Stacked Deck Press, a California publisher promoting “diversity and quality in comics and prose,” is looking to publish work from trans writers and illustrators in a new anthology.
Stacked Deck Press is the force behind such releases as the surreal yet autobiographical Primahood: Magenta and Queer Heroes Coloring Book, which features icons like John Waters, Frida Kahlo, Tom of Finland and James Baldwin, each drawn by a different queer artist.
It’s taking a similar approach to We’re Still Here, a new anthology the company hopes will showcase a diverse roster of trans illustrators.
“We’re hoping to include a whole bunch of contributions by as-yet-unknown trans cartoonists, as well as to promote wider awareness of those already working at a relatively high professional level,” Jeanne Thornton, who is co-editing the project with trans creator Tara Avery, told Newsarama.
“I think this is a significant project for indie comics, and for comics in general.”
A number of artists have already been confirmed for We’re Still Here, including Dylan Edwards (Transposes), Sophie Labelle (Assigned Male), Knave Murdok (TransCat), Morgan Sea (Misgendered!), and Christine Smith (Eve’s Apple).
In a call for submissions, Stacked Deck says publishing the work of trans people of color is a priority, and asks that works intersects transness in some way, though it’s open to “anything,” including “horror comics, sci-fi epics, romantic doom comedies, political thrillers, [and] generational sagas.”
All submissions should be new, rather than reprints, and should be between one and eight pages long.
We’re Still Here could be a major step forward for the comic book industry, which has made great strides toward LGBT inclusion in recent years, but still lags when it comes to the trans community.
Launched this year, Paul Jenkins’ Alters is the first mainstream comic book to feature a trans lead. Chalice, the superheroine at the heart of the comic, discovers her transition has an unintended side effect: super powers.
Like X-Men before it, Alters uses the superhero genre to explore themes of marginalization.
“It means a lot to me to see trans people represented, especially so prominently,” Alters colorist Tamra Bonvillain told Out. “So many times in the past we’ve been represented as throwaway characters, and even a lot of more recent positive trans characters are in minor roles.”
The deadline for submissions to We’re Still Here is January 9, 2017. See Stacked Deck Press’ website for more information.