A Big Fat Bevy of Art

Five illustrators who will bring more fat representation to your life.

Early versions of the home page layout for issue six included a section that would require a handful of small drawings or photos. Michelle’s stick figures weren’t really fitting the bill, so instead, we approached fat illustrators and licensed our favorite pieces of their work — the issue would get the artwork it needed, more fat creators would get paid to be a part of it, and we’d help bring their work to new audiences.

As the home page developed and morphed, we ended up changing the bit of the page that required the drawings… but that’s no reason not to share them with you! Here are five pieces of art you didn’t get to see, and five great fat artists and activists to support.

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Waiting-room Reading

Because our next issue doesn’t come out until May 17,
and because your to-read book pile can never be too high.

The best way to choose a book is by spending four to five hours in an independent bookstore obsessively plucking books from shelves and reading page 70 of each one until you find the book you can’t put down.

The second, less time-intensive way is to ask a friend with good taste for a recommendation. We asked our Barter Members — for who is friendlier and has better taste than a Pipe Wrench reader? — is to tell us what the last books they read and loved were. Here are some of their recommendations, with the opening line of each book for further decision-making support.

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Happy Almost-Birthday, Us

The Ellie ceremony was last week, and Pipe Wrench was there. What will we accomplish in Year Two? We can only assume a Nobel.

If you hadn’t heard the first dozen times, this barely-one-year-old magazine was a finalist for Profile Writing in the 2022 National Magazine Awards, for Shanna B. Tiayon’s excellent “If We Can Soar: What Birmingham Roller Pigeons Offer the Men of South Central.”

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Here, have seconds.

Because our contributors put out great things in other places, and we don’t expect you to wait until April to read things again.

Here’s some of what they’ve loosed upon the world lately:

Anna Sulan Masing (issue three’s “From the River Where the Present Tries to Talk to the Past”) cofounded a magazine of her own last year, the second (beautiful) issue is now available with the third dropping in May, and it’s about one of the very best things a magazine can be about: Cheese.

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Conversation Topics for the Small-Talk Hater

As god is our witness, we’ll never have awkward silence again.

If you’re reading this, chances are high that you semi-regularly spend inordinate amounts of time on the internet reading obscure histories and facts about topics that have little to do with your daily life. Rabbit holes! Wikipedia! Multiple hours of my life spent learning about John Rhys-Davies, and did you know that one of his earliest roles was as a gangster named “Laughing Spam Fritter”? Now you do!

two white bunnies, one sitting on the dirt, the other peeking out of a hole in the ground.
I’d follow them anywhere.

Let us use this time spent for good; we’ll be regularly sharing the most recent Google deep dives of some of our favorite people, that all of our small talking may be enhanced with new trivia.

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We Made You a Mix Tape

Who wants a playlist? Ten great songs picked by ten great people you’d want to be friends with if you knew them IRL.

When folks join Pipe Wrench as barter members, we ask them if they’d mind sharing their favorite song — because we want to learn more about our members, yes, but mostly because we want to discover new music. There’s no better way to do that than by asking people whose opinions you trust what they can’t stop listening to, and there are no people whose opinions we trust more than Pipe Wrench members. We’re been compiling those tracks into playlists, and we’ll share a new one with you each month. Discovery for all!

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Deep Pockets

No, literally. Y’all have deep pockets in your outerwear.

As part of our Issue Five launch National Popcorn Day observance, we asked several thousand of our best friends on Twitter:


We can’t help but admire both the extent of the smuggling and the commitment to the bit in this response. Other excellent answers included:

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Native Land Search: A Free Plugin for WordPress Sites

Those of us who live in the Americas and Oceania are almost certainly living on Native and Indigenous homelands. Those of us who are not ourselves Native or Indigenous probably have little idea whose. Knowing who lost their homes and lives in the creation of the countries we now call home has always been crucial, and only becomes more critical as the ongoing impact of violent colonization and severity of the climate crisis become clearer and clearer.

Native Land Digital maintains extensive maps of Native and Indigenous homelands and communities worldwide. Now WordPress sites can embed a search tool using their data into any post or page with a free plugin.

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