Is this real life?

Chicago IRL (In Real Life) was an arts and literary digest cataloging contemporary queer creative culture in Chicago. We documented not only existing queer talent but also inspired new collaborations and explorations. Although much of our coordination used the internet to connect us with contributors, we encouraged new interactions in real life as well. Chicago IRL was a zine made by and for the disenchanted, hopeful, and unemployed revolutionaries, muppets, and magicians to capture the spirit of a new dawn, whatever that means.

We hope you will find something that makes you laugh or stimulates you to take action. We only wish to keep it weird and sexy. Without your contributions, Chicago IRL could not have existed. Enjoy, enrich yourself, kick back and check out our past contributors.

Chicago IRL may be found in Chicago at Quimby’s, Chicago Comics, and Women & Children First. Back issues are archived within the Read/Write Library.

View our media kit.


Topher PicTopher McCulloch
Topher has never operated a lawnmower. He enjoys drinking champagne and reading Jean Genet. He tries to make something awful every day. Stalk him online: myrthco.com | tophermcculloch.com | msaed.tumblr.com | twitter

Joe picJoseph Varisco
Creative Director/Chef
Joseph is sort of like an otter with a switchblade and eyeshadow. He lives online at JRV Majesty Productions and on Twitter at JRVMajesty. He has a cat named Samson. He is the creator of the Queer Culture & Social Media Study and QUEER, ILL + OKAY.