Winter has come with all the vengeance of the North. An angry wind howls its frozen breath, and the leafless trees are like empty hands. The frivolity of yuletide has surrendered to the grief of a new year.
Dry your tears, kind stranger, and warm yourself in the electric glow of our digital wonderland!
Even penguins know how to party (Art by Sammi Hatcher)
Sammi Hatcher is a multi-talented writer and artist who currently lives in Michigan. Her art is keleidoscopic and playful (at least this time), but in her poem "The Darkness that Watches and Waits" she reveals the hidden evil that lurks inside us all. Let's hope Sammi's spark keeps the darkness at bay.
Blue, yellow, green...
Caleb Beechem is a photographer with an eye for natural beauty and a spirit so adventurous that he's constantly seeking it out. His skills as a natural and wildlife photographer are growing with each new shot. Living in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest (Eugene, Oregon) also gives him an advantage.
Yin Yang squared. There is a moral in here, somewhere...
Sasha is another talented young artist contributing this month. Her black and white graph paper piece weaves words, symbols and patterns together to create an image that looks like it could blow any second. Her single image teases with the promise of more yet to come.
"...an enormous black dragon, cloaked in scales of ebon and scarlet. Parts of her were different; open and visible." From The Chronicles of Trivo: Phoenix Ranger by John Beechem (Art by Dordji)
Dordji has become the illustrator of The Chronicles of Trivo: Phoenix Ranger and this illustration depicts an enormous undead dragon involved in the story's exciting climax. You can read the first two thirds of the rough draft here (for the time being), but to get a full preview, volunteer to be a reader and offer feedback. You'll get a free copy of the upcoming novel including Dordji's art. Make sure to check out the rest of Dordji's art portfolio (if you haven't already). You can even pay him to draw your portrait at Distorted Vanity!
Lizzy Carraway has written two poems, "We Are Not Stewards" and "Driving Through West Virginia". Her poems evoke the reflections of a wise and knowing soul, expressed in a style that is both sophisticated and direct. Lizzy is a free-lance writer and American Fantastic's new literary editor. We are lucky to have her!
Chad Horn is a veteran poet who has shared three poems, "Earth On My Radar (Praying For A Peaceful Passing)", "Isolation Physics 101", and "Curtains For a Round Window". His poetry involves themes of technology and isolation, but also joy and optimism. This is not a contradiction, but balance. True fact: Chad was often Hunter S. Thompson's designated driver (I am not making that up).
John Beechem sings "A Song For Winter", a rhyme that describes Midgard trapped inside a frozen heart. "Wrong Door Raid" is a prose poem that describes the clumsy brutality of the Man, and is based on a real event. "Bicycle Meditation" is flash fiction that revels in the thril of descent on two wheels. John has also appeared on several local radio programs and internet podcasts including two with Maplex Monk. Listen to part 1 and part 2. Visit Maplex Monk and the rest of the Creative Community here.
Maplex Monk is also a filmaker. Check out his collaboration with Dr. Rockwell, Bike Wars Parts 1, 2 & 3, a musical exploration of Louisville, Kentucky from behind handlebars. Maplex and Dr. Rockwell blend bike tricks, point of view shots, creative editing and boundless spirits to craft an exhilerating ride for the viewer. Check out the rest of Maplex Monk's videos on his Youtube channel.
Tyler "Mr. Prolific" Walker a.k.a. Young Kavi is a young rapper from Huntsville, Alabama, the Rocket City. Tyler is a talented M.C. who raps about U.F.O.'s, conspiracies, spiritual evolution, truth, heartache, and everything in between. He also makes his own beats. Check out the rest of Tyler's music on Soundcloud.
Thank you for visiting! Remember, American Fantastic is always seeking new content, including but not limited to visual art, writing, music and film. Please submit your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submission details can be found here. We are also looking for editors, interns and anybody else who is willing to work for free. An imminent goal for American Fantastic is fund-raising, including money for artists, so anybody who would like to help in this (or any other endeavor) is more than welcome to help and possibly earn some money (someday) too! Help us grow our artistic commmunity, and be a part of it. Remember:
When reality becomes a burden, enjoy a sojourn into the fantastic...