Interview with Julian Darius, founder of Sequart and Martian Lit: an insight into success whilst operating from the fringes

Interview with a publisher

Julian Darius publisher and founder of Sequart and Martian Lit

Julian Darius publisher and founder of Sequart and Martian Lit

Julian Darius. American. Logophile.  Founder of Sequart (advancing comics as art) and Martian Lit (offbeat and smart works in all genres and media).There’s something of the English author Will Self in his ways. And he is most certainly one of the web’s more interesting and enlightened characters.  Sometimes sardonic in humour, his personality packs a punch and may leave you reeling.  But in the movie-motif of Edward Norton as “narrator” in Fight Club, you may want to rub your jaw with a slick, spittle and blood smeared chin and say: hit me again.

It was Martian Lit that snagged my interest and a desire to talk to Julian about his personal philosophy and goals (for world domination?).

He has very kindly agreed to invest some of his time to place a few words here.


Rumors we seek your planet’s humiliation are somewhat exaggerated


DJR: Martian Lit was founded in 2011. Described as publishing odd and aggressive literature, non-fiction, art, poetry, and other material.  Was its creation an inevitable evolution from Sequart’s much more niche (high-brow) profile? Or something else?

This is going to be a way longer and more personal answer than you want, but I don’t know how to explain it any other way.

I’ve actually been a fiction writer much longer than a comics historian and critic. I read comics in childhood, and I thought about them, but I didn’t write about them. I did, however, write fiction, even as a little boy. I wrote my first novel, which was sci-fi, as a freshman in high school. It wasn’t a bad concept, but I still cringe remembering some of the bad sentences. By the time I left for college, I’d written most of another sci-fi novel, most of a vampire novel, a screenplay about a serial killer, and lots of odds and ends.

I actually wrote a Star Trek: The Next Generation script and submitted it. They rejected it because I hadn’t followed the rules — I’d created an alien species for the plot, and only staff writers were allowed to do that. I think I figured I’d break the rules intelligently and get away with it. Didn’t work out in that case, although they were very nice and praised the writing itself. By the time I got that rejection I’d plotted out several seasons of the show, which would have slowly shifted it into something of the kind of continuing storyline you now see, in the wake of the revived Battlestar Galactica or even post-Bablylon 5. It was great stuff.

Looking back, I can see how the traits that would define my life were already present in that event. It would have been easy to rewrite the script to follow the rules, and I knew it. It would have been to my advantage to do so. But it was better the way it was, and that was the key to sorting out some bigger problems with the show going forward, which I’d plotted out how to do. The writing came first, and I was incapable of compromising it unless that made the work better. I had a faith that talent and intelligence would be seen and somehow win out, probably from too many Hollywood movies and too much parental indulgence. When it didn’t, this ambitious amount of other work was essentially wasted. I wasn’t angry. But the experience pointed me not in the direction of compromise but towards doing it myself, or at least not being subject to editors and publishers.

It might also be relevant that my father had worked in Hollywood, so I grew up with horror stories of great screenwriters with drawers of good scripts that they couldn’t get made. I sort of had this narrative already in my head, that talent wasn’t necessarily connected to success in writing. I didn’t want to believe it, or wanted to believe I was so good that I’d be an exception. This was part of my parents’ baggage, and I didn’t want it to be mine.

As for comics, I learned a lot about writing from them, and I threw myself into reading everything available at the time about comics history. But I didn’t imagine writing about them. I was more interested in writing them myself. In fact, I submitted a script for Sandman spin-off to Vertigo, which was rejected for the same reason as the Star Trek script: I’d ignored the rules, although the writing itself was good. By this point, I was thinking of going it alone, so I wrote scripts and plotted out my own comics series. I actually talked with lawyers about raising venture capital to start a comics company. But the venture capitalists would’ve had too much control, so I went to college instead.

It was in college that I started writing about comics. Comics were still considered kids’ fare, beneath academic contempt. This upset me a great deal, because I knew the good ones were as sophisticated as anything. So I started writing about comics on the internet, which was still in its infancy. The internet was a revelation, because it let me have the creative control I craved. Learning HTML (and later CSS and PHP) was a small price to pay for this freedom. Not everything I put online was about comics, but the comics stuff really took off. A friend started writing reviews for me. Soon, others reached out to me, and this eventually evolved into Sequart Research & Literacy Organization.

Meanwhile, I’m continuing in academia, moving from a B.A. to an M.A. and then to a Ph.D. program. I enjoyed it very much, but it also gave me the time to work on Sequart, which sort of filled a gap in terms of the coursework offered, which didn’t focus on comics.

The academy was a really blissful place for me. I loved learning. I loved teaching. There too, I’d bend the rules, often in ways that technically fulfilled assignments while also trying out experimental non-fiction techniques. For example, writing two essays, on either side of the page, arguing opposite points in a way that echoed the work’s own ambiguity, each side well-researched and as along as the required paper. Even my thesis on Milton was bizarre. Professors tolerated this sort of thing. Even academic conferences did. Academic culture can be conformist, but its unspoken cardinal rule is to embrace and reward what’s smart. Creative writing professors were also tolerant of experimentation. The publishing world, not so much.

All along, I kept writing fiction. In fact, although 99% of my classes weren’t creative writing, I thought of myself as a writer first. I wrote another sci-fi novel as my honor’s project. I had a few things published, but I wasn’t very proactive about seeking publication. I had distrust, if not actually contempt, for the publishing establishment. I didn’t want to compromise. And silly as it was, I felt like I’d kind of taken my shot, with those scripts that were rejected. Plus, I was in college, so I didn’t need the income too desperately. I was making progress in my degrees and doing Sequart. I had a very zen attitude about creative writing; it would “happen” or it wouldn’t.

This all came to a head in 2009, when I wrapped up everything but my dissertation. I went through a really bad nervous breakdown at the time. The academy had been very good to me. I’d learned a lot, visited foreign countries, had great experiences teaching, written great things and built up a great resume. I’d also built Sequart, which had grown remarkably, thanks to the kindness of so many who liked what it was doing. But I’d always thought of myself as a writer first, even when I’d imagined a lifelong academic career for myself. So there I am, on the verge of getting the vaunted Ph.D., and I’m looking at the future in front of me, and I think, “Fuck. You are a writer first. It’s not just a hobby. This has all been a comfortable way of hiding, hasn’t it? Maybe I should’ve been a starving artist and had no choice but to succeed creatively or die.” It was horrifying.

In early 2010, while I was putting myself back together psychologically and trying to finish my dissertation, I started planning Martian Lit. Not so much as an outgrowth of Sequart, but more as a complement to it, to speak to this side of me that I’d neglected or failed in some way — and now desperately needed to take seriously.

Weirdly, Sequart had paved its own path, exactly the way I’d wanted to do in fiction. Sequart hadn’t compromised. If I could figure out how to do that for creative work, I’d kind of be set, personally. Of course, that’s easier said than done. It’s so easy to get lost in the sea of literary websites and small publishers. So Martian Lit had to be done smartly.

If Martian Lit was an outgrowth of Sequart, it was only in that I’d learned how to be a publisher and how to program and run a website at Sequart. Sequart gave me skills and resources that could benefit Martian Lit. Most of the smart people working for Sequart also have creative sides, and Martian Lit might be a place that could speak to these sides, as it was for me. But they had to be separate, because Sequart takes its mission statement very seriously and has repeatedly turned down requests to produce comic books itself as a conflict of interest. Sequart was doing well, and it couldn’t be compromised. And of course, Martian Lit would inevitably publish things that weren’t to everyone’s taste or that might even be offensive to some. So Martian Lit would have to form its own identity, separate from Sequart’s.

So yes, I see how people see Martian Lit as the outgrowth of Sequart. But that’s not the case, either organizationally or psychologically. In fact, the roots of Martian Lit are even older, at least in my mind and personal history, than those of Sequart. It’s important to me that people understand this.

To get back to your question, I do think Sequart’s more niche. Obviously, the audience for non-fiction about comics, or even movies about comics, is smaller than that for all of fiction. But I think Martian Lit is kind of niche too. American culture especially typically considers fiction only as entertainment, and some supposedly very serious people praise a lot of stuff that’s outright junk. A lot of what gets passed off as serious literature makes me want to vomit, it’s so unreadably bland, so absurdly polite in its mild cultural observations that get praised as revelatory. Ours is an anti-intellectual culture, in a lot of ways, and a lot of readers really rebel against fiction that makes them think, which they see as upsetting, or that does something different. Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not into throwing Molotov cocktails, or writing novels without vowels and the like. That’s done. But I’d like to carve a new path, where high literary values and techniques can be employed for unorthodox or even transgressive themes that leave the reader shaken, or thinking, or truly moved. If Sequart’s promoting comics as a legitimate form of art, Martian Lit is up against the dominant culture and how it sees fiction. I think the mission of Martian Lit is at least as David vs. Goliath as Sequart’s was, when it started.

Sequart’s grown to be a bit of a big fish in a small pond. Comparatively, Martian Lit’s a small fish in an ocean, and it’s swimming against the current. So it’s not niche, but it’s definitely not mainstream either.


DJR: Where do you see Martian Lit in 5 years time? And what would you like to see from the sci-fi dark fantasy fans reading this piece – particularly in regards to those fans considering approaching Martian Lit with submissions?

Martian Lit is expanding, and a lot’s already in the works. It will be doing more books, of different genres, from different authors. It will be moving into producing films and comic books. It’s all got to be done carefully though, so as to retain quality.

I have no idea how big Martian Lit will be, in terms of the market, and I don’t really believe in doing things for that reason. So I make no predictions about that, outside of a general pattern of growth. The only reason sales matter to me is because I like to be able to do right by people and projects I believe in. But Martian Lit’s here for the long haul, and it’s hopefully going to evolve into be a place where smart people can have a lot of opportunities, in various media.

In terms of sci-fi and dark fantasy submissions, what matters most is to make your work smart, which to me means both considered or professional and different or arresting in some way.

On the first point, know how to tell a story. Know grammar. Break both those types of rules, by all means, but do so in ways that communicate you know you’re breaking the rules and have a purpose in doing so. While none of us are perfect, sloppiness is a writer’s biggest enemy because it undermines a reader’s confidence while he or she is reading.

One of the worst things society does for creative people is to pretend it’s all inspiration or ideas or expression. That has a role, of course, especially in the genesis of a story, which often starts in a simple idea or observation. But a work is a particular expression of an idea. A good idea isn’t anything by itself. Kids are wonderfully imaginative generators of wild concepts, but they’re just that — concepts, the germ of a thing, not the thing itself. The challenge is to fit an idea into just the right kind of story that best expresses that idea. And this is what I mean by “considered.” It’s not that anyone else would take the story in the same direction. Such individual variety is part of the joy of reading, of encountering a different mind. But that shouldn’t be an excuse for random or unexamined choices. There should be a sense that the writer knows why every sentence is structured as it is, or why each plot choice was made, so that the whole works as a single unit of meaning. The point isn’t to come up with the same answers as an editor or publisher; there are no right answers. But one should have answers, which means knowing what you’re doing and why, including why the choices you make are better than the alternatives. Why is it first-person? Why does your character have this occupation? Why does he or she do this? Why is the style this way? All of these answers should ideally feel best, or inevitable, or an outgrowth of what the story is doing. In other words, put your story together, from top to bottom, in a considered way, as best you can, and don’t publish or try to publish stuff that isn’t.

On the second point, it’s always important to remember that we live in a multimedia age. The printed word is a weird thing, in a culture where streaming movies are available on our phones. As a writer, you’ve got to compete with all of it. That’s partly why Martian Lit uses artwork, to accompany prose and poetry; the resulting juxtapositions are so much more appealing, more interesting (in my opinion). But as a writer, you’ve still really got to pull people in. That doesn’t necessarily mean shocking them. Ideas and observations can be just as arresting, even life-shaking, as any image. Telling a story in a new or unorthodox way can be arresting too. This can’t always be accomplished, for all people or for all stories; some stories are just by their design more muted than others. But it’s important to at least try to grab readers’ attentions, as much as you can in whatever way you can, because bland writing is bland in any age but especially unpardonable when readers have the TV on, the cellphone ringing, and YouTube a click away.

I should also point out that Martian Lit (like Sequart) is open to submissions from anyone, in any genre. We don’t care about your degrees or previous publications. We just want to get really good stuff out there and have there be more of it in the world.


DJR: Julian. You created Sequart Research & Literacy Organization to publish non-fiction and documentary films on comic books and promote the medium as a legitimate form of art. Sequential art, free of the categorisations of genre. This is a big undertaking and undoubtedly a core passion for you. Sequart focuses on intelligent and meaningful content, that is smart, accessible, and not riddled with jargon or theoretical waffle. You also avoid fannish writing.  So, stringent standards with a high bar for acceptance and yet since starting in the 1990s as a website for your comics scholarship, Sequart has grown considerably to include publishing books by other writers and documentary movies. That’s a laudable achievement. Would you like to expound on this?  And can you highlight the biggest success – in your view? And would you be willing to reveal the most signficant failure (or cringeworthy moment)?

The “analytic but accessible” balance is key for me. When Sequart was founded, the idea that comics were a legitimate form of art was still kind of radical. Today, that’s not the case, but there’s still not much out there that’s truly analytic but also accessible. The fanboy side still tends to avoid analysis — although I must say comics fans are remarkably interested in the history of the medium, and there’s a decades-long culture in comics of analysis going alongside the original work. On the academic side, there’s too much jargon, or a resistance to accessibility, as well as a continuing bias towards against what’s perceived as genre work. (Of course, “high modernist realism” or “autobiography” is genre too — just a more respected one.) Although in this side’s defense, I must say that most academics I know dislike this status quo, even if the journals and university presses don’t. So there’s this wide gap between the two, which I think both sides appreciate more than the other side thinks, and Sequart’s firmly committed to occupying this gap — and expanding it as much as possible.

Sequart’s books were really a logical outgrowth of the website. The movies were a logical outgrowth of the books. It’s been a wild ride, and none of it would have been possible without the many very talented people who have contributed to the website, the books, and the movies. We really see our central job at Sequart to facilitate these projects and make them as good as can be, and we pride ourselves on being fair to everyone and focusing on the person or the project at hand. We do this because we love comics and smart criticism of them. Everything’s flowed organically from that.

There have been some landmark successes along the way. The first few books and first few movies really stand out, in my mind, because they were so tenuous, so new. But really, I’m still blown away by the fact that anyone shares this vision or cares about what we do. So many people have just seen Sequart and wanted to contribute, and I’m very mindful of how amazing this is and how much we owe to them. There’s just so much goodwill, and so many talented people who have been involved. It still boggles my brain to see a review on Wired, or to talk to a comics professional I admire who couldn’t be nicer. People like to trash talk the industry, and it’s got some problems, but 99% of the people in it are really cool people who are only in it because they truly love comics. That’s constantly refreshing and invigorating.

Sequart’s had its fair shares of setbacks too. We’re our own worst critics, and there’s always stuff we need to improve. A major one is that we’re way too busy, and there’s so little revenue to play with, and everything inevitably takes longer than you think it will. Stuff gets delayed, and communication sometimes falters. We’re working on that, and we have frank and very self-critical discussions in-house about it. It’s just always hard, when you realize you need 48 hours in a day to get done what you need to get done. We need clones of ourselves, seriously. The best thing I can say is that we’re always improving.

The most cringe-worthy moments, though, are when we spot typos — especially in printed books. It drives us crazy, and it happens no matter how many hundreds of hours go into editing — and no matter how many dozens of people proofread. We’ve found and corrected things like repeated words, or misspellings of simple words, which all these eyes (including mine) went over, and all these brains simply read what they expected based on the preceding words, not what was there. It’s agonizing to discover such a thing and think about how many people have read it, but it’s also agonizing to think there are more out there undiscovered.


Why Comics Matter #1: Introduction

A lecture by Dr. Julian Darius


DJR: You often heap praise upon your “partner in crime” Mike Phillips. Is Mike involved in Martian Lit at all or are his talents ring-fenced around Sequart?

He’s totally Sequart. For those who don’t know, Mike is Sequart’s second-in-command, and he’s a genius at brainstorming and coordinating. He makes things happen, and he’s also got the same high standards I do and the same belief in what we’re doing. Also, he’s awesome at everything I suck at, so it works really well. I simply couldn’t do it without him, and he constantly makes me better. So much at Sequart would have been impossible without him. When I hear of other people’s dreams, or fledgling organizations, I tell them to keep at it and hope they one day find their own Mike Phillips.

On the Martian Lit side, I want to give a shout-out to Jeff Chon, who runs Martian Lit’s website. His instincts about writing are uncanny, and I trust him about what to publish more than I do myself. This is a guy equally comfortable with cutting-edge fiction and with experimental non-fiction, with politics and with pop culture. He wrote extensively for Sequart’s website in the past, so he knows and loves comics too. Jeff’s a great writer too, and he’s also the nicest guy. He’s gone above and beyond, again and again, and I couldn’t do Martian Lit without him! If there’s any justice in the world, he’ll be the darling of the literary set himself in five years. I and Martian Lit are absurdly lucky to have him.


DJR: Is it ever the case that your non-profit, high-brow and niche focus results in the big commercial folks giving you the baleful eye, and the general masses glancing at your “odd profile” with a lack of comprehension before… moving on?  I’m couching this in a non-critical tone. It’s like you exist out in the open but in reality it requires people to have the correct set of eyes to see you clearly. Perhaps you’re just an acquired taste?  What do you think?

You shouldn’t couch it in a non-critical tone! Blast away! I find what others think fascinating. I really want to know!

And if I’ve required you to adopt a “hit me again!” mentality (as you put it in your rather delightful introduction), I can hardly object to being hit back.

I guess the short answer is something akin to “I am who I am, and fuck people who don’t get it.” But I do recognize that this is a practical issue, and it’s not like I haven’t thought about it.

In fact, this apparent contradiction was one reason I used to keep my creative side more hidden. When Sequart was still in its infancy, it was important not to make it “the Julian Darius organization.” It had to be more than me, and I always wanted it to survive me. I often took a back seat for this reason. I didn’t want to be the public face of it. By the time I was conceiving of Martian Lit, I couldn’t hide this creative side of me anymore. At the same time, the feeling in-house at Sequart that the organization had matured enough and gained enough of a reputation that it now made sense to highlight my strengths, rather than hide them. It was a tenuous adjustment, but one I think has been made successfully. But in terms of your question, this odd combination people now see in my public persona is the result of this evolution, both at Sequart and in me personally.

Still, I recognize that it can seem… odd, or hard to reconcile at first glance. If you read blogs about how to market yourself as a writer, they will definitely tell you not to do what I’m doing. And a lot of writers have multiple accounts, like one for themselves and one for their writing persona. That’s simply not my style. Even if the result is a bit confusing to the newcomer, I hate that kind of bifurcation, or having to hide parts of myself. Life’s too short for it. And there’s always a Sequart account and a Martian Lit account, for those who prefer only one, or can’t tolerate my political tweets, or whatever.

Those same advice blogs on writing, by the way, will go so far as to tell you that if you write in a different genre, create a pen name for it. The idea is to build a following for a very limited kind of story, then never deviate from what your audience expects. It’ll confuse them. And that’s fair, because that audience has effectively been trained to expect one thing, then given another. That’s very much not my intention, as a writer, so this kind of approach doesn’t make sense for me.

Let’s imagine that I did catch the eye of a big commercial person for my fiction. It’s not like I would stop writing about comics, or that no one would find out I had. Equally, were I picked up for a certain genre, I couldn’t forever stop writing in any others. I’ve always felt, whether it’s applying for a job or applying to a university, that it’s best to not hide who you are. Because the worst-case scenario isn’t that someone says no. It’s that they say yes and then you find out it’s not really a good fit.

So if the limited genre path trains readers to expect that, I’m kind of doing the opposite. I’m signalling that yes, I will be doing these different sort of things, I will mouth off about this or that, and if it’s unified by anything it’s just that it’s smartly done and of high quality, whatever it is. (At least, that’s what I hope I’m signalling, rather than, say, mental illness.)

If I’m out for world domination, as you ponder in your intro (I’m not denying it), I want the world to come willingly to me, recognizing the wisdom of my rule, rather than fitting myself into the mold of its divine emperor. A “come hither” look is optional, world, if you’re reading.

But yeah, I’d love a big commercial deal, or a million readers. But I wouldn’t sacrifice the integrity of my work to get it, nor hide portions of myself or my resume. I’m quite sure that would backfire, and I’m probably incapable of it anyway. I’m not someone who’s ever going to fit comfortably into an existing audience, or piggyback easily on an existing trend. If I make it big, it’ll be because I established my own audience, who accepts me as I am and knows what they’re getting. For me, the only possible route to a large audience is to build one for myself, which gains its own momentum. If the big commercial opportunities come, they’ll come because I’ve already got a name for myself, not because I’m going to be the next John Locke or write the next Twilight.

As for the general masses, perhaps what you say is true. But I would feel so disingenuous, pretending I were a fiction author or a comics scholar and not both. Or suppressing my thoughts about politics, for fear of alienating one audience or the other. I refuse to live my life that way. And everything I’ve seen in life suggests to me that, if you are unapologetically yourself, more people will respect you for it than reject you for it. Trying and failing isn’t the end of the world. Compromising yourself or your work, in a way that haunts you, is far, far worse.

You may also be referencing a certain flamboyance that I have online. Or a certain arrogance. That’s totally fair, and there’s a degree of playfulness there. To me, it’s entertaining. It’s part of why I like tweeting so much; the strict character limit forces you to be pithy, and there’s not room for all the usual caveats I’d normally want to insert to be fair to everyone.

Personally, I like writers who are more than one thing. They’re smart and observant, and their views of the world or their other interests are fascinating to me. I don’t have to agree with all of it to find it valuable, or their work good. The question isn’t whether you agree, but whether it’s right, or makes you think, or expresses something in an interesting way.

I could go on about how it’s important to challenge the way people, especially writers or intellectuals, tend to get categorized and the way this damages all of us. I’m very passionate about that and about the need to “come out,” if you will, be it as a writer, an intellectual, or whatever you see as part of your identity. And I don’t think these parts of myself, or my resume, are really all that more difficult to reconcile than “mother” and “fantasy writer,” to which elements like “football fan” and “Christian” can comfortably be thrown in. It’s just those seem to fit, or go on different lines of someone’s mental profile of a person, whereas I can seem initially to be this bizarre contradiction.

And to me, fiction and non-fiction are not as different as we think. They both start with an observation or an idea. It’s just that non-fiction teases out the implications in a straightforward way, whereas fiction dramatizes these implications and seeks a literary structure that best fits the results. For example, if you realize a fictional work you like ignores a woman’s point of view, you could write an essay about its male outlook. But you could also write a similar work from a woman’s point of view, concocting a story around that. The results look very different, but both are creative and both are critical.

And while I try to make my fiction accessible, the same way I try to keep Sequart accessible, my fiction — and that published by Martian Lit — isn’t exactly dumb stuff, any more than Sequart is. A lot of it’s very challenging, though hopefully also enjoyable or fascinating or deeply disturbing in the best kind of way. And to the extent that it explores outre themes, I think it helps to have that highbrow legitimization, the same way my academic credentials help Sequart mainstream comics criticism. For example, my novel Nira/Sussa takes great pains to elevate the transgressive, even the pornographic, to the level of the “highest” literature, and I see this as quite parallel to the same way Sequart attempts to take the “lowly” comic book seriously. And if Martian Lit publishes a genre story, or a story with “shocking” content, it’s got a certain highbrow seal of approval as a result — which isn’t to say it’s inaccessible, merely that there’s more going on than readers who might initially dismiss it would suspect.

But yeah, I know it’s hard to figure out what the hell this Julian Darius guy is. It makes for some very odd explanations on dates, believe me. I can’t tell you the quizzical looks I’ve gotten, accompanied by “So what do you do again?”


DJR: Finally, what’s hot off the press or soon to be released that you’d like to shout about?

Sequart’s publishing a book by Tom Shapira on Grant Morrison and Chris Weston’s The Filth. Chris Weston let us print a bunch of original art for it, including preliminary designs and some pages that were censored in the printed version. He, Grant, and inker Gary Erskine all did interviews for the book. And Shapira’s observations are brilliant.

Sequart’s got a pretty full plate. It will shortly be publishing an anthology on Marvel’s Daredevil. We’ve also got a whole bunch of books in process, including a few books by me and a couple on Warren Ellis’s work. We’ve got three movies in process, including The Image Revolution (about Image Comics, which is almost done and really lovely), another on Chris Claremont, and another on Fredric Wertham. A lot of these projects have long lead times, but they’ll get done eventually.

On the Martian Lit front, we have a number of books in process from various authors, which I can’t formally announce at the moment. The same is true with the projects in other media. They’ll be news shortly.

Personally, I’ve got about a dozen half-completed novels and lots of short stories, but I have to clear the decks a bit at both Sequart and Martian Lit before I can focus on these. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, and I need a lot of time (usually about a year) to let my fiction gel. Some of the best insights come during this time, when the perfect ending or how to interweave a theme will occur to me. Even if this doesn’t happen, I need a lot of time to read with new eyes and make sure it’s as good as it can be. For me, anyway, it’s so much harder than non-fiction.

Thank you so much, David, for your interest in Martian Lit and for this opportunity. It’s really very kind of you, and I hope people reciprocate by checking out your own work!


About Julian Darius:

In 1996, while still an undergraduate, Dr. Julian Darius founded what would become Sequart Research & Literacy Organization, which publishes non-fiction and documentary films on comic books and promotes the medium as a legitimate form of art. After graduating magna cum laude from Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin), he obtained his M.A. in English, authoring a thesis on John Milton and utopianism. In 2002, he moved to Waikiki, teaching college while obtaining an M.A. in French (high honors) and a Ph.D. in English. In 2011, he founded Martian Lit. His blog is Fire Pug Kills Eight. He currently lives in Illinois.

Julian Darius books available from Amazon






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