An Oklahoma publisher is crafting a new anthology that features several local writers and artists.
“Literati Presents,” from Literati Press, is a short-story collection of comics and prose that's set to be published twice a year and is distributed at bookstores and comic shops.
“The debut issue is themed ‘Building a Better Tomorrow,' kicking off the series with a utopia/dystopia vibe,” Literati publisher Charles Martin said. “The artists and writers were encouraged to take the theme in whatever direction they wish and we ended up with some incredible stories of time travel, morality panels, psychotic fathers and comfort in the face of disaster.”
Contributors include Jerry Bennett (“Nadir's Zenith”), Mer Whinery, Brad Gregg, Marty Peercy, Don Rosencrans (“Welcome to Ralton”), Jeff Provine, Sarah Stringfield, Cary Stringfield and Buddy D. Oswald.
Martin, who writes under the pen name Charles Martin & Will Weinke, collaborated with Bennett on the anthology's lead story, “ANTS!”
“I've always been a big fan of old monster movies, and that made it easy to take on a story about giant ants destroying OKC,” Bennett said.
The second issue of the anthology is set to be released in November and will feature the theme “Emergency Exit.”
“We have made a ton of friends during our travels, so this is our chance to bring them into the fold, even if for just a one-shot, eight-page story about giant ants,” Martin said. “If a writer or artist is interested in being involved, the best way to get the ball rolling is to pick up a copy and get an idea of tone, then approach us in person at an event.”
Martin said the anthology doesn't accept unsolicited submissions. While most of Literati's products are available online, Martin said “Literati Presents” is intended as a brick-and-mortar-supported publication.
“Literati Press is an odd animal, producing eccentric fiction and comics may score us points with critics, but it isn't the quickest route to profitability,” Martin said. “‘Literati Presents' is an accessible entry point for new readers and comic bookstores that are curious about what do. Unlike our other titles, we don't sell ‘Literati Presents' online. We want people to buy this from a bookstore, comic book shop or from our booth.”
Martin said he believes promoting the title in stores will benefit the locations and the publisher.
“We are trying to build a stronger network of readers as well as store fronts that understand and believe in what we are doing so that we can perpetuate our brand and build the careers of the wonderful storytellers we are blessed to be working with,” Martin said. “Any interested storefronts are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Literati is planning more expansion in the months ahead.
“Literati is in a bit of a transitional phase. It's taken us three years to really develop our identity and understand where we fit in the entertainment industry, so we are retooling our approach and about to start a very aggressive period of publication to stock our table with titles that we believe will balloon our readership base,” Martin said.
For more information, go to literatipressok.com.