WRITER: M.K. Palmer
In 1992 X-MEN The Animated Series premiered. Every Saturday morning, I watched my favorite character Gambit and my crush Rogue (I love feisty women) having fantastic adventures! I was hooked, but it wasn’t enough; each week I dragged a cousin or sibling to my local comic book store.
X-MEN resonated with me. Like a mutant, I was born differently. Being gay, I understood the X-Men’s struggle for acceptance.
After college, I became a Molecular Biologist. In 2014, I decided to follow my dream and create my own comic. I took a few online comic book writing courses and found my mentor, Jim. Shortly after that I found my amazing artist Minh Hằng. With the help of my team, the world of MERAKI soon came to life.
When I created MERAKI, I wanted a diverse cast of characters with a variety of people and, especially, role models for the gay community.
I crafted this story and its characters with a great passion. And I hope that you love them too.
Welcome to the world of MERAKI!
“You’ve got to follow your passion. You’ve got to figure out what it is you love, who you really are. And have the courage to do that. I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams.” – Oprah Winfrey
ARTIST: Đặng Thị Minh Hằng
Minh Hằng studied fine art under celebrated Vietnamese artist Nguyên Đình.
Under Nguyên Đình’s guidance, she has received many national and international awards including the Silver Medal from the Shankar’s International Children’s Competition (SICC).
In 1997 and prior to graduation, Minh Hằng had her first solo exhibition. After graduating from Ho Chi Minh City’s University of Architecture with a degree in Industrial Art in 2006, she worked with several gaming companies. In 2014 Minh Hằng become a freelance artist working on illustrations and concept artwork.
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: James I
James has been a freelance literary editor at an academic press. He’s taught writing and the teaching of writing. He’s published short fiction, poetry and scholarly articles. He’s been a law clerk and a lawyer. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a JD. He’s a member of the North Carolina (U.S.) bar. He enjoys playing poker and duplicate bridge. James is the Editor in Chief at ABBY Comics. He is currently working on seven different titles.
Jim William the scripter at Abby Comics sums up James’ characters best: “They’re half Seuss, half Wes Anderson, half Douglas Adams. That’s what makes them so good: James has packed three halves into every one.”
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: D.M. Hedlund
D.M. Hedlund is the CEO of Tethered by Letters and Editor-in-Chief of F(r)iction. She published her first novel, Threads of Deception, at the age of eighteen. Experiencing the difficulties of breaking into the market, she founded TBL in 2007 to help other new writers perfect and publish their works. Offering free writing coaching, editing, and publishing guidance, Hedlund expanded TBL into a global community of writers, editors, and artists. In 2010, she pushed the company to new heights, creating TBL’s literary journal, Tethered by Letters Quarterly Literary Journal which has since evolved into F(r)iction Series (published by Sheridan Press), a literary and art collection that pushes the boundaries of conventional storytelling.
When not working with the TBL staff, Hedlund spends her days writing, consuming an ungodly amount of caffeine, and binge reading comics.
Random Facts: She loves the Oxford comma (and not just because she went to school there). She hates people who rage against split infinitives (and not just because Star Trek can do no wrong…though, clearly, it cannot).
Follow Hedlund on Twitter: @DMHedlund
LETTERER ISSUE #0: Taylor Esposito
Taylor Esposito is a comic book lettering professional and owner of Ghost Glyph Studios. As a staff letterer at DC, he lettered titles such as Red Hood and The Outlaws, Constantine, Bodies, CMYK, The New 52: Future’s End, and New Suicide Squad. Prior to this, Taylor was credited on numerous titles for Marvel as a production artist. He is currently working on a new batch of creator-owned titles, such as Gamer Girl and Vixen, Bayani, and Interceptor (Heavy Metal Comics). Other publishers, he has worked with include Rosy Press, Zenescope, and Dynamite. Taylor lives and works in Kearny, New Jersey. He can be reached at @TaylorEspo or @GhostGlyph on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
WEB DEVELOPER: Lisa Korhonen
Lisa is the founder of SparkHopper. A company that helps authors create, market and fund novels. She been working as a computer programmer, operations engineer and web developer for over 10 years. Lisa has a passion for Web Development, Crowd Funding and Social Media.
Contact Lisa at email@example.com