Cover Artist: Claudia Ianniciello
Logo & Cover Design: Tim Daniel
Publisher: A Wave Blue World
Poetry and sequential art make sense together. Whether you are a fan of verse or you find it hard to connect to, exploring it in comic form makes the genre more digestible. Pairing poetry with art also highlights the imagery in a fuller way, which is where A Wave Blue World’s poetry anthology Embodied finds its greatest success.
The creators behind each entry are diverse, offering their unique voices from their own culture and generation. Cis female, trans, non-cis male, and non-binary are represented, bringing identities across the board to the forefront. Creators include Jen Hickman, Liana Kangas, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Miller Oberman, Khadijah Queen, Khaty Xiong, and many more.
Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of poetry, but the use of art gave me a new perspective on what each poet was saying. Some entries felt incredibly personal, and with the art illustrating both the actual words and the unsaid meanings underneath, the force of each piece was even greater and more impactful.
One that stood out to me, in particular, was “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith , with art by Carola Borelli letters by Cardinal Rae. As someone with two small children, I was able to put myself in the narrator’s shoes. The world is a scary place, and having two small kids in a pandemic and coming off one of the most dangerous administrations in our country’s history sure isn’t easy. Trying to explain what was happening without becoming crazed was tricky, especially when I felt like everything around me was in crisis. But the world does have “good bones,” and teaching that goodness is the only way to not completely descend into madness. There’s always hope that things will get better.
There were some entries that I didn’t feel a connection to. Maybe it was the approach or maybe the topic is something I can’t relate to due to my own experience and background, but that may be the best thing about this anthology. That’s what makes it inclusive and necessary. There is a story in there for everyone and an art style to suit different tastes, moods, and aesthetics. If you are looking for representation, it is in here. We are currently in a period of history where so much is changing but resistance against acceptance is still present. Works such as this, however, are a step in the right direction.
Published by A Wave Blue World, Embodied is slated to release on May 5. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit the International Women’s Health Coalition.