Welcome to the Amazing Stories BLOG HORDE INTERVIEWS!
The ASM Blog Horde is a diverse and wonderful species. I have the privilege of talking with all of them, and I get to share those chats with you. In this long-running series, you will have the opportunity to peek inside the minds of the ASM bloggers to to see just what makes them tick.
I hope you enjoy the series as much as I have enjoyed preparing it for you. Please feel free to ask questions, or just let the Horde know you’ve stopped by for a visit.
Bloggers love comments, so let them know you’re out there!
ZACHARY CLEMENTE is a recently college graduate currently living in Boston. He is an aspiring comic writer, trying-to-get-there interactive installation creator, and devotee to the gravity of narrative. He is a firm believer in the notion that all experiences lived by a person are crucial to making who that person is and sometimes thinks a life without Superman is a life not worth living.
Fran Friel for Amazing Stories: Welcome to the ASM Blog Horde Interviews, Zach! Please, tell us how you became interested in blogging for Amazing Stories Magazine.
Zachary Clemente: My good friend Morgana started writing for ASM about anime and fandom. I saw her article and thought essentially this: “Man, I want to write stuff about stuff that I want people to read.” So I reached out to Steve [ASM Publisher and Editor in Chief] about it. The rest is a lot of vocabulary and grammar wrestling.
ASM: Vocabulary and Grammar Wrestling sounds like a good blog title, Zach. As you know, Amazing Stories Magazine has a wide variety of blogging categories. In what categories can we find your blogs at ASM, and what is your special interest in those topics?
ZC: I write on comics pretty much exclusively so far. Every Wednesday, I upload a post called “Sequential Wednesdays”, derived from the term used for narrative art called “sequential imagery” and the fact that new comics are released on Wednesdays. I’ve liked comics for a while, but only recently, they have rapidly become my favorite narrative medium. If I can be moved by words and pictures on paper, something great is happening there.
Otherwise, I will sporadically write another post during the week because I want to–on the following subjects: film, animation, anime, visual art, culture, genre, or any amalgamation of them.
ASM: How might you categorize the style of blog you enjoy writing? Humorous? Informational? Instructional? Latest news? Fan related? Reviews? Interviews?
ZC: I seem to write in a very long-winded rapid-fire style. If you met me in real life, you would find there’s little difference between my vocal cadence and my written thoughts except my word choice is more varied in text. The way I frame a subject I’m writing about typically has a solid expectation of the reader – though I attempt to be thorough enough to keep in-depth discussions paced and understandable. However, it could be said that a large part of how I write is an exploratory trudge through my opinions in the hope of discovering exactly why I feel about a certain thing. I have been told I write with an accessibility in respect to the subject, allowing readers who may not be too familiar with the work or medium (especially comics) to get more than not out of my post.
I apparently write with the same enthusiasm I have when talking about something I enjoy.
ASM: You can’t go wrong with enthusiasm, Zach. It’s often in short supply in the writing world, so hang on to that rarified commodity.
Amazing Stories Magazine is focusing on the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. What’s your favorite genre, and why?
ZC: I have a differing opinion of genre than many folks, so it seems. I would have to say my favorite genre is Fantasy, but that’s because I consider any and all stories that can be qualified as “fantastical” to be under the genre of Fantasy, which places pretty much the entirety of Science Fiction within Fantasy. I have a very long post about my considerations of genre and what they are as a means to drive narrative in the works somewhere.
Now, tell us, what is your favorite video game and what do you love about it? And what is your gaming platform of choice?
ZC: By necessity, my favorite video game is the PS3 exclusive, Journey. It’s an incredibly difficult game to describe, as it’s entirely a quality of experience. Safe to say I have never played a game where I found myself being reintroduced to my own identity and genuinely questioning it in a perspective I’ve never been able to have before. The epiphany that washed over me while finishing the last minutes of the game were so intense and singularly meaningful that I ended up getting a tattoo of the symbol that represented “me” in that world. Here’s the Tattoo.
My gaming platform of choice is the PC.
ASM: You’ve sold me on Journey, Zach. I’ll be hunting that down this weekend. Hopefully, it comes on the XBox platform, as well.
What are you reading, Zach? How is it so far?
ZC: I’m in the middle of Rage is Back by Adam Mansbach, which is a magical realism novel about a young man, the son of two graffiti artists from New York City’s golden age of subway bombing who finds himself couch-surfing his way through life until rumors of his long-lost father appearing in the city start coming his way.
It’s damned incredible. It’s written how I think, but with a hell of a lot more wit.
Some of my Favorite Titles: Children of Men, Brazil, Sunshine, The Fountain, Redline, The Fall, Bunraku, Drive, Paprika, Triplets of Belleville, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, The King’s Speech, Leon the Professional, & Departures.
Recent movies to see: Looper, Cloud Atlas, Django Unchained, ParaNorman, Beasts of the Southern Wild, & Seven Psychopaths.
Recent movies to avoid: Skyfall.
ASM: How long have you been blogging, Zach? What advice would you give to people interested in blogging?
ZC: I have been blogging about the subjects that ASM focuses on for about a month.
My advice is to not fold because of comments, but respond (and listen) to creative criticism held within them. Do not be afraid to write possibly unpopular opinions, even if the other staff disagrees with you. Own your subjects of choice – I try to comment on pretty much every post that falls in my categories of interest.
ASM: Excellent advice, Zach. What personal projects do you have in the works that you would like to share with us?
ZC: I am currently in the process of writing four comic scripts and looking for appropriate illustrators to pair with the stories. Additionally, I am in the process of doing an interactive art installation at a local coffee shop/art gallery in East Cambridge.
ASM: Which of your blog titles would you recommend to our readers to give them a taste of your work?
ZC: I currently only have five posts available. In order, they are: an intro to me and my interests, a Valentine’s post about comic love, my adoration of Alex Ross’s art, a discussion of Johnathan Hickman’s S.H.I.E.L.D. series, and a recommendation for a genre-bending webseries called Dynamo.
My ASM author page can be found here.
ASM: Now that we’ve gotten to know you a bit, where else can our readers find you on the Web?
ZC: My twitter can be found here.
My artistic portfolio can be viewed here.
ASM: Zach, it’s been my sincere pleasure getting to know you. I’m looking forward to your blogs, your art installation work, and your up and coming comic strip. I wish you the very best success!
Dear Amazing Readers, thank you for being with us. I hope you’ve enjoyed tonight’s interview. Please come back next week for another featured blogger in the Amazing Stories Blog Horde Series.
We’ll keep the light on for you!