FENCE by C.S. Pacat & Johanna the Mad – Why You Should Be Excited For It

Hello there! Let’s postpone The Talk about me technically still being on blog hiatus (it’ll end soon though, I promise!) for another time, because today I am so excited to talk about a new upcoming comic by quite literally my favorite author ever, C.S. Pacat, and Johanna the Mad, an amazing artist whose fanworks have always left me speechless.

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The cast of Fence. From left to right: Nicholas, Seiji, Harvard, Aiden, Jesse, Dante, Bobby

Particularly I want to talk about the importance it will have in the queer community. I fully believe that the comparison with Yuri!!! On Ice and other queer-positive works like Check, Please! is 100% accurate.

Why am I saying this with such confidence when I obviously haven’t read it yet, since it comes out in November? Two reasons:

⚔ I fully trust C.S. Pacat to stay true to her words and deliver

“something that’s very joyously and unabashedly queer. That’s very important to me.”
(source)


Knowing her and knowing her previous work and the other fictional works (like Y!!!OI) that she enjoys, I know that she isn’t just saying that in order to appeal to a certain audience. This is something that might have been scary to publish one year ago, when the queer world hadn’t been quite literally shaken by Yuri!!! On Ice yet. But now we know that the (queer and not queer) world is ready for something that doesn’t have to justify itself in order to exist. Not only won’t there be any queerbaiting, there won’t be “sad gays” either.

⚔ This premise brings me to my second point. A comic is something that will appeal to readers and non-readers alike. We in the bookish community sometimes tend to forget that there are many people who don’t read as much as we do, and that’s fine. Many of those people are teens that maybe are more into anime and manga, and they’ll be given access to something that might -might!- eventually draw them into the bookish world. Even more importantly, these are young people who more often than not are just coming to terms with their sexuality. These are teens and young adults who have been at best queerbaited by shows like Free! and Haikyuu!!, and at worse they’ve been shown that if you’re queer you are someone expendable, someone who will die before the straights can find a solution to a zombie-riddled world or you’re simply there to allow a straight narrative to reach its positive outcome, or you’re there to be the gay stereotype that the audience will laugh at.
This won’t happen with Fence. (Young) people will have a positive queer representation like they’ve had in Yuri!!! On Ice, and being queer won’t be the main subject of the work. They’ll be shown that you don’t have to only be your sexuality, you can be an athlete, you can be anything and be queer and be valid and if you don’t understand the importance of that then maybe it’s really time for you to think about your straight privilege.

Now, focusing on the rest of what we know so far, this story will have amazing characterization. Again, you ask, how do you know this? Because that’s what Pacat does. And if you haven’t read Captive Prince and you don’t trust me on my word, read this:

I’m working with a really great épée coach in Australia to choreograph all the fight scenes. And I’ve been working with him on the fencing characterization of each boy, so they’ll all have different strengths and weaknesses that will evolve throughout the narrative.


…in “Fence,” especially because I was so invested in the accuracy of the fencing, there’s no smudging allowed.
(source)


These are NOT the words of someone who doesn’t think their characters through. The characters’ personalities will reflect in the way they fence and act outside of fencing, like in all the best sports anime/manga/fiction.

This is already so clear from just a raw of one page alone:

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“But will it be diverse?” you ask. Yeah!

…having a diverse cast was very important to me. When you’re writing heroic narratives it’s very important to make sure that you have a story where everyone can feel as though they can be a hero.
(source)

 

Because this is a comic, obviously another really important thing to look forward to is the art. Johanna the Mad is an amazing artist (see pictures above) who has more than once impressed me (and many others, including C.S. Pacat) with her art.

Something else I find amazing is that both writer and artist come from the online world. They not only know the community they’re addressing, they’re fully part of it and that is one more reason to trust them.

So really the question is, what’s there NOT to look forward to? (the answer is: everything about this comic should make you as excited as I am)

And more importantly, is it November yet?

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#T5W: Authors I Want to Read More From

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

April 26th: Authors You Want to Read More From
–Talk about some authors that you’ve only read one or a few books from, and you NEED to read more!

Okay but this topic is so hard??? How can you choose five or even ten authors?? I personally can’t do that and that’s why I’m cheating and having two separate lists :’)

 

AUTHORS I’VE ALREADY READ EVERYTHING BY:

C.S. Pacat
Her Captive Prince trilogy is my favorite series of all time so it’s only fair that I want to check out whatever she will come up with next! I think she’s currently working on a fantasy YA (as well as the final Captive Prince short story) and I really can’t wait to read more from her. I love her characters and the emotion she creates more than the writing style, but I do think that her style fit CP perfectly. Also, I like it more every time I reread it so there’s really nothing I don’t like about this author.

Nora Sakavic
I think I’ll be happy if her next work is even just half as intense as The Foxhole Court is. If we talk about the writing, it’s not very lyrical or anything, but her stories aren’t that at all anyway. But I freaking loved it. It’s so simple and yet every word has meaning – I’m telling you I never skipped a single word in that trilogy, even when she’s describing things like characters washing the dishes or things like that. I don’t know how she does it but I can’t get enough of her.

Madeline Miller
I’ll probably never read The Song of Achilles again because I can’t handle the feels one more time, but I’ll definitely be reading everything she writes next, especially given that I love Greek mythology (her next work is an Odyssey retelling from Circe’s PoV!)

Leigh Bardugo
I don’t think her writing style is very peculiar or different from other authors, but I think her strengths are the characters, the banter and the plot. She already announced a couple of books both in and out of the Grisha-verse and I’m highly anticipating all of them.

Elise Kova
Her ability to create fantasy worlds with real characters is amazing! I know she has a contemporary book or series in the works so I’m definitely curious to read that once she’s done with her two current fantasy series.

AUTHORS I STILL DIDN’T READ EVERYTHING BY:

V.E. Schwab
I’ve only read her Shades of Magic series and I completely fell in love with both the characters, the world and the writing style. She has so many books out and I’ll slowly be checking them all out.

Laini Taylor
Her writing style is amazing and I can’t wait to read Strange the Dreamer! I’m just waiting to be out of my reading slump because I don’t want to ruin my reading experience.

Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle made me fall in love with her writing and her characters, but I somehow still didn’t check out her previous works! I don’t know if it’s my fear of being disappointed but I think I’ll rather check out her future works and then slowly try to read what she published before TRC.

Rainbow Rowell
I’ve only read Fangirl and Carry On but I loved them and I especially enjoyed her writing style. She has so many other books out so I really don’t know where to start from – if you have any suggestions let me know!

Austin Chant
I’ve only read Peter Darling by him and it was such a great surprise! I will check out his previous books but most of all I’m curious to read his next works (he mentioned one of his next stories has to do with ice skaters so – aehm – I just have to!)


What are some authors that you are just dying to read more from?