Smash Pages Q&A | Stephen Graham Jones on ‘Earthdivers’

The award-winning horror writer and university professor talks about his new IDW Originals title, the differences between writing comics and prose, and teaching ‘Secret Wars.’

Stephen Graham Jones has written an extensive library of novels and prose stories, bringing home the Locus Award, four Bram Stoker Awards, two Shirley Jackson Awards, the LA Times Ray Bradbury Prize, the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award, the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction and a whole lot more. His novels, like The Only Good Indians and My Heart is a Chainsaw, tend to fall into what could be described as the literary horror genre, usually with a dose of sharp social commentary as well. When he’s not writing, he’s teaching creative writing, literature, pop culture and other subjects at the University of Colorado.

Or, he might be reading comics.

photo by Gary Isaacs

Jones is an old-school 1980s comics fan who discovered the medium in the time of Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars, and his love for them has only grown since. He not only teaches about them at the university level, but he’s also started writing them. His latest project is Earthdivers, a miniseries set to kick off Oct. 5 as part of IDW’s Originals line, beautifully drawn by the incomparable Davide Gianfelice. The time travel story focuses on four Indigenous survivors in a post-apocalyptic United States who embark on a mission to save the world: by sending one of them back in time to kill Christopher Columbus and prevent the creation of America.

Jones was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about the new series, as well as talk about some of his favorite comics to teach.

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Marvel announces projects celebrating Indigenous history

‘Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices’ will feature Indigenous talent making their Marvel Comics’ debut.

November is National Native American History Month here in the United States, and Marvel has announced two projects that “celebrate Indigenous history.”

The first, Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices #1, is an anthology of stories by Jeffrey Veregge, Rebecca Roanhorse, Weshoyot Alvitre, Darcie Little Badger, Kyle Charles, Stephen Graham Jones and David Cutler, telling stories featuring Dani ‘Mirage’ Moonstar, Echo and more.

“C.B. [Cebulski] and I started talking about various Native projects a year ago when discussing my ‘Of God’s & Heroes’ Marvel art exhibit at the Smithsonian. I am truly grateful for the platform that Marvel has not only provided for me and my work, but with this edition of Marvel Voices, all of Native America,” Veregge said. “This is an opportunity to share the cultural influences that we as Native artists and writers grew up with that will add more depth and dimension to the Native Heroes in the Marvel Universe.”

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