The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

‘The Sequence’ draws outside the lines

The Sequence Fall 2020 cover.

There is a wealth of student-led publication options at Grinnell for artists — from literary pieces in the Grinnell Review to full-length works published through the Press to the sartorial splendor documented in Gogue — to participate in. However, when none of these are exactly what you’re looking for, it’s time to turn to the Sequence.  

“The magazine was founded after a couple of students’s comics were rejected from Grinnell Review,” said Lizzy Zerez `22 of the art and comic zine’s formation in 2004. “We actually didn’t know this history until we made an Instagram account for the publication a couple of years ago, because a founding student had found it and messaged us.”  

Zerez serves alongside Caroline Shea `22 as a media head for the Sequence. Shea noted that the publication’s enduring legacy provides a unique backdrop for new submissions. 

“It’s so cool to see this kind of snapshot into what people were doing/thinking then and for us to contribute to that archive now,” said Shea.  

The Sequence creates a space for art forms and artists that are irreverent, unorthodox, and often delegitimized by the art world at large. This ideology has fed 18 years of students’s ideas spanning comedy, drama and even horror.  

Zerez’s relationship with the Sequence began after she submitted work her first year here at Grinnell. She assumed the position of media head in the fall of her second year.  

“We like to think of art as a process, and that all parts of that process are valid,” said Zerez. “Submissions can be funny, serious, strange, critical, etc. — or a combination of many things.” 

Formally a freelance publication, the Sequence recently switched to a larger hired staff model.  “One of the major ethos of The Sequence is publishing and paying for work that is more informal than what you might make in a studio class or show in a gallery,” said Shea. “The college has so many resources, and we think paying students for their art is an important way to facilitate their continued making.” 

Recently, the Sequence combined their 2021 spring and fall issues due to the quandaries of pandemic printing and distribution. “We weren’t able to put out our spring 2021 edition, so when we all got back to campus in fall 2021, we decided to do a joint edition to make up that previous semester,” said Zerez. 

Going forward, the Sequence plans to expand their reach by digitally archiving past editions and even creating a digital section on the publication’s history. Zerez expressed that even though she is graduating in May, she is hopeful for the Sequence’s future.  

“I love comics and graphic novels and love how Sequence has connected me with other students who feel the same and see this value in a hybrid art form,” said Zerez.  

“It makes me so happy there is interest, excitement, and care in this kind of work. I’m so excited to see how it will continue to grow over time.”

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