Support Small Publications

Writers tend to dream big. There’s nothing wrong with this, I dream of things that are far out of my reach because those goals bring about good motivation. However, when writers decide to publish, their thoughts go to the big leagues. They think of publications who are known for reaching an audience of thousands. No one dreams of publishing something they’ve worked so hard on in a magazine that may only reach a few hundred or even justĀ  fifty. I get it, people want their work noticed. They want to feel rewarded for a job well done, but small publications have feelings too and some wonderful readers.

I firmly believe in supporting the smaller magazines and literary journals. For one, they’re always looking to grow their audience and brand. By submitting and promoting your publication, you’re helping them gain a voice among the literary journal world. They’re also giving you a voice by printing your work. I’m not saying you’ll always get published, but you have a better chance when you’re submitting into a smaller pool.

The size doesn’t mean poor quality either. Literary magazines aren’t as commercialized as other forms of media so it’s more difficult for a journal to have a household name. The smaller publications usually don’t come with a cash prize either (they also don’t normally have submission fees, which is nice for the starving artists out there), but from what I’ve read, the smaller magazines have some of the best stories in them. These publications are fantastic at choosing work that’s gorgeous in it’s most natural and raw form.

There is nothing wrong with aiming for the big publications, but don’t be so quick to cross the smaller ones off your list. They’re just as important because they produce amazing work and deserve proper support. Give them a voice. Give yourself a voice. Support your art.

 

The End of Superhero Movies?

avengers

I’ve heard people jokingly (and not so jokingly) ask if the end of superhero movies is near. The thing is, superhero movies have become their own genre so to ask for an end would be like asking for the end of romantic comedies, horror movies, or spy thrillers. Also, superhero movies aren’t anything new. They’ve existed long before the Avengers hit screens, and they’ll be around long after. I have no complaints about a new movie or two being released each year, but I can understand the exhaustion people are having. We don’t need an end though. We need variety.

One of the issues is that every recent superhero movie is linked together and all done through the same company. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is impressive, it doesn’t allow much separation because there are movies for each of the main Avengers leading in to the Avenger trilogy. Viewers are stuck in the same universe over and over again even though they’re able to see different stories taking place in that universe.

deadpool

One of the reasons people praised Deadpool was that it felt separate. It wasn’t done by Marvel so it didn’t connect and it kept itself apart from Fox’s other franchise, the X-Men (there were jokes, but that was a given). Deadpool also took on a wildly different tone, which made it a refreshing addition to the genre. I’d like to see more films follow suit either by making superhero movies that are separate from the MCU or making ones that explore different tones, styles, and storytelling.

DC does well in making their movies different from Marvel, but they’re also trying to build a connected universe that will carry on the same dark and gritty feel of Batman Vs. Superman or the Dark Knight trilogy. I’d like to see DC heroes star in films that aren’t always trying to be edgy or grim, and I’d like to see Marvel films that take on a different spin without requiring a marathon of movies from the ever growing MCU.

sad batman

I feel like the TV series are doing well with separation though (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Agent Carter, Supergirl, etc.). Every show has it’s own unique feel that is connected to another show in some way, but it connects in a subtle way. One that invites the viewer to check out the other series/movies, but doesn’t require them to. Someone can watch Agent Carter without seeing the first Captain America and understand the plot completely. The show also takes advantage of its 1940’s setting by giving the series a vintage aesthetic and plays with issues of the time. It’s connected to the MCU, but it feels complete by itself with a unique look and feel.

I love superheroes. I love superhero films. I don’t want to see the genre die, but I would like some variety. We need more content like Deadpool or Agent Carter that finds its own path rather than following a worn down trail. There’s no need for an end, but there is need for creativity and growth within the genre.

agent carter