They say crime doesn’t pay. And they’re probably right, because the defaced coin on our latest front cover actually cost the artist behind it money. (At least 50 cents, by our calculations.) It was carved by a fellow named Seth Basista, and while we don’t usually condone illegal activity, we’re prepared to let things slide in this case for two reasons: 1) Skeletor Queen Elizabeth looks kinda cool, and 2) by treating coins as canvases, Seth is keeping alive a centuries-old tradition and folk art. You can read all about the history of so-called ‘hobo nickels’ in Smith Journal volume 30, and much more besides.
Much more like what, you ask? Well, we go hiking with a man who’s trying to clone an entire forest, roll a 20-sided die with the illustrators behind Dungeons & Dragons, meet some tiny animals you’re probably sharing your home with even as you read this, and learn what goes into a $46,000 pair of scissors.
But wait, there’s more: we take a ride on Indonesia’s Mad Max-like scooters, play a video game that’s got scientists rethinking the meaning of life itself, come to terms with the slippery nature of the eel, and pay homage to the soaring genius of the elevator. All that plus the cholesterol-inducing history of the dim sim, fashion advice from the CIA’s former Chief of Disguise, a chat with comedian Maria Bamford and a taxonomical investigation into the humble cornflake.