Nonfiction

We Are Comics: A Visual Message for Visual Medium

by on Jul 1, 2014 in Nonfiction | 0 comments

“We Are Comics” was born from frustration. In April of 2014, every woman in comics was talking about Janelle Asselin: one of us, an editor and writer who’d been getting a nonstop barrage of graphic rape threats and other harassment in response to an article where she criticized the hypersexualization of a teenage girl on the cover of Teen Titans. Ironically, most of the worst threats were coming in the form of responses to a survey Asselin had posted about sexual harassment in the comics industry and community. And among the threats and insults, there was one comment, more than others, that stuck with me. “Women in comics are the deviation, the invading body, the...

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Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief

by on Jul 1, 2014 in Nonfiction | 0 comments

There are a lot of different ways to make a revolution. I’m pulling this from memory, and Google wasn’t helpful, so forgive my errors. But there’s a story I’ve heard, about the five men who meet on a road. The kingdom is repressive, and the men are fearful. One of them says, “We should not be here, it is forbidden.” Another replies, “We have nothing to fear.” The first says, “What do you mean?” The second man replies, “The penalty for the five of us to meet is death, is it not?” The frightened men agree that this is the case. The man explains:  “The penalty for rebellion is also death. We are already condemned men for standing in the road. So what more do we have to...

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Black Communities of the 30th Century: Racial Assimilation and Ahistoricity in Superhero Comics

by on Jun 3, 2014 in Nonfiction | 2 comments

A past’s vision of the future can teach us something about its present, or, in the case of the “Big Two” superhero comic book publishers, about how it ever was and sometimes seems like it ever will be. Issue #216 of DC comics’ Superboy, Starring the Legion of Superheroes enlightens readers not only on the state of race relations in the idealized 30th century of its stories, but captures the arc of most black superheroes in the comic book world, whether it be in 1976 (when issue #216 came out), or the 2000s when Luke Cage joined Brian Michael Bendis’s New Avengers. In “The Hero That Hated the Legion” readers are introduced to Marzal, an island city populated by “a Black...

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Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief

by on Jun 3, 2014 in Nonfiction | 0 comments

A reviewer recently pointed out that these little introductory essays of mine are a bit strained as to theme. That I seem to stretch a point to unite all the disparate elements in an issue under one guiding umbrella, to completely mix my metaphors. Well, this issue? Doesn’t really have a theme. There you have it. If there is any uniting principle to the June issue, it’s that I personally really, really like all of these works. I adore our cover, “Bleef,” from Tory Hoke. I reached out to Patrick Nielsen Hayden at Making Light for John M. Ford’s poem, “Harry of Five Points.” I asked Kelly Link if we could reprint “The Faery Handbag” because I have been an admirer of her...

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Finding the Next Lost: What Is an “Operational Theme” and Why Don’t I Have One?

by on May 6, 2014 in Nonfiction | 13 comments

One of the many perks afforded a journeyman writer/producer in television is receiving scripts for network television pilots as they are being made. It’s like the best possible version of the TV Guide Fall Preview Issue I used to compulsively reread under the covers with a flashlight as a kid. Except that now I have the added thrill: if my agents do their job, if I am good in the interview, if a million other moving parts click in the correct order, I help the people who created these shows realize their vision. This inside window into the totality of network development puts us journeyman television writers and producers in an interesting position to spot and track...

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Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief

by on May 6, 2014 in Nonfiction | 0 comments

“Who are you?” “What do you want?” The television program Babylon 5 made these questions a central theme of the series. Elder races, nigh–unto–gods to the younger species that crowded the screen, would ask these questions of our protagonists. What do you want? Who are you? Identity. Desire. I remember when I first saw Bab 5. I remember the sense of gravity, of import, those questions held. How does what I want shape who I am? How are my desires created by my identity? I could answer those questions when I was young. These days I am older and wiser and I have not a damn clue how to respond. This issue of Apex has a lot of desire. A great deal of will. Characters want...

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