Best of 2019 lists have been making their way around the internet, but as the year draws to a close, I asked WWAC contributors to take some time to think about themselves. Here, several of our writers talk about the pieces that they are most proud of, either because of what the subject matter means to them or because they are simply proud of the effort they put into it. Here is the best of WWAC for 2019.
This piece on Gotham was my very first feature for WWAC (thanks for the opportunity, Nola)! I was nervous as all hell writing it because I wasn’t sure I was on the right track, but in the end, the act of writing it was more enjoyable than I imagined. Five years of watching (and loving) the show, and I had so many thoughts I had to share. Nothing greater than putting it down. And another shoutout to Nola for their fab edits that made the final piece one of my favourites of the year.
I haven’t tried to get out of my comfort zone when choosing the books I review for WWAC. I was a bit concerned about my ability to review a book like Super Fun Sexy Times–and whether I would even enjoy it–but the entire experience was fantastic. Not only did I love the book, but I had so many amazing thoughts about reading it that the review came through me and onto the keyboard with little effort. It’s definitely broadened my horizons in terms of books to read and review.
I’ve found that nothing drives me up the wall more than having thoughts that I can’t write down. That’s how I felt about my first visit to TCAF, so when our fearless publisher Wendy gave me the go-ahead to write the TCAF diary, I went to town. I had a great time at the festival and enjoyed putting my thoughts down–but I love this piece because it’s so personal to me, which is something I’ve always struggled with. Can’t wait to write more diaries!
I’m normally a nice person … even with reviews. This was challenging because I’ve never written a negative review and it made me a little nervous. I rewrote it several times because I was so unsure on what I wanted to say (thank you Kayleigh for your patience!). I couldn’t decide how negative to get or if I was too negative so it forced me to look at how I write reviews (tone, structure, etc.) differently.
I was a journalist and editor for my high school newspaper back in the day. Being extremely shy and introverted, I had a love/hate relationship with interviewing people and doing investigative reporting. Surprisingly, when I started prepping for this piece, I remembered why I loved doing research for articles! It’s stressful and overwhelming sometimes. But also super interesting and fascinating. You talk to a lot of passionate folks who love what they do and it changes you sometimes. In doing this FSCW article, I was reminded of WWAC and why I’ve stayed here for so long … we all love what we do (even on the bad days!)
I started the year suddenly noticing lettering and realized that the unsung heroes who shape the words on the pages we read deserve far more credit than they get. In this series, I talked to several letterers in the industry, learned about what lettering means when it comes to accessibility, and appreciated some good old fashioned sounds effects.
Storm is one of my favourite characters for many reasons, so it pains me to see her being underused in recent comics. Worse, as a Black woman, it is downright disheartening to see how little some artists care about depicting her as the African American character she should be. In this piece, I explored her character design origins and evolution and, when it was released into the world, I found so many other Storm fans who felt the same way. Our goddess deserves better and we can only hope that Marvel is paying attention when we speak our mind like this.
Sometimes, I’m pretty funny.
It was a conversation with Claire that turned me on to this book, and reading it was a transcendent experience. I reviewed the first issue here, but the whole series was magnificent, and it’s really made me a fan of Cecil Castellucci and Adriana Melo both.
While Kayleigh tackled reviewing the first issue, I was inspired to write this in response; House of X helped me codify what it was about the X-Men that has always really worked for me. The whole of that event and the current Dawn of X line has been nice; while it’s not all roses, it’s good to have an X-Men franchise worth caring about again.
Remember when I said it’s not all roses? Haha. Some detractors in places deliberately misread this long essay as being about wanting to see superheroes fuck, but that’s not really the issue–the issue is that Transness, Queerness, etc, are a lifestyle as well as an identity. Relationships and social circles are different, and that difference isn’t depicted here despite some surface attempts to flirt with a queer audience.
A fabulous comic that I had a lot of fun reviewing — read the whole series and watch me grow as a reviewer!
The saying “never meet your heroes” doesn’t apply here. Joel was graceful, charming and wonderful — and this interview resulted in me landing a major job, so I’m incredibly proud of it.
A fabulous and highly underrated comic. Had some fun meditating about aging in this one.
This piece is something I’m especially proud of because it was all about Carrie Fisher. She’s been an inspiration to me for years and it was really awesome getting to write about how much she’s impacted other people as well. There’s so much love flying around the internet for her still and it was especially cool to get to share some of those awesome experiences with others!
This was my first opinion piece that went up on WWAC! It covered fan works and the idea of leaving behind comments, which is something I’ve both been on the receiving and giving end of. As someone whose an active participant in many fandoms where so many amazing creators share their work and talent, I was really passionate about this piece! It was a great opportunity to share some ideas on how to show a little love back to fan creators that help to make fandom such a special place!
Doris V. Sutherland
Well, The Vampyre’s Legacy is definitely my biggest blogging project of the year. It’s a 12-part series examining the history of vampire fiction, taking one story per decade from the 1810s onwards, and in some ways the first instalment was the most intimidating. So much has already been written about the origins of vampire fiction that I wasn’t sure if I’d have anything fresh to say. But I’m happy with the results — I learnt some new things while researching, and I’m hoping my readers found it interesting too.
Poltergeist Girls is an essay series I’d had in my mind for a while before I sat down to write it. While any horror fan will be familiar with the archetype of the young girl at the centre of a poltergeist outbreak (often becoming a vessel for possession) I’d never really come across a coherent overview of the topic as portrayed in horror films, so I decided to write one myself. Of the four parts, it’s the final instalment — the one about the allegedly real Enfield poltergeist and its conflicting fictionalisaitons — that I enjoyed writing the most.
I’m a definite fan of Rebellion’s British comic revivals: it’s great fun seeing these long-defunct (but fondly-remembered) titles being given a new lick of paint for a new generation. Of the two specials I reviewed this year — Cor!! Buster and Tammy & Jinty — it’s the latter that was the most interesting to write about. As well as reviewing the comic itself, I had the opportunity to speak to some members of the creative team, and also ruminate about the wider tradition of British girls’ comics.
House of X and Powers of X, “two books that are one,” was unquestionably the series of 2019 for me as a reader and a writer. A much-needed revitalization and recontextualization of the X-Men with a relentless weekly schedule, House of X pushed me to write some of the most rewarding, in-depth reviews of my career. It was a complete breakthrough, and it all began here with my review of House of X #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz. Stop and smell the flowers.
The Wedding Issue was a series that flipped through famous comic book weddings, analyzing not just the nuptials, but the couple itself and why they did or didn’t last. Co-written with my dear friend Rebecca Heneley-Weiss, it began as a fun way to get through her own wedding planning but lasted long past her big day. It became a time capsule for some of the most important years of our lives. I hadn’t even met my husband yet when we started The Wedding Issue; now I’m married (duh) and Rebecca has a baby. We saved the biggest superhero wedding for last: the iconic union of Superman and Lois Lane. Possibly our most divided roundtable ever, the Superman Wedding Album proves that superhero weddings will always inspire debate. And no continuity-crushing retcons or deals with the devil can ever undo The Wedding Issue.
Well here I am crying about this moment again. After a year of firsts for trans people in TV, I got the chance to interview Nicole Maines about the importance of her character, Dreamer, in Supergirl. She made me cry twice that day, and countless times since as I’ve thought back to the answer she gave.
Speaking of Nicole Maines and Dreamer, watching her get to suit up in a superhero costume for the first time is one of the most important moments of my life. For the first time ever, I got to see a superhero that was like me, and I got to see that anyone could be a hero.
I got to reminisce on a series that has meant the world to me, as it reached it’s well deserved conclusion. I will miss WicDiv dearly, but it has given me things that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Thanks for being the most unexpectedly important series of my life.
It’s not normally in my wheelhouse to cover controversy in the comics industry, but I stepped out of my comfort zone on this one because I was so upset by what was happening in Maneaters. I was really proud of this piece I wrote, outlining the incident that sparked the controversy, the context that got us there, and why it was important. It was a new experience for me trying to write about something as it was exploding on Twitter in real time, but in the end, we were one of the first outlets to publish a piece on this. It felt gratifying to be the first and I was really happy with some of the feedback I got from people about how my piece helped them understand the nuance of the situation.
It’s always exciting when you get to interview a creator who you respect a lot, and I respect Carta Monir a lot! But I also want to tell the story of how this interview happened because I love it. Carta posted a tweet about how she wished an interview would ask her what comic she wished she wrote, so she could talk about a yaoi manga about a cross country runner who has a disease that makes his penis shrink. I responded asking her if she wanted to do an interview for WWAC, and suddenly I was interviewing Carta Monir. I love this story because it’s hilarious and because I love when weird things click into place and because it’s a reminder to put yourself out there. If you want an interviewer to ask you a question, ASK. If you want to be the interviewer, ASK. Shoot your shot, friends.
This year, I had the chance to partially pivot from reviewing comics to reviewing something else that I truly love: tarot decks. I did a few tarot reviews in 2019 but this one was my favorite — both my favorite deck and my favorite piece that I wrote. I’m passionate about tarot, so I love everything about writing tarot reviews: seeing new decks, thinking deeply about them, and talking about all the pieces that make tarot special. And helping spread the word about indie artists who commit to the huge undertaking that is creating an entire 78 card deck, like the incredibly talented Isabella Rotman. Here’s to more tarot reviews in 2020!