Literary profile: Red Stylo Media on comics, community and the classic rock of Queen

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From the September 4, 2014 edition

When asked to describe her Columbus-based publishing company’s vibe, Editor-in-Chief Enrica Jang excitedly explained, “I’m hoping energy comes through all of what we do — that it’s kinetic and fun.” A Savannah College of Art and Design alumna and former Marvel intern, Jang brings plenty of dynamic energy to the graphic novels of Red Stylo Media. Their projects include comic anthologies themed around the work of literary greats like Poe, Shakespeare and now, Freddie Mercury. “Killer Queen” (comics inspired by the discography of Queen) will be released at New York Comic Con in October, but individual stories are now available digitally (via Patreon, a subscription service). When Jang and I met up, she waxed rhapsodic about the collaboration that fuels her company.

After my internship with Marvel, I wanted to show my chops as an editor, being able to work with other people’s work, not just my own. So we put out our first anthology, a collection of comics inspired by Edgar Allen Poe. Suddenly, the anthology became a thing we did every year. It’s a combination of a great theme and really wonderful people who just jumped into the pool with me and started swimming around.

I was a literature major; that’s why we did Poe and Shakespeare. In the middle of all this literary and historical stuff, I said, “I want to break free.” When we announced our open call for Queen on Jan. 1, people just exploded.

The thing with Queen and Poe and Shakespeare is we’re not adapting any of them — they are all truly original stories. These are tribute collections. If you enjoy these stories, you’ll want to return to the source material.

Mainstream comics is an international community. When you get into indie comics, you really have to get into the guts of your town, because we’re all on the ground floor here together. Columbus is a great indie scene, and very supportive.

You know the scene from High Fidelity, where John Cusack’s character is explaining how to make a mixtape — “You bring ’em up, you bring ’em down...” It’s the same thing with this anthology; it’s a mixtape with Queen.