Showing posts with label Sequart Organization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sequart Organization. Show all posts

Monday, January 14, 2019

Speculative Living

How I feel irl
One of my co-conspirators, Melissa Milazzo, at Sequart Organization released her book (which was really cool) this past week. Please buy it if you can! I remember her first few articles exploring the series and they were absolutely incredible.

Concerning the above, I don’t get to see this often enough, that is, the completion of a long term project. I know myself that the second draft of my second novel should be done next week. This has been a long time coming and I am ready for a break. Specifically one long enough to read my back log of books. These last few months have been stressful. Holidays, certifications, stress management training, et al. All I really want to do is curl up on my couch and finally finish Umberto Eco’s Inventing the Enemy. (Holy shit-balls! Buy it you plebians!)

This past month, I received as payment for passing my first major IT certification from my boss the Absolute Transmetropolitan Volumes 1-3. The pitch of Transmetropolitan alone is enticing, but the execution is really cool: in the distant future a gonzo journalist cover the sprawling subcultures in a pan-continental future city, known simply as “The City.” The series emphasizes the strength of the speculative fiction genre, which revolves around the dissection of current issues, juxtaposed to multiple hypothetical settings. Even though Transmetropolitan ran from 1997 to 2002, the series covers a multitude of issues affecting us, the American people, as we speak. Its execution is almost prescient! Though the ending was anticlimactic, the sum of its parts highlights the beauty of society and its vastness. That there could be such a thing surprises us, but it’s always nice to be reminded.

That is why we (Desmond and I) started Rune Bear. The truth lies in the weird and the strange, truly. Everything is so bedazzled in consumerism and commercialism, that "reality" has become fake. Globalism, for all its goal of unifying people, only means (practically) that our goods are made by slaves that we cannot see and wars are localized, compartmentalized, and spectated. Speculative fiction uncovers the disparities at work in society. The City of God is so far away, while the City of Man is on fire and gilded with rancid Trump Steaks.

Desmond and I have fun though. Weird is fun.

I think the joy we make of it comes from the implicative nature of the stories we receive. Seeing the world as it could be forces us to reflect on the present and ask the poignant question, “is this how it has to be?”

Recently, I should announce, I was able to go an entire week without taking my clonazepam. It's a huge milestone for me and it feels good to not have to rely on my "get-out-of-jail" pill to weather the anxiety storms. Someday I hope to stop taking Zoloft also, but I'll cross the bridge when I get there.

New Year. New Life. Exciting things are afoot and I can't wait to share them with you!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sequart Memories

I was at the comic book store Saturday picking up a floppy (or single issue, to those who aren't familiar with comic jargon). It's something I've only recently started doing, knowing full well that I would soon have boxes of ad-filled, twenty-something paged, incomplete story arc, relics. It's funny because I actually love reading them. I never thought I would say that. But it occurred to me, walking back to my house, that I was on the cusp of a personal revelation, one that I certainly wasn't expecting then, of all days.

There was a time when I was reading comics very actively. I was working with Sequart Organization as their Webmaster and Managing editor, attempting to build the fame of Sequart and establish it as a reputable place for comics journalism and scholarship. Little did I know, it already was, but it was nice to think I had something to do with it's fame at the time. There were many initiatives and projects I undertook. Why I did them escapes me. My only lasting legacy from Sequart is my anxiety disorder and my moments of complete  mental collapse that still plague me to this day. Somewhere at Desmond's cabin (a friend of mine, one that you should read and follow!) there is a pile of Sequart merch from SDCC 2014. Julian still has a press list I  built of academics, a 6 month project where I cataloged every non-profit academic institution, picked over their English department websites, and had my manager run a web-based info blast. (We got a few responses, certainly not a worthy amount.) I learned a lot from the experience, notably that it's hard to sell comics scholarship. 

I think that here is where I made the connection in my mind about the nature of anything that is creative. In the sea of genres, art-forms, and media types there is a subjective line in the sand between so-so manifestations and quality ones. There are some really shitty comics out there. Many of them don't challenge creativity or convictions. It's just a bunch of shit. But in the quagmire of shit there are vindicating articles of art that are really good. When I was at Sequart I would write articles about the noteworthiness of a series, elevate its form to death-defying heights, when in reality it wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. Like my fascination with beer transitioning to wine, I have moved from comics to novels. Though there are some good stories worth revisiting. 

I think if I could go back and tell myself to avoid Sequart I wouldn't. I wouldn't tell myself about the incoming panic attacks, or the compromising, though valuable, conversations I would have with Julian (who I still love and appreciate to this day), or the slow rift it would create between one of my good friends in part due to the liberal education I  would receive from my contributors and colleagues. Comics have indeed taught me more about art, spirituality, film studies, and myself and what I want to be. I've learned about those that I idolize, their flaws and dreams. I've realized the difference between myself and Neil Gaiman is very little. We are just two creators in different life stages and places. I no longer envy him, but admire him. 

Alan Moore would say, cynically I imagine, that his tenure in comics did nothing for him, that it was all wasted effort. (He lacks the critical distance from his work that is both moving and personal.) But I know that comics have affected me in many ways, mostly good. At the end of the day, are they worthy to pass on to my children? Of course. But are they worthy to be embodied? To draw identity from? I don't believe so....


I wrote quite a bit today while I was drinking tea.