I was never much of a metalhead. I mean sure, in high school I listened to the same antisocial noise as every other disaffected youth in those days – NIN, Godsmack, Kittie, etc. – but I never had any goddamn taste about it, and I certainly never got into the, shall we say, scene. And given the fact that, in hindsight, that particular scene is pretty hostile to women and people of color, I was always glad I dodged that particular bullet.
There are certain comics that I might, if pressed, refer to as “entry level”: comics that are accessible, easy to read and follow, and that tell original, quality stories that are nonetheless a bit familiar to readers. Comics you can recommend to new friends, acquaintances, people you don’t really know – comics that can enjoy a fairly wide appeal. Then there are comics that I would have to call… “advanced”.
So the Ignatz Award nominees were announced last week, and two comics from my reading list were on it: Witchy and O Human Star, both extremely deserving works by skilled (and queer!) authors. There was another comic nominated that I was less thrilled about – so much so that I felt the need to go out of my way to write a review of it. If that makes me petty, so be it; I’ve got an axe to grind with Super Mutant Magic Academy.
I love monsters. Monstrosity is a concept that’s important to me. As a transfeminine person, monstrosity is a label forced on me by transmisogyny. As a nonbinary person, monstrosity is a position I choose to reclaim as an alternative to maleness or femaleness. Monsters are a potent symbol, the unknowable adversary that stands against and in contrast to humanity. But also I just think monsters are cool as hell, so what.
One thing that I always found hard to swallow about X-Men was how the government was so hardline anti-mutant. I guess it makes sense if you’re maintaining the whole mutants-as-civil-rights or mutants-as-militant-queers metaphors, but Marvel never seemed to want to go all in with those metaphors, so the question still lingers: Why not draft the mutants, get a bunch of superpowered cops and soldiers of their own?