Miss Anthology is Helping to Inspire a New Wave of Femme, Genderqueer and LGBTQIA+ Comic Book Artists
“I joke with a lot of my friends and my Miss Anthology cohort that the main reason I started this is, I just wanted to give free art supplies to kids,” says Stevens, who co-founded Miss Anthology with Emily Lewis and Mack Carlisle, a comics education and publication program that is also run by artist Jay Olinger and Jenny Blenk of Dark Horse. “And that’s still one of my favorite parts.”
Sequential art has a magical quality that is difficult to describe. The most beloved American comics seem to pique the imagination in particular way, with a perfect mix of narrative and imagery that keeps the comic book reader coming back and the graphic novella lover hungry for more. But for Melanie Stevens, one of the founders of the Miss Anthology project, there is far more potency to sequential art-making than meets the eye.
“Narratives tend to be both a reflection and a reinforcement of societal power structures, and I think that subverting and interrupting common narratives and tropes can be a form of activism,” Stevens said. “I know for myself, it was often very difficult to ingratiate myself with pop culture because I rarely saw myself or people who looked like me in various mediums. So I took to creating my own narratives and creating my own art which did reflect the people that I knew or the people in my life or the people who looked like me. It was empowering to see this work that I didn’t get to see in mainstream art. That can be a powerful tool — it’s a source of agency.”
Savage PDX Interview with Melanie Stevens and Emily Lewis
Geek in the City Podcast with Emily Lewis
KBOO Interview with Melanie Stevens