Illustrated by Kyle Fletcher, then written by Michael Kiser

There are few things more invigorating than a passing chance. 

There are the run-ins and the clear outs, the dialed-ins and the dodgers, the nearly missed and the almost landed. Any side of the play will shake you up and set you down. You’re alive because you were almost dead. You’re safe now because you were almost exposed. You know what’s right because you now have a vision for how exactly wrong you might have been. The passing chance is a sobering glance. 

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Written by Michael Kiser, then illustrated by Kyle Fletcher

Humans often refer to complex phenomena with overly simplified, abstract terms in order to generate an emotional understanding when an intellectual one just won’t do. These are metaphors. The heart of the nation. The seat of an empire. A seed of doubt.

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Illustrated by Kyle Fletcher, then written by Michael Kiser

We have jobs because we’re afraid.

When I sit in a theater and experience something profoundly good, so qualitatively divine, I want it to change my life forever. I want it to consume my visual field and never let go. Never show me the edges of its reality. There should be no bezel on truth. 

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Written by Michael Kiser, then illustrated by Kyle Fletcher

The concept of “the sublime” has always been something humans defined, or at least inferred, as a beauty or grandeur beyond a human capacity.

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Illustrated by Kyle Fletcher, then written by Michael Kiser

So Windows Phone 7 wants us to get a life. They want us to believe that they’re intentionally developing a smartphone experience that delivers the lightest surface-level interactions we need. Surface indeed. 

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Written by Michael Kiser, then illustrated by Kyle Fletcher

When I was a sophomore in college, as an elementary education major, I recall an announcement that the state was raising the minimum test score requirements a few percentage points, which would eliminate some people from graduation with a teaching certificate, and make it slightly more difficult to obtain one in the coming year. While this announcement was met with anger by many of my peers, I remember thinking “good, let’s trim the fat.”

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Illustrated by Kyle Fletcher, then written by Michael Kiser

The last immortal is among us now. We are his living tomb. And he is delivered unto us like Kal-El, trenching at a hot, glowing slant from the sky, sewn as a bird into the belly of a pig, and plowed to a halt. He is an egg in the West.

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Written by Michael Kiser and illustrated by Kyle Fletcher


Mother. Partner. Co-worker. Friend.

Family. Marriage. Career. Network.

Abstraction creates anxiety, even as it seeks the essence of the idea.



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Written by Steve Juras then Illustrated by Kyle Fletcher. Foreword written by Michael Kiser.

Many people are allergic to creative input — obsessed with originality and individual esteem. 

A mysterious protein enters the body and the hypersensitive immune system reacts with hives, swelling, a goddamn asthma attack. So we are with pictures, words, ideas from other people that might influence our own creativity. 

At DissMag, we take a different route. We consume. We expose ourselves to the venom of unknown creative expression, and force it down our throats. This is how we write and illustrate each article, and it’s how we treat our selected contributors. Wether each article begins in words or pictures, we treat it all like indeterminate protein. 

And so, with this in mind, we bring you a bony, grizzled, deep fried piece of work from Steve Juras that we chewed on for awhile, and finally choked down. Given the option to submit words or pictures first, he chose words — and Kyle Fletcher created images in the fever-like state that it induced. 


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Illustrated by Kyle Fletcher and written by Michael Kiser

This is about masks. There are masks we wear as individuals. And there are masks we wear as groups. Micro/macro. And then there are the shiny helmets that astronauts wear as they peer point-blank into the future. I intend to argue that all these masks are useful. 

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Written by Michael Kiser and illustrated by Kyle Fletcher

As creative firms continue expanding their offerings to the point of ultimate integration, creative professionals find themselves in crisis — am I a generalist or a master of craft? The answer is that to be successful, or personally fulfilled, you might have to be both. 

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Illustrated by Kyle Fletcher and written by Michael Kiser

The passing of time frightens us like the howling pitch of a wild animal did our evolutionary grandfathers. And yet we willingly surround ourselves with its artifacts — clocks in every room, calendars on our fridge and devices, time stamps on every piece of digital communication.

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Written by Michael Kiser and illustrated by Kyle Fletcher

Humans process an incredible amount of information. According to Dr. Joe Dispenza, as good a doctor to cite as any other, we process “400 Billion bits of information a second. But, we are only aware of 2,000 of those.” Instead of focusing on the abstractness of that number, I’d like to consider the disparity. It’s like our brains are burdened with so much bloatware that they can’t even run malware. OUR BRAINS DON’T BELONG TO US.

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