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Date Posted: 16:27:04 11/03/20 Tue
Author: River Acheron
Subject: What brought you here? (E)
No, this is not some existential question about life, the universe and everything. This month, I am asking quite literally...what brought you here to Comicality? How did you discover this community? And to get us in the Thanksgiving spirit this month...why are you thankful of that?
For me, it all began in 2007. I was 13 years old and was (and still am, even moreso!) a big horror and sci-fi fan. When it comes to fiction, even at a very young age - probably like 8 or 9 years old - I have always loved ensemble stories, of a group of misfits or unlikely heroes fighting some evil or injustice, where one character stands out as the most important, or the chosen one, or the prophet, the savior, etc. The 'Dragonlance' novels for example, the 'Final Fantasy' videogames, many different manga series such as 'Fruits Basket', TV shows like 'Star Trek: Deep Space 9' (trust me, it fits that criteria...and it's also dark as HELL!), movies like 'The Matrix.' I ate all this up and was always looking around on the internet for these types of tales, whatever the medium was. The one thing missing in these (even as late as 2007) was a distinct lack of LGBT characters...especially main characters! It is a situation that is vastly improving now, but that was not the case back then. So, I would check out gay-themed story sites, especially sci-fi/horror sections, because that's my thing and I came across Gone From Daylight, and have been an avid reader and fan ever since. It literally has everything I have ever looked for in fiction and more. I remember at the time, (and this is a complement), it had a very big 'Matrix' feel to me....but with gay vampires! A match made in heaven. What also turned me on to the story was the setting; while I will always and forever have a soft spot for 'Nosferatu' and 'Dracula', there was something about the city vampire scene that always appealed to me. Movies like 'Blade', 'The Hunger' (eh to a lesser extent), 'Near Dark'. What 'Gone From Daylight' did for me is it took so many aspects of what I enjoy in my fiction, that it literally took my breath away.
I enjoyed the story so much that a few years ago, it was one motivator for me to visit Chicago and check out the anchor on Navy Pier for myself (being gothic, and standing out there at sunset looking out at lake Michigan sure turned a few heads!), but I loved it...it was like a little pilgrimage for me, since that story changed my life, and inspired my own creative side. Note: I do not recommend riding on that damn Ferris Wheel after a few beers!. I also discovered I loved the city itself (Especially 'Three Dots and a Dash', a little, almost hidden,back ally gothic/voodoo/Polynesian nightclub! Not even sure how I discovered it!)
During these uncertain political times, it's more important than ever to support authors who incorporate LGBT characters openly in their stories. I am so proud how inclusive fiction has become as of late, and can only hope it continues. We live in an age where we can have a character on 'The Walking Dead', or 'Star Trek: Discovery' who just happens to be gay. No big deal is made out of it, it's not spotlighted or spoofed like in ages past. Acceptance has never been so strong, but we must remember the past we came from and realize that it can all be taken away. Thus, take nothing for granted! I truly believe that what Comicality, and authors/screenwriters like him, give us is the opportunity to read about characters that are just like us, and it's okay to be gay, trans, bi, etc. I am too young to know or understand how things were in older decades but I have read horror stories from the Stonewall Riots to Matthew Shepard, but I am wise enough to know that hate and bigotry does still occur and could come back full force once again. Yet, I am thankful that we live in a county where reading or watching something that's LGBT-inclusive is not something that can get us dragged out into the street by the police at 3 in the morning, and it is my hope that where that does still occur, that the hate stops and the people wake up. Finding Comicality, now 13 years ago, and seeing the progression of our own society during a cultural paradigm shift is something I am thankful for, and to be part of this magazine now is a dream come true.
I would ask you guys to share your own experiences to what led you here, and tell us why you are thankful for that. We all come from different walks of life, with difference circumstances which makes this community a melting pot of acceptance. During this age of social media, you really do not see those kind of close-knit ties anymore. So lets be thankful of Com for starting this, and lets be thankful of eachother. :)
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