Letter from the Editor
Subtlety is dead, politically speaking, which is why we chose Greg Gossel’s “Funny Money”—a re-working of a Golden Age comic—for our seventh cover. The original piece, published in 1943, features a giddy Uncle Sam delivering a bomb to “Adolph and Co.”, riding it like a bronco with his sidekick in tow. Gossel has decontextualized the image in his own version, replacing Uncle Sam’s hat with a gun, removing his ally, and sending the nation’s mascot hurtling toward parts unknown, dollar bills filling in for sky, an uncertain future looming ahead or below. This past year has been marked by bullshit and bravado, indifference and greed, qualities well captured by Michelle Campagana in her “Master Debater” series, which makes poetry of presidential word salad.
“Greenest” by Sarah Crossland follows the birth of a different villain, tracing Margaret Hamilton’s transformation from woman to Wicked Witch on the set of The Wizard of Oz. “I will be ugliest among unugly things,” she declares. The same can be said for T.S. McAdams’ mer-people or Steve Lambert’s Enid Pound. In other pieces, Eleanor Mae’s haunted protagonist searches for “the laughter of the boats,” Monica Prince cautions a friend while acknowledging that “broken recognizes broken,” and Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto yearns for his home to become “a constellation of pacific shades.”
So while we may live in an era of sad little red hats and trailer hitch testicles, plenty of folks are looking outside themselves, and others are searching deeper within. The stories, essays, poems, and artwork in this issue represent a diversity of voices and perspectives from the American South to Europe and Africa; they explore legacy, depression, mythology, creativity, loss, and so much more. As usual, it’s impossible to overstate how amazing our contributors are. We owe everything to them and we hope you’ll join us in celebrating their artistic vision. Thank you as always for reading and viewing. Best wishes for the new year.
Editor in Chief