Smash Pages Q&A: NireLeet

The illustrator and teacher discusses the story “Not Alone,” which was part of Decoded’s Pride Month anthology.

NireLeet is a teacher and illustrator, and this year for Decoded, the annual story-a-day anthology for Pride Month, she made the short comic “Not Alone.” A quiet and perfectly told story, it’s a story about a witch that’s about loneliness in a way that will resonate with people more than the story would have previously.

This year’s collection of Decoded has been released as a full color PDF, and NireLeet just launched Malic’s Deep, a new webcomic on Tapas. We spoke recently about art, fantasy and the joys of teaching art in elementary school.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Stephanie Burt and Rachel Gold

The literary critic and novelist discuss their collaboration on a story for Decoded, the daily anthology of comics and fiction celebrating Pride Month.

Stephanie Burt is one of the nation’s best literary critics. A professor at Harvard University, and the author of multiple nonfiction books including The Art of the Sonnet and Don’t Read Poetry, Burt is also the author of multiple books of poetry like Belmont and Advice from the Lights. Burt is also a notable nerd who has written extensively about the X-Men, Squirrel Girl, Astro City and perhaps most famously, an entertaining review of the film X-Men: Days of Future Past written in the voice of Kitty Pryde titled “Why Is Wolverine Doing All the Stuff I Already Did?”

Rachel Gold is the award-winning novelist behind an incredible run of books like Being Emily, Just Girls, My Year Zero, Nico & Tucker, and In the Silences, which have been pioneering, inventive and wonderfully written books that have explored gender, gender identity, sexuality and growing up in ways that are both familiar and strikingly new.

The two have been friends, and this year as part of Decoded, the daily online anthology of comics and fiction coming out during Pride month, they’ve collaborated on a new project. Battlement of Straw comes out tomorrow, and they were kind enough to answer a few questions about the project.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sara Century and S.E. Fleenor

Learn more about ‘Decoded,’ a daily anthology for Pride Month featuring comics and fiction from a wide range of LGBTQ+ creators.

Sara Century is a writer and artist who’s written for Bustle, The Los Angeles Review of Books, SyFy, and one of the creators behind the webcomic. S.E. Fleenor is a freelance writer who’s contributed to Electric Literature, them, Vice and is a managing editor at Bella Media Channel. Together, the two host one of the best podcasts about comics that there is, Bitches on Comics.

Their current project is Decoded, a daily anthology for Pride Month featuring comics and fiction from a wide range of LGBTQ+ creators. The work coming out runs the gamut from fantasy to horror to science fiction to superheroes, from long stories to short ones, from prose to comics. This year Pride will be a virtual event because of the pandemic, and in the anthology and their podcast, Century and Fleenor are doing a great job of centering queer voices and perspectives in a way that is exciting to see. They were kind enough to answer a few questions.

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