Tag Archives: rachel pollack

Music and Horror Join Forces in Dead Beats from A Wave Blue World

Indie comic publisher A Wave Blue World has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Dead Beats, a horror anthology inspired by SyFy’s Haunted Collector and CBS’s Twilight Zone, incorporating music themes to bring an additional edge.  

Dead Beats, curated by Eric Palicki and Joe Corallo, will be feature a diverse group of industry-shaping storytellers and artists, including recently announced Dwayne McDuffie Award winners Ivy Noelle Weir and Christina “Steenz” Stewart, GLAAD Nominated Magdalene Visaggio, Emmy-nominated writer of Late Show With Stephen Colbert’s Daniel KibblesmithDoom Patrol’s Rachel Pollack and Richard Case, Suicide Squad’s Vita Ayala, Women in Comics Collective International co-founder Regene Sawyer, and more.

This music-themed horror anthology centers around the proprietor of a music store that contains a number of unusual artifacts. As the “shoppe keeper” guides readers through the shop, each creator will weave a haunting tale revealing the origin of these mysterious items.

A Wave Blue World is asking readers to be involved and to support Dead Beats Kickstarter Campaign by preordering Dead Beats, selecting Exclusive awards offered including original art by artists like Jen Hickman and an one-on-one portfolio review with Joe Illidge, A Wave Blue World’s Editorial Director, formerly editor at DC Comics, Lionforge, and Valiant, or simply just pledging to be included in the backers page.

Dead Beats

Should We Expect More from Comics? New Publisher AHOY Promises Exactly That.

This falls sees the launch of a brand new comic publisher AHOY Comics who already boasts an impressive lineup of creators involved. Founded by journalist Hart Seely, the publisher already has landed Grant Morrison, Mark Russell, Jamal Igle, and more. Tom Peyer is the Editor-in-Chief and will also be contributing a series and Stuart Moore is described as AHOY’s “dark ops” manager. AHOY stands for Abundance (more pages per issue), Humor, Originality and Yes (Yes to comics, more pages, collected editions, meaningful design, dramatic art, shipping on schedule, enjoyment, etc).

Seely said the releases aren’t so much issues as “comic book magazines” which will feature a full-length lead story and back-up material including cartoons, prose, and poetry from mainstream and indie creators, as well as journalists, prose writers, and New Yorker cartoonists. Seely is an award-winning reporter for the Syracuse Post-Standard. His humor and satire have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Lampoon, and on National Public Radio. He is the editor of Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald H. Rumsfeld and coeditor (with Tom Peyer) of O Holy Cow! The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto.

The publisher launches this September with two series. The Wrong Earth is a six-issue miniseries by Tom Peyer and Jamal Igle. In it, two heroes — one an adventure-loving crimefighter with a kid sidekick, the other a ruthless vigilante — trade places and find themselves trapped in worlds they never made. In High Heaven, a five-issue mini-series aimed at mature readers, Tom Peyer and Greg Scott debut a chronic malcontent who finds himself in an afterlife where everyone hates a complainer. The Wrong Earth debuts September 12.

Both of those series launch with 40 page first issues. The Wrong Earth features a prose story by Grant Morrison along with material from Shannon Wheeler, Paul Constant, and Frank CammusoHigh Heaven features another prose story from Morrison, with another cartoon from Wheeler and a back-up strip from Peyer and artist Chris Giarrusso.

In October AHOY launches two additional titles: Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror, a six-issue anthology described as a “cross between Drunk History and Tales from the Crypt . That 40 page first issue features material by Peyer, Mark Russell and cartoonist Hunt Emerson. Captain Ginger is a four-issue series about a spaceship piloted by cats after the human race has died out, by Stuart Moore and June Brigman. That first issue will include a prose story by Morrison, illustrated by Phil Hester, and a cartoon from Shannon Wheeler.

Future creators involved include Peter Milligan, Mariah McCourt, Rachel Pollack, Gary Erskine, and Roger Stern.

Comics Herstory: Rachel Pollack

gender_2Rachel Pollack is a versatile writer who is most known in the comics world for her writing on Doom Patrol, published by Vertigo in the 1990s. Outside of comics, Pollack writes science fiction, nonfiction, short fiction, and essays. She is an expert in reading tarot, and has published several books on the subject.

In Pollack’s run on Doom Patrol, she introduced a number of LGBT+ identifying characters and explored topics like menstruation, the generation gap, and sexual identity. Pollack was one of the first to write these kinds of themes and characters for a mainstream company. She also created Coagula, a transgender woman and lesbian who was one of the first transgender characters in comics and is still one of only a few trans superheroines. Pollack’s run on Doom Patrol ended with the book’s cancellation two years after she began writing it. She has said that her work on Doom Patrol remains one of her favorite projects.

In addition to Doom Patrol, Pollack also penned eleven issues of New Gods in 1995. Since her work in comics, Pollack has written numerous books about Tarot. She has collaborated with author Neil Gaiman, helping to create a Vertigo Tarot Deck. The deck featured cards drawn by Sandman cover artist Dean McKean. Gaiman wrote an introduction for the book that accompanied the set, the rest of which was authored by Pollack.

vertigo tarotMany of Pollack’s works are inspired by her experiences as a trans woman, and she has also drawn inspiration from many real-life people. One example of this is Coagula, whose real name Kate Godwin comes from author/actress Kate Bornstein and activist Chelsea Godwin. Pollack is Jewish, and writes many Jewish characters. Themes of spirituality are also present in many of her books, and she also writes extensively about the connection between transgender identities and spirituality. Pollack has taught tarot for much of her adult life, and most recently taught creative writing at Goddard College. Though her writing in comics is now considered something of a cult hit, Pollack was one of the first to write the subjects she did, opening doors for future characters, writers, and stories.

Edit 3/28/16: Rachel Pollack was also the first transgender woman to write comics for a mainstream publisher, which was a significant step for transgender writers and artists in comics.