These letters are difficult for me. I rewrite them several times before I’m (mostly) happy with what I’ve chosen to share with our readership. That word—“readership”—makes me imagine a high-sailing vessel replete with every type of reader: the fantasy reader, the critical reader, the cookbook reader. . . . It would be a quiet cruise. People would make friends by swapping books then drink Great Gatsby-themed cocktails together at a recliner bar where every chair is affixed with a reading lamp.
I wonder how many of the things we do started with the phrase “I wonder”? E.g. I wonder what it’s like to slide down the stairs in a laundry basket? I wonder what it’s like to be a furry?
This season, the Suspect team wondered what it would look like to put out a dark-themed issue. We always include dark stories and art, but this time you’ll find more pages than ever brimming with horror, witchcraft, transgressive fascinations, and discomfiting characters.
Nothing horrifies the conservative populace more than not being able to identify a person’s gender, so we featured a powerhouse drag queen on our cover flanked by two worshipping leather daddies—a piece done by the multi-talented Daniel Foerste.
Next, flip to page 14 to Nico Wilkinson’s “a poem in which the word ‘fingernails’ is replaced by ‘gender’” for some dismal irony. Other new contributors include our badass summer intern, Shimma Ali, whose “Creation of God” story brings goosebumps to our arms with its closing revelation. Dymond Starr haunts us with her evocative-of-ill-intent brushstrokes, and Elliottt Wyatt gives us pause in his “Harmony Island” comic with its humanoid characters.
You may not consider a comic about Denver “secrets” to be dark, but it gives us the creeps to imagine the skeleton inside the Blue Bear. Also in this issue, Josiah Hesse teams up with our friend Jake Fairly to answer the question, “I wonder what an exhaustive infographic of Jason Voorhees’ injuries would look like?” And in Josiah’s fiction piece, a wayward dying priest faces a ghostly comeuppance.
What are you left wondering after perusing through this issue? Send us a letter and we might include it in our Letters to the Editor page. And also let me know if you want to make that ReaderShip thing happen.
By Amanda E.K.
Editor In Chief
Amanda is a memoirist, short fiction and freelance writer, and a member of the Knife Brothers writing group – a small collective of short fiction writers. Her work has been featured on the Denver Orbit podcast and on Mortified Live. She has stories in Suspect Press, Birdy, Jersey Devil Press, and the Punch Drunk Press Poetry anthology. She’s currently working on a memoir about the damaging effects of growing up in evangelical purity culture – available late 2020 through Suspect Press.