Viva la Fairy Tale Ending
Twenty-four hours ago, my spouse and I celebrated our wedding at our home with the entire Foreword family. It was lovely, and our company, of course, was beyond reproach. The sky was overcast, and the grass slightly wet, and nothing started on time, but these are light realities, not the disasters that people imagine when they first start to envision their happily ever afters. They were the textures of a happy day, and we’ll cherish them among our memories.
As I slipped into a dress that was wholly me, and nothing like the one I imagined as a child, and went out to meet my betrothed mid-morning under our backyard chuppah, sans trumpets and birdsong, I thought: it’s funny how we grow with and apart from the fairy tales of our childhoods. And how fortunate that we do.
That musing arose when we were selecting books for this issue, too—perhaps you’ll notice an unusual number of fantasy novels among the summer’s offerings. We were surprised and delighted that so many rolled into our offices, and that they deviated so notably from the pat once-upon-a-times and happily-evers of childhood fantasy tales. Instead of valorizing royal life, they name kingdom controversies and shortcomings—and fight against them—as with Snowy Wings Publishing’s A Darkness at the Door, wherein a lady-in-waiting fights a trafficking scheme; and they subvert images of waifish and willowy princesses going faint at the sign of a prince in favor of lifting up queens who know their worth, defend their kingdoms, and demand equality, as with Logosophia’s The Queen’s Rain. They are proudly diverse and LGBTQ+ affirming. They represent the best of what our imaginations can conjure.
We’re sometimes told that we grow past the stories of our youths, but the truth is that we often grow with or because of them: testing their shortcomings, finding nuance where we missed it before. We come to expect more of the world, and are lucky when we happen to find more in the tales of our pasts.
As my partner and I head off to standing stones, rolling hills, and yes, one castle in a land of lore (with just enough fabulous stories packed in our bags for those quiet Highland nights), I send you this wish: that you find as much to dream over in this issue as we did.
Michelle Anne Schingle
Editor in Chief
Image from Voices that Count: A Comics Anthology by Women, by multiple authors. Used with permission from IDW Publishing.
Michelle Anne Schingler