Speculating Canada on Trent Radio Episode 52: Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles talk about nEvermore

Edgar Allan Poe has inspired people with his darkly delightful prose and poetry, drawing the reader into a world of the macabre and mysterious. On this episode of Speculating Canada on Trent Radio, I talk to two authors who were inspired to edit a collection of works that are inspired by Poe.

Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles talk about the collection “nEvermore” and about Poe’s work in general. They discuss the power of this collection for creating a certain aesthetic feeling, the tensions between maintaining Poe’s voice while also allowing for new authors to insert their voices into the text.

I interviewed Kilpatrick and Soles at Fan Expo Canada, so I appologize for the background noise and the issues it created regarding sound quality.

You can listen to this episode of Speculating Canada on Trent Radio at the link below.

This audio file was originally broadcast on Trent Radio, and I would like to thank Trent Radio for their continued support. I would also like to thank Dwayne Collins for his consistent tech support and help with the intricacies of creating audio files.

Make sure to allow a few minutes for the file to buffer since it may take a moment before it begins to play.

You can discover more about nEvermore on Edge’s website at http://edgewebsite.com/books/nevermore/nevermore-catalog.html

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Speculating Canada on Trent Radio Episode 50: An Interview with Kit Daven

Interview with Kit Daven

I had a chance to interview Kit Daven at Fan Expo Canada this year, taking an opportunity to really interrogate her fiction and the thoughtful ideas that she brings into her writing.In our interview, we discuss a wide range of ideas including the blurring of gender and sexuality boundaries in her work, the power of weird fiction to disrupt the genre boundaries that have been placed on speculative work due to market questions and instead focus on the power of the fiction separate from market, disrupting homophobic assumptions in genre fiction, coming of age stories and extending this to adulthood, the interrelationship between visual art (sculpture) and writing, the importance of asking questions both for the author and for society, and the beautiful idea of the author carrying around characters until she can create a world for them.

You can listen to this episode of Speculating Canada on Trent Radio at the link below.


This audio file was originally broadcast on Trent Radio, and I would like to thank Trent Radio for their continued support. I would also like to thank Dwayne Collins for his consistent tech support and help with the intricacies of creating audio files.

Make sure to allow a few minutes for the file to buffer since it may take a moment before it begins to play.

You can discover more about Kit Daven’s work at http://www.kitdaven.com

 

Speculating Canada on Trent Radio Episode 49: An Interview with Vincent Marcone

In this Episode of Speculating Canada on Trent Radio, I conduct an interview with author/artist Vincent Marcone. Vincent Marcone’s graphic novel “The Lady Paranorma” (ChiZine Publications, 2015). I had a chance to see some of Marcone’s artwork at Fan Expo Canada and wanted to talk to him both about his writing and his artistic work and the integration of art and writing in “The Lady Paranorma”. Marcone and I discuss perspective, art, the power of folklore narratives, the relationship between text and image, the power of darker narratives in folklore, the nature of queer fiction and LGBTQ stories, and challenging cultural assumptions about graphic novels.

You can listen to this episode of Speculating Canada on Trent Radio at the link below.

Explore Trent Radio at www.trentradio.ca

Explore Trent Radio at http://www.trentradio.ca

This audio file was originally broadcast on Trent Radio, and I would like to thank Trent Radio for their continued support. I would also like to thank Dwayne Collins for his consistent tech support and help with the intricacies of creating audio files.

Make sure to allow a few minutes for the file to buffer since it may take a moment before it begins to play.

You can explore Vincent Marcone’s work at http://www.mypetskeleton.com/ and discover more about his graphic novel “The Lady Paranorma” at http://chizinepub.com/books/lady-paranorma

Cosplay – Masquerading for Change at Fan Expo Canada

What is it that inspires people to cosplay? Despite the heat, despite the extreme discomfort of costumes that can include metal, plastic, craft foam, fun fur, and fabric in shapes like wings, antlers, spiked shoulder pads, and armour, cosplayers make the decision to wear their costumes. When I am at events like Fan Expo Canada, I wonder about what brings so much fulfillment to these players about their costuming.

Cosplaying is a costume play, a play with characters and, I would argue, with identity itself. By dressing as a fictional being, a creation of imagination and speculation, cosplayers imagine themselves as Other, the play with the fluidity of identity itself and point out to us that any identity is a mask, any claim of a stable identity is a fantasy, and that we can learn something about ourselves by playing something other than ourselves.

Costuming provides a Dionysian space of transformation, a playful engagement with the various identities we wear to operate in a world that all to often tries to force a conformist mask on us. This is a carnivalesque chance to push the boundaries of a mundane and limiting reality by asserting the immaterial, the ‘fictitious’, and the playful.

As I watch cosplayers engage with each other, I can see the power of a community of fans, interactions that are partially based on the characters they play, but also an acknowledgement of a certain resonance between them, as though the character they are playing has served as a mediator recommending them each to one another. Characters playing Deadpool (Marvel Comics) will high five one another, characters playing Hogwarts students (Harry Potter) will raise wands in salute to each other, princesses will twirl and bow to each other. Their fandoms provide spaces of connection, and, as I learned from a Klingon (Star Trek) couple, the connection of fandoms can become romantic. Fans embodying their characters bond through a shared experience of excitement and love of a certain media, but also some of the ideals contained within these fictional representations of a personality. Klingons mentioned that those who play Klingon identities know that others who share that performed identity believe also in shared ideas of forthrightness, honesty, and the idea that confrontations can be productive in defining one’s perspective. Deadpool cosplayers noted that they tend to share a certain playfulness and a desire to disrupt things. There is something fascinating about a shared culture based in a fictional culture or character that allows one to make assumptions about others who share that performance.

There is also a delightfully subversive quality to certain cosplay performances. Players often recognize that their characters are limited by the world that has shaped them and seek to push identities and assumptions by wearing modified costumes. From BroVader’s desire to both occupy and mock as “bro” identity to zombie Jesus’ desire to subvert and play with religious assumptions, characters can push the limits of the characters they wear. Some of the most powerful of these costumed cultural subversions and plays with identity come in the form of alt gender cos plays – taking a character of one gender and making their costume another – Lady Loki, male Elsa, Femme Immortan Joe – these players play with gendered assumptions in a way that points out social limits in the representation of pop cultural icons.

For many of these cosplayers, there is a feeling of isolation in the normative, “real” works outside of the convention, but within these halls there is a chance to embrace that marginality.

I should point out here that not everyone challenges norms, not everyone finds a place for their outsider selfhood. There are cosplayers who reinforce those gendered norms or use their modified bodies to reinforce those body structures that resist change and push normative notions of identity… But there is also a potential here, a potential to push and shift and change those limits of our “real” world and tell it what it could be. Cosplay can imagine a new relationship between the worlds we can think of and the real masks we are forced to wear to get through a world that tells us there is only one way to be “real”.

 

Cosplay Masquerade, Fan Expo Canada, 2015

Cosplay Masquerade, Fan Expo Canada, 2015

Cosplay Masquerade, Fan Expo Canada, 2015

Cosplay Masquerade, Fan Expo Canada, 2015

 

Cosplay Masquerade, Fan Expo Canada, 2015

Cosplay Masquerade, Fan Expo Canada, 2015

 

Cosplay Masquerade, Fan Expo Canada, 2015

Cosplay Masquerade, Fan Expo Canada, 2015

Speculating Canada on Trent Radio Episode 22 Part 2: An Interview with Rachel Richey

At Fan Expo Canada, I ran into Rachel Richey, part of the dynamic duo of women who brought back Nelvana of the Northern Lights. We had a chance to talk about her latest project, bringing the WWII era Johnny Canuck comics back into the public eye, recovering this lost figure in Canadian comic book superhero history.

We had a chance to share in unabashed fandom and talk about Canadian comics and the role of self-discovery, the wonder of archival discoveries, the issues of superheroes who wear the flag, the Canadian desire to see our comics of the past and the power of Kickstarter as a platform for accessing public enthusiasm to bring exciting things to the public. I invite you listeners to share in our excited fandom and Rachel’s fantastic insights.

Explore Trent Radio at www.trentradio.ca

Explore Trent Radio at http://www.trentradio.ca

 

This audio file was originally broadcast on Trent Radio, and I would like to thank Trent Radio for their continued support. I would also like to thank Dwayne Collins for his consistent tech support and help with the intricacies of creating audio files.

Make sure to allow a few minutes for the file to buffer since it may take a moment before it begins to play.

Speculating Canada on Trent Radio Episode 21: An Interview with Mark Shainblum

After reading Northguard, I knew I had to meet with Mark Shainblum and talk to him about his work in Canadian comics and the overall idea of creating a Canadian superhero. I was lucky that I ran into Mark at Fan Expo Canad and had a chance to chat with him.

In our interview, we talk about the characteristics of the Canadian superhero, the role of superheroes in the imagination, francophone Canadian culture, Jewish Canadian identity, the importance of having heroes who make mistakes, and comics as literature. Hear about some of Mark Shainblum’s upcoming projects as well as his extensive knowledge of comics and comic history.

Explore Trent Radio at www.trentradio.ca

Explore Trent Radio at http://www.trentradio.ca

This audio file was originally broadcast on Trent Radio, and I would like to thank Trent Radio for their continued support. I would also like to thank Dwayne Collins for his consistent tech support and help with the intricacies of creating audio files.

Make sure to allow a few minutes for the file to buffer since it may take a moment before it begins to play.

Speculating Canada on Trent Radio Episode 18: An Interview with Gemma Files

Gemma Files and I have been on a few panels together in the past and I have always found her incredible fun to talk to, so I was really excited that at Fan Expo Canada this year she managed to have a bit of time to do an interview that I could share with all of you listeners. Our interview is hilarious and simultaneously covers serious issues, marked with laughter and also important social questions. In our chat on Trent Radio, we discuss the use of Toronto by the film industry as the “EveryCity”… and the potential for horror in that anonymity and shapeshifting ability. We talk about Queer or LGBTQ2 content and kink communities and how these have lent themselves to the development of her fantastic fiction… particularly her Hexslingers series which features gay cowboys who use magic. We discuss the use of family and history in CanLit and how these can be factors making for a speculative story that is just as powerful for questioning ideas of ‘traditional families’. Gemma lends her insights about using characters who are morally ambiguous as well as the general problems with creating a ‘perfect hero’ and questioning of the whole social idea of ‘The Hero’. Overall, we venture into questions about subversive writing and the power to turn tropes on their heads as a way of empowering readers and authors.

Gemma talks about functional bisexuality in her characters, trans characters, and the general fluidity of gender and sexuality as a way of illustrating that change is powerful and that characters do change and transform and question notions of identity over time.

As part of her discussion of the subversive potential in literature, Gemma examines the wonderful world of fan fiction and the ability of fan fiction to insert questions into narratives that may not have otherwise asked them. She explores the ability of fan fiction to assert an otherwise ignored voice or people who are generally erased. She also examines the ability of fan fiction to serve as a queer medium allowing for gender or sexual transformations for characters.

Overall, our interview is a lot of laughs, a lot of fun, and a lot of social questions. At the end of this interview, you will find yourself being fairy-led to the bookstore to get some of Gemma’s books while simultaneously plotting out your next fan fiction story!

Explore Trent Radio at www.trentradio.ca

Explore Trent Radio at http://www.trentradio.ca

This audio file was originally broadcast on Trent Radio, and I would like to thank Trent Radio for their continued support. I would also like to thank Dwayne Collins for his consistent tech support and help with the intricacies of creating audio files.

Make sure to allow a few minutes for the file to buffer since it may take a moment before it begins to play.