Na-Cosboom! Superhero-ing with Leigh Wallace

Super­heroes! Who doesn’t like them? These days, nobody, that’s who! And now that the (Cap­tain) Dead­pool movie has rev­o­lu­tion­ized movie heroes through the addi­tion of ram­pant obscen­i­ties, the sky’s the lim­it, baby!

Today’s sound effect. Click to embiggen.

In coop­er­a­tion with EDGE Pub­lish­ing, I here­by present for your enjoy­ment The Super­hero Uni­verse Inter­views, a series of (duh) super­fi­cial inter­views with many of those brave souls who risked life, limb, and writ­ers’ cramp to con­tribute to Super­hero Uni­verse, the nine­teenth (It’s the Dug­gar fam­i­ly of anthol­o­gy series! But nowhere near as creepy and over­ex­posed!) iter­a­tion of EDGE’s vast­ly acclaimed, fan­tas­tic Cana­di­an fic­tion anthol­o­gy series Tesser­acts.

Please note that I am not only a fan of the book; I’m also a mem­ber. Mine own weird lit­tle hero epic “SÜPER” has found a cozy space in its pages, and is even now anx­ious­ly await­ing your perusal and/or approval. Love me, dammit!

Click here for infor­ma­tion on how to pur­chase your very own copy of Super­hero Uni­verse.

And click here for a brief pdf sam­ple of all the sto­ries.

Today’s author: Leigh Wallace

Leigh Wal­lace

Leigh Wal­lace is a writer, artist and pub­lic ser­vant liv­ing in Ottawa. She has recent­ly had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to nar­rate for Glit­ter­ship. You can find her (elec­tron­i­cal­ly) at and @leighwalla.

Tell us about your sto­ry, “Bed­time for Super­heroes.”

It does what it says on the box. An old­er woman is wait­ing for her fam­i­ly of super­heroes to come home from a day of bat­tling vil­lainy.

How did the idea come about?

This sto­ry grew very grad­u­al­ly over sev­er­al years. I came up with the char­ac­ters first and orig­i­nal­ly want­ed to draw them as a com­ic but couldn’t pull off the right style and pac­ing. Then I wrote it as prose and work­shopped it at Viable Par­adise, fol­low­ing which I made some major changes. I grew a lot with this piece.

Were there any super­hero-relat­ed pitfalls/clichés that you strug­gled with?

This sto­ry inher­ent­ly works out­side of the tra­di­tion­al super­hero nar­ra­tive. There is no fight­ing and very lit­tle ten­sion. Because of this, I was work­ing from a place that was far away from where the stan­dard tropes tend to take root.

What do you think of the resur­gence in super­hero movies and tele­vi­sion shows?

I love liv­ing in a super­hero-sat­u­rat­ed era but even more, I love the unex­pect­ed sto­ries that are hap­pen­ing out­side of the major stu­dios, such as Steven Uni­verse, and the pro­lif­er­a­tion of indie works that are made pos­si­ble by the cur­rent cul­tur­al cli­mate (like Super Mutant Mag­ic Acad­e­my and Won­derel­la).

Which super­hero could you see your­self being best pals with?

Def­i­nite­ly Steven Uni­verse. Every­one is best pals with Steven Uni­verse, they just don’t know it yet.

Best supervil­lain?

A cer­tain angry lit­tle slice of pie from Steven Uni­verse.

What’s the one super­hero cliché you hate above all oth­ers?

Actu­al­ly, I pre­fer when sto­ries don’t revolve around fight­ing, odd­ly enough. I like when super­heroes have sup­port­ive rela­tion­ships and pet dogs and eat shawar­ma or “togeth­er break­fast.” I love small, in-between moments. That’s where I wrote “Bed­time for Super­heroes.”

Which do you pre­fer, super­hero sto­ries of a “real­is­tic and grit­ty” nature or sto­ries of a more fan­tas­ti­cal bent?

I will pass on grimwashed anti­heroes; I like my tights-clad mutants and aliens to be colour­ful and joy­ful. The biggest exam­ple of this is Steven Uni­verse. Did I men­tion I real­ly like Steven Uni­verse? What were we talk­ing about, again?

Super­hero Uni­verse: Tesser­acts Nine­teen

Pur­chase your own copy of Super­hero Uni­verse (you know you want one) at: