After interacting with MacArthur Genius Grant recipients at her school, Annie Murphy (author of I Still Live) began to wonder about what makes a genius. “Somebody just comes out of the blue, taps you on the shoulder, and gives you a lot of money?” She realized that her creative friends had just as much, if not more, genius. The seeds of Gay Genius, were planted. Several years (and one Kickstarter campaign) later, an anthology of 18 contemporary queer artists (slash geniuses!) has hit the shelves from Sparkplug Comic Books. Gay Genius is not just a much-needed volume celebrating the work of queer artists, but it’s a must-have for contemporary comics lovers as well. And you can buy it at Bitchmart!
I spoke with Murphy about publishing Gay Genius, and why such a book is necessary (listen to our interview here). “Graphic narratives, for the last several thousands of years, have told a different story of history than the written word has, and a lot of times, stories that are told in pictures tell sort of an inherently feminist and inherently indigenous perspective the world over. I was trying to encourage people just to draw on that when they were telling their stories.”
With contributions by Kubb E. Bear, Harmony Bianca, Sarah Sass Biscarra-Dilley, Pam Cameron-Snyder, Jackie Davis, Mat Defiler, Samantha Jane Dorsett, Edie Fake, Sailor Hollady, Elisha Lim, Annie Murphy, Leroi Newbold, Lee Relvas, Adee Roberson, Matt Runkle, Ellery Russian, Clio Reese Sady, and Silky Shoemaker, this anthology goes beyond simply “comics,” and focuses on graphic storytelling, with contributors whose stories are as diverse as their aesthetic styles.
“People are told, artists are told, whether they happen to be people of color and/or queer and/or disabled, that, like, somehow their stories are, like, for a niche audience. The reason I wanted to make this book is that I was convinced that there was an audience of people that needed this book, that wanted it.” Hear more from Murphy here, or order your copy of Gay Genius at Bitchmart today!