Rafael Alvarez ("A Mural Reawakened," p. 68) is the author of 10 books, most recently The Baltimore Love Project, a history of murals in Crabtown. A longtime rewrite man on the City Desk of The Baltimore Sun, Alvarez has worked on merchant ships and written for the HBO drama The Wire. He is known for short stories about a waterfront junkman named Orlo and his Greek lover, Leini.
Burnt Toast Creative is the working alias for Scott Martin ("Lighten Up—It's Good for You," illustration, p. 24), a Canadian artist who started drawing as soon as he could hold a pencil. Now he is an internationally known illustrator whose clients include Dropbox, Red Bull, and Google.
Marshall Clarke ("When the Air is a Playground," photography, p. 16) is a Baltimore native who specializes in editorial and documentary photography. He loves to travel, bike, and create art with his niece and nephew when he is not behind the camera.
John Kachik ("A Man Walks Into a Bar," portraits, p. 42) is an alumnus and occasional adjunct faculty member of the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he studied illustration and sculpture. He is also on the faculty educational board at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center in Frederick, Maryland. He lives in Sykesville, Maryland, with his wife, Maria, daughters Emily and Isabel, their dogs Mia and Scarlett, and Mojo the turtle.
Rachel Wallach ("Might as Well Laugh," p. 34) writes and edits in Baltimore. She has written about topics ranging from ethics to robots to oysters to the history of dance. Her work has appeared in several Johns Hopkins publications, including JHU Engineering, Johns Hopkins Public Health, and Arts & Sciences Magazine.
On the cover
We've all been there—one minute, you're watching a clip from The Daily Show, and the next you're sucked into the click hole of the internet, watching videos of a skateboarding bulldog and a cat wearing rhinestone-encrusted sunglasses. Illustrator Daniel Fishel credits a YouTube binge for this issue's cover art, the perfect entryway to The Fun Issue. When he's not watching viral videos, the Queens, New York, resident is creating artwork for clients like The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, McSweeney's, and NPR.