Episode 467: Ciara Shuttleworth!

Episode 467 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on Apple podcastsstitcher, spotify, or click here to stream (right click to download, if that’s your thing).

In this week’s show, I speak with Ciara Shuttleworth about poetry, telling factions, limerence, running with the Muses, being open to delight, and the importance of daydreaming.

TEXT DISCUSSED

NOTES

Scribophile

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Photo by Tony Firriolo.


Episode 467 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on Apple podcastsstitcher, spotify, or click here to stream (right click to download, if that’s your thing).

The Curator of Schlock #349: Greyhound

The Curator of Schlock #349 by Jeff Shuster

Greyhound

Not the bus. 

Edwige and I were about five days into our road trip to Canada when I realize I had made a horrible mistake. I left my box of Arrow Blu-rays back at Big Tom’s. I have to turn this rig around, but that’s okay. I subscribed to Apple TV Plus for all sorts of exclusive content like old Charlie Brown specials and a Justin Timberlake indie film. Oh, boy. Well there is a new Tom Hanks movie on there called Greyhound.

2020’s Greyhound from director Aaron Schneider skipped the theaters last year due to that whole global pandemic thing. Apple landed it as their big exclusive movie on their fledgling streaming service. This was much to the disappointment of Tom Hanks who wanted a big screen release for this movie he wrote the screenplay for based on the novel The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester. I typically don’t care for World War II movies, but this one was interesting. Maybe because it’s the first movie I’ve seen about The Battle of the Atlantic. Also, at a 91 minute runtime, Greyhound doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Tom Hanks plays Commander Ernest Krause, captain of the USS Keeling. Its radio call sign is “Greyhound.” Greyhound is part of a team of escort ships, protecting supply ships on their way to Liverpool. Captain Krause is in command of the fleet, but it’s his first mission, first time coming face to face with the dreaded threats that lurk within the waters of the “Black Pit,” an area of the Atlantic out of range of air support, where the ships are vulnerable to the dreaded German U-boats. 

The U-boats are known as “wolf packs” because they hunt in groups. And they are pretty terrifying. We don’t get to really see the enemy in this movie. The creepy music blares, the sub pops up from the water with a red wolf’s head painted on the side, and before you know it, an oil tanker is torpedoed. You can see the toll this is taking on Captain Krause as he downs cups of flaming hot coffee while refusing to eat anything. 

Every so often, one of the Germans figures out the Greyhound’s radio frequency and starts trolling the crew. The German officer says stuff like, “We hear the screams of your comrades and we laugh. The wolf always eats the hound. We will kill you. Awhooooooooooo. Awhoooooooooo!” Captain Krause changes the frequency, but the Germans figure it out again and keep trolling them. There’s loss of crew members, high stakes suspense, and a climatic finish.

I’m with Tom Hanks. This should have gotten a theatrical release. The spectacle of warships and submarines attacking each other on the high seas would have been worth seeing on the big screen. Also, Tom Hanks tends to keep the details as true to life in these war films. This would have been an immersive experience in a proper theater. Here’s hoping it might get a second chance for a theatrical run. 


Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444, and episode 450) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

 

Aesthetic Drift #29: Chewing on the Words of Miami’s Incarcerated

Aesthetic Drift #29 by Avery Coffey

Chewing on the Words of Miami’s Incarcerated

As spring has arrived and we apprehensively wait for the new beginnings it has in store, O’Miami is finally able to host their annual poetry festival in Miami, Florida. Amongst the over sixty projects and events, they’ve chosen to partner with a non-profit organization, Exchange for Change, to give us something to chew on.

Exchange for Change is located in Miami, Florida and they calculate each step with their belief that “education is a human right”. Their students are current prison inmates. The organization’s main mission is to offer writing courses in prisons and administrating letter exchange programs between inmates and writers on the outside. This year, their project titled “Something To Chew On” will make their poems accessible to the entire community. These short, one-line pieces will be placed in gumball machines for anyone to read and discover the unspoken words of the students.

Kathie Klarreich, the executive director and founder of the organization, explained to me that there is an entire population that is incarcerated and separated from the rest of society. The writing classes teach them effective ways to communicate and help them to spread their voice to the outside of their prison walls. Their writing serves as a reminder to the public that they “deserve rights all around.”

Since Exchange for Change has begun, Klarreich is constantly surprised by the resilience of her students. Most who come to her classes are motivated and interested in spending their time productively. Especially during the pandemic, inmates displayed a large amount of humanity that she wished existed more on the outside.

When discussing the pandemic, she brought up the difficulties the organization has experienced with continuing their classes. They weren’t able to meet in person, and there was still a tremendous lack of communication between the prison facilitators and Exchange for Change. There were times when an entire section of the prison would be on lockdown, prisoners would pass away, or be transported to a different facility. All the while, Kathie and her team didn’t know anything. The pandemic has been extremely difficult, not just technologically, but emotionally as well: “the magic was in the classroom”.

April has arrived on our calendars, and many literature fans are looking forward to O’Miami’s poetry festival. Klarreich wants us to understand that her students, and all inmates, come from our population. The punishment being that they are removed from society shouldn’t follow them outside prison. They shouldn’t be treated “like a number”, but as an individual instead. If you encounter one of these gumball machines, take a moment and metaphorically chew on the words of the incarcerated.

You can explore Exchange for Change on their website. Keep an eye out for the soon-to-be published book composed of pieces from the inmates as they open up about social justice and their experiences behind bars.


Avery Coffey is collegiate writer based in Miami, Florida. She’s always had a passion for creative writing. Since entering college in 2018, she has discovered a love for using her talents to explore current events and social issues, and being a voice for others.

Lost Chords & Serenades Divine #20: Strange Lights Over Garth Mountain (2020)

Lost Chords & Serenades Divine #20 by Stephen McClurg

Gwenifer Raymond: Strange Lights Over Garth Mountain (2020)

Gwenifer Raymond’s approach to fingerstyle guitar has an almost punk aesthetic, something she’s called Welsh Primitive, referencing the term American Primitive used to describe guitarists who play music influenced by the Delta blues and other folk styles as interpreted through players like John Fahey and Robbie Basho. She can play delicately, but she’s more likely to play an ecstatic music of raw power, more ferocious than elegant. While she has a dynamic expressive range, sometimes I don’t know how her guitar stays together, much less in tune.

The opening track, “Incantation,” unexpectedly begins with percussion, generally a guitarist in this genre plays solo, some with fingerpicks and some without. Raymond opens with a two-note thumb bass pattern, but not the typical octave or root plus lower fifth intervals, and then starts weaving harmonic and melodic components into the established rhythmic theme.

If “Incantation” is a spell drawing the listener toward Garth Mountain, then “Hell for Certain” plunges the listener deep into its caverns. It has shades of Fahey in uptempo blues accents, harmonics, and a descending riff echoing the idea of a descent into Hell. It also owes as much to Black Sabbath as it does to Delta blues, these styles blended so much it comes out unique to Raymond.

“Worn Out Blues” features her slide playing and a thumb bass pattern unusually geared toward the upbeats rather than traditional downbeats. The repeated patterns and ornamentations are rich and hypnotic. At one point you can hear her play the bass part, an ornamented harmony and the slide melody simultaneously. She makes it sound easy.

“Marseilles Bunkhouse, 3am” also has a thumb pattern that shifts to upbeats, a technique she seems to be developing here. There is a haunted aspect to this tune, like walking through fog during the witching hour in an unfamiliar place, full of dark shapes, where one cannot make out the landscape. Images of the Marseilles Tarot Deck come to mind in a music combining elements of Delta blues with European dance and classical styles, an approach that may relate to the mix of cultures the city is known for.

Despite the altered tuning, there are several phrases on “Gwead am Gwead” that would sit easily on a Slayer album, maybe as Seasons In the Abyss outtakes. It’s almost a medieval acoustic metal song in three, a soundtrack less for a Renaissance fair and more for a sacrifice or duel. After all, the title translates to “Blood for Blood.” There are sections of dark, sweet dissonances, slivers of melody, and tinges of blues.

The album ends with the title track, which uses harmonics that I like to think of as representing the strange lights over the Welsh burial mound. Garth Mountain has a mythology perfect for the album, and as a bonus is a site of several UFO sightings.

As the pandemic progresses, I enjoy seeing musicians play online, but I have also felt a loss at not hearing live music. The first album premiere I watched was Raymond’s, a live performance of the entire album. It was a thrill, but it also reminded me of how much I miss being in the room as the music happens. I wouldn’t complain if Raymond also performed the first live show I get to see post-pandemic.

Gwenifer Raymond’s Strange Lights Over Garth Mountain is available through Tompkins Square.


Stephen McClurg (Episode 24) writes and teaches in Birmingham, Alabama. He co-hosts The Outrider Podcast, writes at Eunoia Solstice, and infrequently blogs. He has contributed music as a solo artist and with the group Necronomikids to past episodes of The Drunken Odyssey.

Buzzed Books #93: Love and Errors

Buzzed Books #93 by Wanda Fuentes

Kimberly Dark’s Love and Errors

Kimberly Dark’s Love and Errors is an extremely compelling read that is enjoyable despite its heavy themes. Emotions rage on each page as victims, survivors, abusers, and bystanders perceive abuse differently, speaking to each other and themselves in the midst of being. Dark creates a world where breathing is an occupation and each new turn is another battle that must be won to live freely the next day.

Dark’s tone alternates between comic despair (“I’ll drown myself in that toilet”) and frank insight (“She is young / She is alive”). Trauma’s clinging offspring express themselves at different timelines of survivor’s journeys. Women frozen within trauma’s grip (“could’ve thrust / the stick into his belly / but for what? / More men in the next room.”) without any exit. Others after escaping its physical hold, remain vigilant to protect themselves and others from trauma’s snare (“I will not end up in a Mexican jail today / because she is a threat to maleness / and I need to be shown the error of my ways.”). Family members battle pain’s all-consuming dependency (“to be cast / as the cause of pain, and watch it become all / she was.”) seeking ways to extend life and love. All throughout, Love and Errors boldly penetrates straight into the war within the soul-seeking out the truths and myths of life beyond pain.

Love and Errors contains 38 poems that unravel the traumas of sexual violence, damaged families, cultural injustice, and caregiver burdens. From childhood rape to struggles of married life, Dark illuminates the various paths of survivors through girls, women, lovers, and siblings—independent and dependent. All throughout, Dark expresses an underlying message that even the worst relationships and violating memories can become a source of new strength and hope.

Relationships between trauma’s complex emotions and the body’s normal healing process are suggested (“I am made to be torn down / my pride to be shredded / I heal / get new skin / become new / beauty / is in the living”). These familiar comparisons bring forth hope as, with time, all things heal. Dark opens the door out of isolation, as one realizes they belong to a unique community, (“The way we hold our love / and errors, expectations / rooted into common ground; that’s how / we find each other and become capable / of doing what we feel we must do”) that struggles with fear and pain. By the end, readers are presented with new skills, viewpoints, and knowledge of a community which needs them—and they it.


Wanda Fuentes is a poet and social worker who lives in Orlando, Florida.

Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #117: To Wear an Influence

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Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #117 by Drew Barth

To Wear an Influence

I remember being a tiny child and setting our VCR to record Power Rangers and Big Bad Beetleborgs while I was at school or asleep and I would sit in front of the TV, half watching as I rewound the newly recorded episode. A cataclysm of unknown proportions was going to change the world utterly and shatter all notions of normalcy. Each episode felt like an event that I would never be able to see again. That same urgency—the massiveness and event-level scale—is weaved throughout the first issue of James Harren and Dave Stewart’s Ultramega.

I wouldn’t have been able to read Ultramega when I was younger. due to the gore, the more mature themes, and, more than anything, the body horror. If sentai shows like Power Rangers and Ultraman center around characters transforming, Ultramega takes that to a grotesque degree. As an unknown kaiju plague sweeps through an unnamed city, Jason, Stephen, and Ern have been granted the power to transform into costumed giants—the titular Ultramega—to stop the monsters the infected become. But this is all futile as something more frightening has been percolating beneath the city for a decade and is unleashed as the three heroes and their powers can do nothing to stop it.

So, of course, this issue has that epic sense of worlds changing as our three heroes die gruesome deaths before the first issue’s end. For a first issue, introducing your main cast, giving them distinct personalities and histories, and then killing them off is risky. But here, Harren makes it work. This first issue is an event as we move past the old age of heroes and into the next. We’re in a post-Ultramega era and the heroes have been replaced by machines while the plague has subsided. The stinger at the end of this sixty-six page issue is even a masked hero that is of a normal person size and using powers in a completely different way from what we had seen from the Ultramega. More or less, we were given a full movie as a prequel to the rest of the story that is only beginning. Again, it’s a risk in a first issue, but somehow these moves keep working out because I want to see more of them.

Ultramega is a shot of that VCR nostalgia, but taken in unexpected directions. It also proves that comics can be expanded upon into these giant, event-like issues. Much like Novemberin its length and scope, Ultramegais another Image series that looks to push against the physical boundaries of the comic format. Although we haven’t gotten to the point of making those French comic dice, we’re getting to a point where stories are really beginning to burst at the seams of their pages. How much more story can be contained in monthly issues?

Get excited. Get huge.


Drew Barth at Miami Book Fair in 2019.

Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.

Episode 466: Maxim Loskutoff!

Episode 466 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on Apple podcastsstitcher, spotify, or click here to stream (right click to download, if that’s your thing).

In this week’s show, I speak with Maxim Loskutoff about Montana and the messy importance of setting, the fecund symbolism of reality, and attending NYU’s creative writing program.

TEXT DISCUSSED

NOTES

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  • TDO Listeners can get 20% of a premium subscription to Scribophile. After using the above link to register for a basic account, go here while still logged in to upgrade the account with the discount.
  • Learn more about O, Miami here.
  • Check out my literary adventure novel, Guy Psycho and the Ziggurat of Shame.

Episode 466 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on Apple podcastsstitcher, spotify, or click here to stream (right click to download, if that’s your thing).

 

The Diaries of a Sozzled Scribbler #28

The Diaries of a Sozzled Scribbler #28

as transcribed by Dmetri Kakmi

2 April 2021

How do you do, mein ubermensch?

I have this minute returned from Mars.

Why did I venture across such vast distances you ask?

To meet Doctor Manhattan. Yes, the blue god himself from the Watchmen comics. Or ‘graphic novels’, as they say nowadays. Surely a ploy to make them sound smarter than they are.

You are surprised that someone as elevated as myself knows anything about the Watchmen. It’s quite simple. The other night I was relaxing with my thirty-eighth negroni when Zach Spider’s ghastly film came on television. It’s baloney, of course, a gaseous emission that stinks worse than a New York subway.

But in the midst of it all you have Mister Rorschach and Doctor Manhattan, and quite suddenly the entire dreary affair comes to life.

I lost interest in Mr Rorschach when I realised he is a redhead; they are the devil’s pawns and must be beaten with a stick. But Doctor Manhattan’s allure only grew, especially once he got rid of his clingy girlfriend, Silk Spectre II. What a slag, going around in a skimpy outfit that must require the merest suggestion of a landing strip down there.

But to get back to the question. Why is someone as cultured as myself interested in a superhero? The answer is simple.

Doctor Manhattan is my kinda guy, as they say in low-class beer halls.

Why? Because he is a stark naked misanthrope.

In his own words, ‘I just don’t give a shit about humanity.’

He doesn’t give a merde about clothes either.

Naked, hung like a horse and hates people. What’s not to like?

When he’s not drifting against a starry starry night, engaged in nihilistic philosophising, like the Silver Surfer, towards whom he bears a striking physical resemblance, he’s fighting crime in the buff. Talk about CMNM! (Look it up.)

Doctor Manhattan is so above human morality he dispensed with a costume and goes around buck naked, except when he occasionally wears those fancy now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t undies that would cause a stampede at a nightclub for effervescent men.

That’s what I call a role model!

And, if I can manage it, he is the perfect means to achieve my dastardly plans.

So here I am walking around Mars, searching for a naked dude. When, lo and behold, I spy just such a creature sitting on a rock, looking like Rodin’s The Thinker.

‘Hello, stranger,’ I say.

‘Goodaye,’ he says, sounding alarmingly Australian.

But something is amiss.

‘Excuse me,’ I continue, ‘are you by chance Doctor Manhattan?’

He answers in the affirmative.

‘Then why do you look like that?’ I say, pointing at his face.

‘Like what?’

‘Well,’ I say, not knowing how to proceed with such a sensitive topic. ‘You look…how can I put it delicately?’

‘Just say it,’ he growls.

‘Black.’

For although the Doctor Manhattan in front of me is blue, he has the physiognomy of a black man. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that he was white in the ‘graphic novel’ and in the film.

‘Oh, that,’ he says, waving a hand. ‘Just did that for the new TV series.’

‘You changed race for a TV show?’

‘Yep.’

‘Why?’

‘Because it’s not cool to be white anymore.’

I can’t believe what I’m hearing. ‘Do you mean to tell me you can change your race at will?’

‘Yep.’

For a smart guy, his vocabulary is rather limited. ‘Can you become an Australian farmer from Coolgardie?’

‘Ugh,’ he cries, with a shudder. ‘That’s too horrible to contemplate. Go away little man. You’re interrupting my me time.’

‘But I want something.’

He sighs as if he’s heard it all before. ‘What?’

‘Move over,’ I tell him, ‘let me sit down so we can talk man to man.’

He scoots those resplendent buttocks over and I plonk myself beside him on the rock. It’s chilly on Mars so snuggle up to him for a bit of warmth.

‘Isn’t this nice and cosy?’ I say, but he just stares at me with those cold contemptuous eyes.

‘What do you want?’ His voice booms across the windswept desolation.

I point at the pinprick of light just visible in the vast cosmos. ‘I want you to destroy Earth.’

The blue/black Doctor turns his gaze towards the home planet we both despise.

‘I know you’ve grown distant from humanity,’ I go on, ‘and it’s not as if you particularly like Earth either…and I totally understand if you don’t want to destroy the entire planet all in one go.’ I pause, take a deep breath and go on. ‘If you want you can destroy China for starters. It’s full of Commies. No one will care if they go…’

Doctor Manhattan turns his head and stares at me with those uncanny white eyes. I start to shake in my Manolo Blahnik moon booties, but I can’t stop the verbal diarrhoea.

‘But eventually,’ I continue, ‘I would like you to wipe out the entire planet.’

I stop talking because Doctor Manhattan is shaking his head.

‘Please.’

He keeps shaking that weird head.

‘Pretty please.’

‘You’re too late, mate,’ he says in a voice that would not be out of place in Coolgardie.

‘What do you mean?’

‘I’ve changed.’

‘Changed how?’

‘I changed for the TV show,’ he replies. ‘Not only am I black but I’ve also rediscovered my humanity.’

‘I see…’ I say, shifting away from him.

‘And,’ he continues in a sickeningly complacent voice, ‘I desire the love of a good woman.’

I leap to my feet, utterly disgusted. ‘Cease thy speech,’ I cry. ‘Oh, foul demon.’

But now it’s his turn to have verbal diarrhoea. ‘Not only that,’ he goes on, ‘but they kill me off at the end of the series and I transfer my powers to Sister Night.’

‘In the name of Isis, cease thy damnable prattle!’—I point at him and make my final damning pronouncement—‘You sire are a PC casualty!’

‘Oh, don’t say that…’ Doctor Manhattan wails.

‘You are a disgrace. And I for one will now turn my attentions on Mr Rorschach…’

‘I thought you hated redheads,’ Manhattan bemoans.

Mr Rorschach,’ I pronounce, ‘might be a redhead, but at least he is psychotic. Whereas you, sir, are a woke joke.’

With that I flew back to Earth, never to think about the good doctor.

À bientôt, mes amies.


The Sozzled Scribbler was born in the shadow of the Erechtheion in Athens, Greece, to an Egyptian street walker and a Greek bear wrestler. He is currently stateless and lives on gin and cigarettes.

Dmetri Kakmi is the author of Mother Land (shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards in Australia), and the editor of When We Were Young. His latest book is The Door and Other Uncanny Tales. He does not endorse the Sozzled Scribbler’s views.

Aesthetic Drift #28: The Festival For Poets: O, Miami!

Aesthetic Drift #38 by Avery Coffey

The Festival For Poets: O, Miami!

Coming from someone who has been in Miami for a total of three years, I still haven’t explored all that the city has to offer. There simply isn’t enough daylight to experience the ins and outs of it. However, one event I’ve heard mentioned in several rooms is that of O, Miami, a festival is for lovers of poetry, writers of poetry, and those who simply want to understand it!

O, Miami began in 2011 with the objective of spreading a love for poetry. However, the originators found that the love for poetry and art was already thriving throughout the city. Their only job was to give it a platform. Every summer, they host an open call for event and project ideas. Anyone can contribute, and they shuffle through every single one to mold the O’Miami Poetry Festival for the spring. These events and projects take place over the entire month of April.

Last year, the festival was called off due to COVID-19.

According to Melody Santiago, one of the festival directors, when preparing for this year’s festival, O, Miami had to delegate which events and projects from 2020 would take place this year. Ultimately, some had to be pushed to next year if they were not suitable for a virtual platform.

Mrs. Santiago recalled her introduction to the festival. As a Miami native, she believed she knew everything there was to know about the city. However, as she became involved with the festival, she quickly realized she hadn’t even experienced the true beauty of it. Her time spent with the organization has been dedicated to creating a space for everyone to enjoy literature. There isn’t a specific initiative for O, Miami. More than anything, she wishes for everyone to feel a part of the festival and live through it. Poetry isn’t something that you have to study for. Everyone, and anyone, can enjoy literature.

This statement flows through every project and event they are hosting this year. One of the programs, Something to Chew On, was named a project that Melody is looking forward to. It gives a platform to incarcerated people with a love for poetry. Found in gumball machines, their poems will reach masses and draw a bridge between Miami society and those serving time in prison.

O, Miami will kick off on April 1st with an Instagram Live featuring poet Campbell McGrath as he reads from his favorite book!

Campbell McGrath (left) and John King (right). Photo by Shawn McKee.

Sign up for their newsletter for updates and further information as April unfolds.


Avery Coffey is collegiate writer based in Miami, Florida. She’s always had a passion for creative writing. Since entering college in 2018, she has discovered a love for using her talents to explore current events and social issues, and being a voice for others.

Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #116: Energized and Anthologized Vol. 3

Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #116 by Drew Barth

Energized and Anthologized Vol. 3

Where were we the last time Peow released a volume of their Ex.Mag series? Oh, right, a decade ago in terms of major historical events. Cool. But hey, comics! Ex.Mag is now finishing up its three-volume run with its final volume, Crumbling Kingdom, and it delivers on everything we have come to expect from the anthology series since its Kickstarter campaign last year. Thus far we’ve had cyberpunk and paranormal romance as themes and this volume is no exception with its lens being turned toward dark fantasy.

Fantasy as a genre is already fairly broad—some authors have argued most science fiction is just fantasy with lasers—but to step into a darker fantasy is to take up a different kind of story. Many of the works here deal with things like mad kings, giant mimics, and eternal murder as a divine punishment. With creators like Linnea Sterte, Patrick Crotty, and Delfína Pérez Adán featured in this volume, that darker fantasy is even imbued with a kind of wry humor—a pair of treasure hunters attempt to rob a traveling priest only for the priest’s cart to come to life and devour them both; a wizard is called upon to heal a great hero but overstays his welcome; an assassin takes on a dangerous job to earn food but instead spends their money on new armor. These are the kinds of stories that can dip into those darker spaces, but the creators know when to pull back just enough.

What this volume does really well is something I really enjoy in fantasy but see rarely: the cataclysmic event has already happened and the characters are just left to sift through the rubble. There’s no massive fight to stop the apocalypse and no real heroes anywhere as that age has already passed. All of the stories included here are among those crumbled and ruined kingdoms and temples with characters that are either just getting by or have become irreversibly warped by their circumstances. In a fantasy setting, if there’s nothing left to protect or quest after, what is left for anyone to actually do? For the most part, not a lot. But that’s where the character work in these stories really soar as so much of their motivation is just in finding what to do with themselves among the ruins of a world they never knew.

To see a series of anthologies like Ex.Mag end is sad as they’ve included some of the strongest short comic work to come out in the last year, but that only gives us an opportunity to celebrate this work and hold up the creators featured within as some of the shining lights in contemporary comics. That’s one of the best things about anthologies—seeing creators whose work you’re not familiar with get you even more excited about comics. I can only hope for another series to come soon .
Get excited. Get dark.


Drew Barth at Miami Book Fair in 2019.

Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.