Niche Magazines for Your Niche Interest

Super-niche, super-obsessive, super-awesome periodicals to seek out now.

There's nothing more exciting than discovering that someone shares the same obsession as you—except for, maybe, discovering that there's an entire magazine dedicated to said obsession. Whether you're a total freak for cats, Chinese food, literature, or, erm, pants, chances are there's a (really beautifully designed) zine for that. Read on for an introduction to what's sure to be your new favorite periodical. Be warned, though—these babies are hard to get (which will only make you want them all the more, of course).

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Editor Kate Johnston describes Pants as a magazine "concerning bifurcated garments, etc." (garments split in two, that is). Printed on newspaper, it's as unpretentious as the honored clothes themselves. For an editorial in their second issue, Pants partnered with the L.A.-based creative studio/clothing store Otherwild to repurpose denim as an avant-garde accessory by slinging a pair around the shoulders and tying it up into a turban. OK, so you may not be able to sport this look at your next party (although it's definitely possible that people have left parties wearing pants as a hat), but the unconventional ideas that Pants explores so well make for great conversation starters—not to mention a highly entertaining read.

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Food for Fashion

Juiced up with culinary puns, Sydney-based Food for Fashion takes two topics—both regular topics of discussion in their own right—and blends them together. FFF's layouts, which evoke the menu design for In-N-Out Burger, with ketchup-red pull quotes outlined like daily specials, contain some pretty delectable fashion. In one issue, Dev Hynes eats a blood orange (because, well, you know), chefs are dressed in clothes no one would dare drip sauce on, and a shirtless male model prepares a jamón serrano sandwich. Yum.

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Homegirl Zine

Your space can say a lot of things about you. It can say good things (fresh flowers in every room? How lovely!) and it can say bad things (who knew dust bunnies could grow that big....). It can say the most things, though, when it's not styled within an inch of it's life, every last corner made Pinterest-ready. With this in mind, Homegirl draws on Melbourne's high number of creative women, photographing them resting in their nests. The concept for the magazine arose from founder Ingrid Kesa's desire to snoop on her coolest friends' living quarters, and it's refreshing to find real life on such earnest display: dirty plates are left out on tables, hair is pulled back in messy buns (or wrapped in towels), and half-drunk cups of coffee are within close view. Homegirl opens with Drake's Twitter-famed manifesto, "Live without pretending," and it lives up to that credo, too.

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MacGuffin and Dirty Furniture

If furniture could talk, MacGuffin and Dirty Furniture have some interesting working theories of what it might say. The premier issues of MacGuffin and Dirty Furniture sink into people's beds and couches, respectively. Both magazines choose one object that can be found in the home and examine it within a broader cultural, political, and historical context. Each dedicates plenty of time to showcasing beautiful design, but they take more interesting angles on their furniture features, too. One issue of Amsterdam-based MacGuffin has an entire piece on aviary beds (aka, birds' nests), while an issue of London-based Dirty Furniture delves into the history of the reclining female in fine art.

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The Cleaver Quarterly

The Cleaver Quarterly is dedicated to what could be considered one of the only true global cuisines: Chinese. From a love letter to soup dumplings (which you'll understand if you've ever tasted one) to roundups of the most exotic Chinese street snacks and a recipe for a cocktail recipe made with baijiu, the country's most infamous spirit (it's China's version of tequila), founders Lilly Chow, Iain Shaw, and Jonathan White filleach page with info on incredible fare and photography that looks good enough to eat.

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Puss Puss, Cat People, Pet People Magazine, and Four & Sons

The geniuses behind London's Puss Puss and Melbourne's Cat People are killing the stigma of the crazy cat lady (and crazy cat dude) with their hip alternative to Cat Fancy (RIP). Their method? For Puss Puss, it's all in their high-fashion cat-inspired editorials, starring human and kitty models alike. As for Cat People, they're more focused on interviews with cat freaks like artist Ai Weiwei and designer Vivetta Ponti on how their feline friends have influenced their work. Your cat definitely won't care (like, at all), but how exciting for you!

For those who prefer dogs, there's Australian magazine Four & Sons, which combines culture and canines with intimate portraits of creatives and their pups. And for animal lovers who don't like to be pigeonholed, there's Sweden-based Pet People Magazine (no affiliation with the aforementioned Cat People), which aims to "celebrate the love stories of pets and their people in one city at a time" (awww).

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Mouthfeel is here, queer, and eager to introduce you to some really cool people and a lot of delicious food. New York City-based chef Mac Malikowski created Mouthfeel in an effort to bring together his two areas of interest. It's "food from a gay point of view," and it's far from any other food magazine out there. The punk-inspired publication features interviews with accomplished gay chefs from all over the world and plenty of hilarious, tongue-in-cheek artwork of vintage nude-dude pics collaged beneath some very strategically placed food photography. Eat your heart out.

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The Happy Reader

A magazine about reading may seem a bit meta, but The Happy Reader is cooler than your average literary publication (starting with the fact that it's published by Penguin). Each issue from the London-based mag is split into halves: The first is an interview with a well-known bookworm (the first three issues featured Kim Gordon, Dan Stevens, everyone's fantasy best friend, Master of None star Aziz Ansari; the current issue's cover stars Alan Cumming), who speaks in depth about their favorite works and subjects. It makes for an incredibly unique and intimate look into the mind of someone you may have fantasized having this very conversation with. As for the second half, that's completely dedicated to one classic work of literature, which, if you haven't already read it, will have you feeling like you did. Think of it as a really charming SparkNotes!

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