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Book Review :: Field Guide to Graphic Literature

Field Guide to Graphic Literatury book cover image

The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Graphic Literature: Artists and Writers on Creating Graphic Narratives, Poetry Comics, and Literary Collage edited by Kelcey Ervick and Tom Hart is the newest in the publisher’s Field Guide series. To say my mind was blown when I first thumbed through this collection would be an understatement. When I settled into reading it and working through the chapters, I intermittently laughed out loud with a kind of incredulous glee that such a book exists.

Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics is probably the most popularly noted book on the subject of comic study and the tome that allowed many teachers to legitimize the incorporation of comics into academic classrooms. It’s the most oft-cited in this collection of essays, and while mentioned respectfully each time, there is a recognition of the limitation of his work, and in some cases, disagreements or differences of perspective. Each contributor who cites it does so as the starting point for furthering the dialogue in new concepts and theories on the practice of creating and reading contemporary graphic literature – pushing the conversation way outside the traditional comic frame.

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New Book :: The Anchored World

The Anchored World: Flash Fairy Tales and Folklore Fiction by Jasmine Sawers published by Rose Metal Press book cover image

The Anchored World: Flash Fairy Tales and Folklore
Fiction by Jasmine Sawers
Rose Metal Press, October 2022

A goat begins to grow inside a human heart. The rightful king is born a hard, smooth seashell. Supernovas burst across skin like ink in water. Heartbreak transforms maidens into witches, girls into goblins, mothers into monsters. Hunger drives lovers and daughters, soldiers and ghosts, to unhinge their jaws and swallow the world. Drawing inspiration from a mixed heritage and from history—from the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen to the ancient legends of Thailand, from the suburbs of Buffalo, New York to the endless horizon of the American Midwest—Jasmine Sawers invents a hybrid folklore for liminal characters who live between the lines and within the creases of race and language, culture and gender, sexuality and ability. The Anchored World: Flash Fairy Tales and Folklore is equal parts love letter to the old tales and indictment of their shortcomings, offering a new mythology to reflect the many faces and voices of the twenty-first century.

New Book :: The Fact of Memory

The Fact of Memory essays by Aaron Angello book cover image

The Fact of Memory: 114 Ruminations and Fabrications
Essays by Aaron Angello
Rose Metal Press, April 2022

In this genre-defying collection of short prose pieces, Aaron Angello explores the subtleties of recollection, imagination, and the connections, both momentary and long-lasting, between oneself and others. Each piece riffs on a word from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29; over the course of 114 days, Angello woke early, meditated upon a single word from the sonnet, and wrote. The results are sometimes funny, sometimes profound, and sometimes heartbreaking, accumulating into a map of a mind at work, a Gen X coming-of-age of sorts, seamlessly invoking the likes of The Golden Girls, Spinoza, Rick Springfield, and Rimbaud.