“Half-Doomed and Semi-Sweet” Submission Guidelines

“I’m not a crybaby… I’m THE crybaby” – Introduction

Hi everyone who doesn’t already know me! My name is Ashley Joanne Leckwold. On top of being a comics and wrestling writer, I’ve been a huge Fall Out Boy fan for over a decade. I previously curated a zine called Aware of the Stars: A Tribute Zine to Infinity On High, which can be found on Gumroad and itch.io. The zine featured essays, art, and photos commemorating the 2007 album. The time has come though to commemorate the follow up Folie á Deux, which was released ten years ago this upcoming December and I’m looking to find a few good Fall Out Boy fans to commemorate a very weird album about madness in a zine called Half-Doomed and Semi-Sweet.

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“Hell or Glory. I don’t want anything in between” – What we’re looking for

I’m looking for Fall Out Boy fans (either current or former) to talk about Folie á Deux and what it meant to them at the time of release, now or anywhere in between. You can talk about a particular song, the album as a whole, one of the music videos, the band themselves, Fall Out Toy Works, or even just a memory jogged by the album. Just as long as it clearly ties back to Folie á Deux in any way. If you need a quick reminder of what was released along with the album, here is a quick memory jog.

These reflections can take the form of essays, comics, fanart, photos, poems, or any other creative medium we’re missing out on. As for fanfic, I have a strict “no RPF” rule for these, but fanfic inspired by the ‘America’s Suitehearts’ video or Fall Out Toy Works will be allowed for the zine.

“But I’m no good at math and besides the dollar is down” – The technical/legal stuff

The basic submission guidelines for the zine are as follows:

Word count for essays: 500 min, 2k maximum

Comics: Max. 3 pages

Art in general: 2610 X 3900 or 170 PPI/DPI

Photos: Digital only, no more than 6

As for payment, the current plan is to run an IndieGoGo once the creators are in place to help raise funds to help pay creators/do a print run. At the VERY least, I’m gonna make sure each contributor gets $20, even if we don’t hit goal.

To avoid potential legal problems with various record companies, the zine will be distributed for pay what you want on Gumroad and itch.io. The contributors will decide before release if donations for the zine will go towards print costs or charity.

Contributors will retain all legal rights to their work and will be allowed to print and distribute the zines how they wish after release. What is featured in the zine can be posted online after, just please link back to the zine when you do.

“The boy I am is just venting, venting…” – Age restrictions

Since Fall Out Boy has a lot of teenage fans, I ask that all the work you do please be appropriate for teenagers. Cursing and innuendo is fine, but explicit sexual works and/or graphic violence will not be allowed. Anything that talks about sensitive topics such as sexual assault, eating disorders, bigotry, or death must include trigger warnings.

Contributors must also be 18+. I love you newer fans with all my heart, but I’d like to avoid any potential legal hangups with underage contributors and I am looking more for older fans reflecting on the album.

“Let the leaves fall off in the summer and let December glow in flames…” – Timeline

Alright, let’s get down to business. Right now, we’re aiming to get this zine out the door by December 16th, which was the album’s US release date. Obviously, things might go wrong, but that’s the date we’re aiming for. To hit that date, here is the timeline:

  • August 24th: Submissions Open
  • October 1st: Submissions Close
  • October 7th: Email goes out to Contributors
  • October 15th: Crowdfunding goes up
  • November 16th: Final deadline for submissions
  • December 16th: Half-Doomed and Semi-Sweet releases!

“I don’t care what you think, as long as it’s about me…” – Submissions and Contact

If you are ready to submit, please fill out the form HERE.

If you have any further questions not answered here, please contact me at folieadeuxzine@gmail.com or on Twitter either at @misskittyf or @folieadeuxzine.

 

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I Hope You’re Somewhere Praying

[Content warning: Brief discussions of mental health and death, use of queer slurs]

I hate August with a burning passion.

It’s hotter and stickier than the rest of summer, as if to just clamp down harder before beginning a slow surrender to Fall. It also somehow the slowest month of the year, with each day feeling like it goes slower than molasses. Or Interstellar.

But mostly, it’s because my mental health tends to get really bad in August.

It’s hard to pinpoint when I began to notice that it did, but an overwhelming sense of dread comes over me when I realize August comes. The hippies in my life would call it “manifesting negativity” or something like that, but you can’t fight a current. And you certainly can’t help the bad draws Fate will hand you. A broken heart, a dying cat, getting dropped by a bad job…

Yeah. I hate August.

Continue reading “I Hope You’re Somewhere Praying”

The PQ Archive: Space Battle Lunchtime #1 Immediately Throws You Into The World Of Galactic Cooking Competitions

Oh hi, you’re probably wondering what I’m doing posting a review for an old issue of a comic. You see, I’ve decided that it’s time to save all of my reviews from my time at PopOptiq from the website that is just a hollow shell of its former self. Y’see, when the website changed EICs a little more than a year ago, the new editor decided he wanted to make the website more like Buzzfeed and then proceeded to fire most of the staff. He then also claimed copyright ownership of our work.

Well, I know I never signed a contract with you or the previous EIC that said that was okay and my name is on the byline, so…


SBLT-1-MARKETING-Preview-1-e83afWriting and Art by Natalie Riess

Published by Oni Press

Ever since the advent of Iron Chef, the reality competition cooking show has been a cornerstone of television in the 21st century. Shows like Master Chef, Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, and The Great British Bake Off among others have proliferated the airwaves and have put a certain sort of sport into the art of cooking. Space Battle Lunchtime sets its story in that realm, but adds the element of “in SPACE!” to the mix.

Space Battle Lunchtime #1 follows Peony, a baker working in a cafe called Dozens when a frog woman named Zonda comes to pick up coffee. After she receives a call about needing a replacement for something, she recruits Peony to be a competitor on a show called Space Battle Lunchtime and immediately beams her up as soon as she says yes. No backstory. No issue worth of lead up. Just jumping right into the concept. In most cases, that can be a bit jarring for a comic, but the way it is set up here, it really does work and actually puts you in Peony’s shoes of being immediately thrown into a galactic cooking show.

The aesthetic of this story might actually be the most darling part of it. Riess’ art is full of soft lines and bright colors that remind of a shojo romance story more than a sci-fi book. Which works well to its advantage, giving it a distinct sort of look over other sci-fi books. Not to mention that the alien designs seen so far are super cute and bring a major draw to the next part of the story. Well, that and wondering how Peony’s going to make it through the first round as an Earthling unfamiliar with the show.

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Besides making you crave carrot-cherry cake, Space Battle Lunchtime #1 does a great job dragging you into the world without too much fuss. Between the writing not standing in the way of itself and the darling art, the world created by Riess promises to be a lot of fun. That is, if Peony can make it past round one.


If you like what you’ve read, feel free to tip me at Paypal or Square Cash.

The PQ Archive: The Wicked + The Divine #19 Is A Turn For The Epic

Oh hi, you’re probably wondering what I’m doing posting a review for an old issue of a comic. You see, I’ve decided that it’s time to save all of my reviews from my time at PopOptiq from the website that is just a hollow shell of its former self. Y’see, when the website changed EICs a little more than a year ago, the new editor decided he wanted to make the website more like Buzzfeed and then proceeded to fire most of the staff. He then also claimed copyright ownership of our work.

Well, I know I never signed a contract with you or the previous EIC that said that was okay and my name is on the byline, so…


tumblr_o6mfzkAJHN1tuoa2wo1_1280Written by Kieron Gillen

Art by Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson

Letters by Clayton Cowles

Published by Image Comics

There are so many things that can be used to describe what happens in this particular issue of The Wicked + The Divine. Many of the expletive laden. For now, let’s paraphrase a line from the recently departed Prince: there’s a thief in the temple tonight, and her name is Ananke.

For months outside of the comic, Gillen has been hinting about a larger role for Minerva, the youngest member of the Pantheon who will be dead before she turns 14. In this issue, it comes into play as she is revealed to be a chess piece in Ananke’s grand plan. What exactly that plan is, no one knows yet, but it lends credence to the theory that the Pantheon might be a pre-determined group. Especially with Baphomet now claiming that Ananke was the one who killed Inanna, not him. By the end of the issue when Ananke confesses to Minerva being her ‘fatted calf,’ you might actually believe him.

Of course, being an issue of WicDiv, more questions seems to be raised than answered. Not just to Ananke’s grand scheme, but just as to why Laura is alive. No… not Laura. Persephone. Both Ananke and Persephone make a point as to say Laura isn’t here anymore and that only Persephone remains. This whole thing has some “There is no Dana, only Zuul” vibes going, and not just because she is “the Destroyer.” It wouldn’t be surprising if that was purposeful on Gillen’s part, but even if it wasn’t, it still gets the point across that something isn’t quite right with this particular return.

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Despite all of that, it still seems that the most tragic character in this particular part of the story though is Dionysus. Even in just a few pages, we see the burden he’s been carrying of trying to give people just one good night is starting to catch up with him and that he may be getting his own “F**king Tara” treatment from his followers because of it. Not to the same level, but then again, not yet. Despite only being in the comic a few times so far, Dio is easily one of the most complicated characters in the story despite his outward “party boy” appearance. It’ll make seeing how he interacts with the chthonic ones going forward into the rest of ‘Rising Action’ super interesting.

On the art front, McKelvie and Wilson are still killing it, especially in terms of the action scenes. The fight scene that’s the crux of this issue is an art delight, giving the reader those moments where art and color is in perfect synch with each other. Whether it’s Babd the Crow Woman, the delightfully joyous face of Gentle Annie or the way Amaterasu’s eyes glow as she focuses in on her rescue target, the devils of this issue are certainly in the details, and no one on the team certainly slouches to get it done.

While no one question is quite answered yet, the second issue of ‘Rising Action’ lays the cards out on the table. Between the little things that make the issue and the big action scenes, it’s shaping up that this arc may be what takes this comic into truly epic territories as something of a civil war breaks out among the gods over what comes next and the fate of their own.


If you like what you’ve read, feel free to tip me at Paypal or Square Cash.

The PQ Archive: Faith #4 Brings The First Chapter Of Her Story To A Close

Oh hi, you’re probably wondering what I’m doing posting a review for an old issue of a comic. You see, I’ve decided that it’s time to save all of my reviews from my time at PopOptiq from the website that is just a hollow shell of its former self. Y’see, when the website changed EICs a little more than a year ago, the new editor decided he wanted to make the website more like Buzzfeed and then proceeded to fire most of the staff. He then also claimed copyright ownership of our work.

Well, I know I never signed a contract with you or the previous EIC that said that was okay and my name is on the byline, so…


Faith-4-coverWritten by Jody Houser

Art by Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage

Colors by Andrew Dalhouse with Pete Pantazis

Letters by Dave Sharpe

Published by Valiant Comics

This is the final issue of the Faith miniseries, but have no fear! Our valiant and nerdy superheroine just got promoted to an ongoing series that’s coming out this summer! Even if it wasn’t though, this final issue gives enough closure and a happy ending to this part of Faith’s story.

The issue picks up where issue 3 left off, which is good because the previous issue felt like it left off in a weird place, so the explanation of who the Vine are is exceptionally handy. With Torque in their possession, it’s up to Faith, @X, Archer and TV star/alien Hadley Scott to save him and the rest of the Psiots who have been kidnapped over the course of the series.

The introduction of the Vine as the antagonists in the previous issue felt like a shoehorn villain in the previous issue since ‘aliens did it’ tends to be the superhero comics way of writing themselves out of corners, but this issue lets the plot turf out beautifully, with the extra twist of the Plantlings being a high powered Hollywood death cult actually making the ‘aliens did it’ excuse actually interesting.

Portela’s art is solid as usual, except for the one instance of him drawing a full moon when the dialogue says it’s nearly a new moon outside, but it’s an easy forgive with the way Dalhouse and Pantazis color the scene to reflect moonlight. The sequences by Sauvage are once again a delight though. With mixing up the sequences to be a scene from the fictional TV series “Night Shifters” and a flashback to Faith’s childhood along with the usual scenes in Faith’s head, Sauvage spectacularly does her job of breaking up the current reality of the series with the fantasy (and sometimes painful memories) of Faith’s inner world.

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Still, fantasy doesn’t always match up with reality and while this story does get a happy ending, some parts of Faith’s reality don’t end so happily or just keep going. Such is the way of life though and it’s refreshing to see Houser give this part such good closure while still not shying away from the realities of Faith’s world. It doesn’t make it all bad. Sometimes, happiness is just as easy as a coworker inviting you over for RPGs.

This particular issue is titled “Herstory” and it feels befitting. Faith is history in the making and while this part of her story is over, Houser, Portela and Sauvage did a fantastic job in creating the first chapter of it. #4 proved to be a solid finale, closing enough to wrap it all up, but leaving enough avenues to explore in the upcoming ongoing. Just what awaits her there, we don’t know, but if it’s just as fun of a trip as this story has been, there’s nothing to worry about.


If you like what you’ve read, feel free to tip me at Paypal or Square Cash.

The PQ Archive: ‘Welcome Back’ #7 Is An Intense Meet The Parents Story

Oh hi, you’re probably wondering what I’m doing posting a review for an old issue of a comic. You see, I’ve decided that it’s time to save all of my reviews from my time at PopOptiq from the website that is just a hollow shell of its former self. Y’see, when the website changed EICs a little more than a year ago, the new editor decided he wanted to make the website more like Buzzfeed and then proceeded to fire most of the staff. He then also claimed copyright ownership of our work.

Well, I know I never signed a contract with you or the previous EIC that said that was okay and my name is on the byline, so…


WelcomeBack_007_A_MainWritten by Christopher Sebela

Art by Claire Roe

Colors by Jeremy Lawson

Letters by Jim Campbell

Published by Boom! Studios

Man, however awkward it was for you to meet your significant other’s parents, surely it won’t beat out Mali meeting Tessa’s.

The issue opens where the previous one left off with the Sequels descending on Tessa, Mali, Lorena and Showtime, who amusingly tries to catch a stick Mali is swinging around. Instead of fighting the Sequels, the four end up making a run for it, escaping on a private jet found through Tessa’s contacts to her home of South Africa. Of course, she doesn’t tell anyone this detail until they get there.

This particular issue is less focused on action, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a war going on. Instead of Sequels against Sequels, it’s a more personal, emotional war between Mali and Tessa’s mother Jana. Along with being Tessa’s trainer, Jana is also the wife of a former president of South Africa, making Tessa powerful in more ways than one. Naturally, the parents aren’t too fond of Mali. For her father, it’s because of the gay thing. For Jana, it’s because neither Mali or Tessa did their job. There is a little bit of violence between Jana and Mali, but their war is more of that of words. The sad hopefulness of Mali versus the vicious realism of Jana. It adds another layer of emotion to this already heartbreaking and strangely hopeful series.

Hope is really what keeps this issue rolling along, even in the quiet moments Mali and Tessa share in bed that are beautifully illustrated by Roe. You want these two to so desperately get what they want and be able to break the cycle they’ve been trapped in since the beginning of time, but it’s so uncertain if they can. Especially without any losses to their own.
The unfortunately penultimate issue of Welcome Back doesn’t focus on getting to an explosive battle, but rather shifts to a personal battle with a hope for the future. Sebela and Roe do such a great job of showing that conflict and those quiet moments, showing why Welcome Back will be sorely missed when it ends next month.


If you like what you’ve read, feel free to tip me at Paypal or Square Cash.

The PQ Archive: ‘Heartthrob’ #1 Is Figuratively And Literally About Matters Of The Heart

Oh hi, you’re probably wondering what I’m doing posting a review for an old issue of a comic. You see, I’ve decided that it’s time to save all of my reviews from my time at PopOptiq from the website that is just a hollow shell of its former self. Y’see, when the website changed EICs a little more than a year ago, the new editor decided he wanted to make the website more like Buzzfeed and then proceeded to fire most of the staff. He then also claimed copyright ownership of our work.

Well, I know I never signed a contract with you or the previous EIC that said that was okay and my name is on the byline, so…


HEARTTHROB-1-RETAIL-CVRWritten by Christopher Sebela

Art by Robert Wilson IV and Nick Filiardi

Published by Oni Press

Heartthrob is a story about the heart, both figuratively and literally. It’s also probably the second book in the market right now to be a love story with a side of crime that could go wrong, but that’s really where any comparisons to Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals should end. Heartthrob exists to be something else entirely.

Heartthrob #1 opens with the story of Callie Boudreau, a young woman with congenital heart defects who is the recipient of a heart transplant in 1977. Since that was a relatively new procedure at the time with a lot of unknown variables, Callie only given about “five healthy years.” This was already after she uprooted her life from Chicago to move to Stanford, California to wait five years for a spot for her on the list, so Callie built a life while she waited. Well, “life” may be a strong word for it.

In most cases where this kind of story pops up, this is where Callie would gleefully quit her job and start living a life full of adventure and travel. Well, Callie does end up quitting her job, but the way she gets there is not exactly gleeful. Sebela uses a similar narrative technique that he does in We(l)come Back where a lot of the comic is spent on the focal character talking to the audience. Inside of that, we see that Callie is not the usual quirky romantic lead who is stuck in a life she doesn’t want until something traumatic happens to her, but rather someone who has never figured out what she really wanted until everything around her transplant seems to boil over. It makes her story more real and devastating, which makes you want to root for her even more.

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The other character at the heart of the first issue is Mercer, the charming con man that Callie starts to fall for after meeting him at the bar one night. To talk about his backstory would spoil one of the best twists in the first issue, but the way Sebela writes it, it never comes across as trite. In fact, Mercer might just be the best thing to happen to Callie in this issue where it seems like everything terrible happens to her when it seems like her life should be getting better. Their budding love story is sweet in a strange way, but also slightly worrisome with the way Callie admits to losing herself in her past lovers. That’s the hook for this series, even more than that final page.

The art by Robert Wilson IV is absolutely perfect for this series, with his expressive faces, bold lines, and the way he makes even mundane 70s fashion seem kind of fantastic. It’s no wonder Sebela had Wilson in mind from the inception of this series. Combined with Filiardi’s colors that bounce from greyscale to neon glow and that muted yellow tone that ran rampant in the late 70s in between, and this book’s art will make your heart race, pardon the pun.

Heartthrob #1 is a great introduction to a series that looks to be exciting and heart-wrenching, both figuratively and literally. Sebela has created a lovely and realistic protagonist in Callie Boudreau as well as a mysterious, loving and potentially dangerous love interest in Mercer. Only time will tell if he is dangerous, but that wait won’t be so bad between the writing and the fantastic art of Wilson and Filiardi. If crime and romance mixed together are right up your alley, Heartthrob #1 might just be the sweetheart of a comic you’re looking for.


If you like what you’ve read, feel free to tip me at Paypal or Square Cash.