by Christina Cullen
Last week my father asked me “What do the letters A.D. stand for?” as I racked my brain for the Latin Anno Domini and realized how little I had paid attention during my Catholic school days. He continued, “You know, when you search for something on Google, you sometimes see the letters A.D. What does that mean?”
My father recently retired from a corporate job and started his own signage business. He is a master networker and can make personal connections in minutes, but for him the online realm is a new landscape. Despite being the first in our family to own a computer, smartphone, and tablet as well as the fact that Google Adwords, the world’s first “self-service advertising program” was launched in 2000, two decades passed before he realized these two tiny black letters at the top of a Google search are the abbreviation of advertisement.
by Thomas LaPorte
Since superhero comics first made their appearance in 1938 with the dawn of Superman, thought bubbles were used to convey plot and inner dialogue; they were a staple of the comics genre. However, somewhere in the 1990s, the thought bubbles seemingly vanished from comics. Comic thought bubbles are a hindrance to modern comic books and they should stay gone.
by Julianna Holshue
Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to write, but never had the focus for a novel. I could write poetry, short stories, jokes, and rhymes, but my heart was never set on in-depth world-building, drawn out character development, or well-planned plot arcs. No, my mind thrives better when I create the transient, even the changeable, as I am prone to distraction and grow restless from dealing with the same pieces of a story for too long. This same approach applies to my illustrations, which I have recently taken up. I sketch what I write about, which includes anthropomorphized creatures, ill-proportioned characters, untamed fauna, and bubble lettered dialogue. My illustration style lends itself more to the pages of a choose-your-own-adventure book rather than the deliberate order of the adorned walls of an art gallery, which works for me, since I do not plan on making a living as a novelist or classically trained artist.
I have always wondered what would happen if I combined my impromptu writings and drawings, or what genre or medium this amalgamation of creations from a dreamy, largely unorganized mind would fit into. I found my answer when I was introduced to the zine and its scatterbrained community of zinesters in a class called Self-Publishing taught by Dr. Jason Luther. I felt I belonged in this community as someone who indulges in the unexpected, random, and fluid process of creation. Zinesters, like me, are scatterbrains, and perhaps to your surprise, this method of creative functioning works to our advantage because of how experimental and open the zine medium is.
by Aleksandr Chebotarev
by Dominick Marconi
There was this popular meme that recirculated in 2020 which featured a still frame from the Dreamworks animated film Madagascar. It showed the four main characters, Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, Marty the Zebra, and Melman the Giraffe with puzzled expressions on their faces and overlaid text that read, simply: “Why are you black?”
Everytime I see it I laugh. Everytime I think about it I laugh. I cannot speak as to why anybody else might find it funny, but to me, the comedy not only stems from the absurdity of the question's nature, but in its truth.