Last week was a difficult one. The next four years loom, foreboding, challenging.
Whenever the chaos of real life crescendos, when lives and liberty are at stake, when we’re shocked and horrified and afraid, writing about games and comics seems less than trivial.
The thing is, though, in times like these, we need art in all its forms.
Everything made by human hands, be it a poem, a videogame or a building, uses experience of the world as its raw materials. Those experiences reflect and refract through the work, sometimes blindingly, sometimes obliquely. Our world is inescapable, even when we attempt to retreat into fantasy.
That is what people mean when they say that everything is political. And, if every creative pursuit is political, so too is every exploration of art. We bear witness to art because art helps us make sense of a world that is often hostile and alien. It introduces us to points of view and experiences outside our own. It steels us and sustains us while also allowing us to escape, if only for a short time.
Art carries the lessons of the past into the future. Punk rock and the British Invasion of comic books were galvanized in the shadow of Reagan and Thatcher. Decades later, they are so much a part of our cultural fabric that it is impossible to chart their influence. We’ve learned from them. Now we can expand on them.
The art that is going to sustain us the next four years is being made right now. For my money, I think it started with the videogame zinesters and the members of the LGBTQ community that embraced Twine text games as engines of empathy. There’s more, though, in comics, in film, in music, in illustration, in media we haven’t names for yet.
We have to find them, support them and celebrate them.
I always have a difficult time when people ask what Unwinnable is all about because it is so weird and all over the place.
That’s the point, though.
I founded Unwinnable as a place free of constraint. There are no corporate taskmasters here, no traffic quotas, no ads to float. Without those things, we can celebrate stories that celebrate culture, whatever their form, without compromise. Who doesn’t love variety, right?
It follows that if you’re willing to publish any kind of story, you’ve got to be willing to publish any kind of writer: young, old, experienced, inexperienced, men, women, LGBTQ, straight, and in all the colors of the spectrum. A diverse chorus of voices enriches us all.
That’s how Unwinnable has always been. That’s how Unwinnable always will be.
Everyone has a story they want to tell. Everyone. Many of us have stories we need to tell. Not all of us have a place to tell them.
In the days ahead, I’d like to encourage you to tell your story at Unwinnable.
I’ll leave the lights on and the door unlocked.
If you have questions, comments or suggestions, you can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org