A couple days ago, I turned in the last edits of a comic book by a local author. Prophetica is a beautiful piece — the art is unique and eye-catching, the color palette is all vibrant desert hues, and the story is mystical and spiritual and political and heart-grabbing. It’s like the whole thing reaches into your chest and screams, “This is important shit, goddammit, pay attention!”
It’s been a long time coming for this author. Vince Twelve has put in so much hard work, and it’s finally all coming together into one beautiful product.
His last addition was an author’s letter in the back. As I was editing it, I ran across this paragraph that made my heart jump:
During one of our first conversations, a couple years ago, I had asked him why a significant troupe of slaves in the first draft I read were all women. There has to be a reason, I had said, something important to the plot. And if there’s not, it needs rewritten.
It was an eye-opening conversation for both of us, I think. Eye-opening for me as to just how fucking deep the rabbit hole of misogyny goes. Note that I am not saying Vince is misogynistic. Not at all. He was open to the conversation and in some ways as surprised as I was. Misogyny is so insidiously engrained in the world that an intelligent man has to have someone point it out for him. We will miss things because we’ve been stewing in these messages all our lives.
The slaves were all women because, well, slave girls have a long tradition in sci-fi and fantasy. It’s how it’s always been.
That phrase sucks, by the way.
Vince Twelve’s new comic book doesn’t add to that tradition. And I am honored as hell to be part of it.