.

The alienation we felt was not ours alone. The world our generation was collectively born into is radically different from the one we live in now.  We were born into an era of paper: paperbacks, paper magazines, paper porn. Those pages have been recycled into toilet paper and those stories have been digitized and paywalled.

We’ve been asked often about what Cusper means to us. What is a Cusper, and why is this idea or identity so important that we’ve built our entire magazine around it? It is an age group, those of us born between the Millenials and Gen Z, insta-aged by ever-churning technology, too old to be kids, too young to have kids. But it is also a spirit. It is a deeper, existential dislocation that has brought us together and created the magazine you hold in your hands. 

Cuspers don’t fit in easily. Not in the established media world we grew up idolizing, whose big name writers had bylines in magazines, presses, and websites that no longer exist. Nor do we fit in the burgeoning online world where younger artists and writers build their brands on fifteen second reels.  We are those living between generations, between identities, between failure and success.

The greatest joy that this magazine has brought us has been the excuse to collaborate with the amazing artists and writers that feel caught in the same margins and give them an excuse to create the kind of work they want to see and read. We are simply overjoyed to bring them to you. 

As you peruse the pages of our magazine, we welcome you to engage in whatever way befits your own need. We have brought together a mixture of non-fiction, fiction, art, columns, games and more to try to recreate the feeling we have been searching for, that feeling that brought us all to our love of the written word when we were children, the feeling of ultimate freedom, of a world unfurling before you. 

Summer, Max  & Lucas