Very few people I know have any knowledge of who Black Alice is. In short, she’s a teenage witch with a gothic sense of style that exists within the DC comics universe. She has the power to steal other magickal users powers, leaving them temporary powerless in return. I’m not going to get too deep into her origin, as I already gone into it in my intro post to my Black Alice tumblr here.
Black Alice is a character that means a whole hell of a lot to me.
I first came across her while checking out the comic series, Bird’s Of Prey, as per the recommendation from a friend from my local comic shop, Boscos Comics in Anchorage, Alaska. I first noticed her in Bird’s Of Prey #121, the issue where BOP member, Misfit attends Platinum Flats High School, a school where the outcasts, nerds, etc. are the ruling elite. Black Alice, whose real name is Lori Zechlin, caught my eye with her dark sense of style. It was like looking in a mirror, somewhat. So, I did what any curious comic fan would do. I checked wikipedia, google, & many comic book resource sites for info about this new character that I was so mysteriously drawn to.
After obviously picking up every single issues she’s ever appeared in–literally–One thing became very clear to me:
This girl was three dimensional & flawed.
She’s insecure, awkward, angry, confused, & scared & jumps to conclusions. She’s smart, naive, she’s sarcastic, immature, she’s kind, and she cares very deeply for those closest to her….
She’s also a lone wolf. A loner. An outsider.
But unlike me, Lori is dealing with something very horrible that happened in her past. One day, coming home from school, she found her mother face down in her swimming pool in the backyard, her mother having committed suicide out of shame for being addicted to prescription pills. That same night, Lori discovered her powers and what she could do with them. So, confused, unfocused, hurt, & full of rage, she took her anger out by finding & killing any drug dealer she could find in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio–perhaps thinking that somehow it would help ease her pain, in light of what had happened. The Bird’s Of Prey stepping in–right before she did some serious damage to her ex boyfriend, Kyle was probably the one thing that kept her from crossing into a whole other moral compass, one where there’s no turning back.
And you know something? That’s probably some of the only help she’s gotten–from Huntress, Oracle, & Black Canary.
The rest? She’s had to figure that out all on her own.
As I said before, her powers are unfocused–and I’m not just talking about her magickal powers either–most importantly:
She’s very alienated by the people in her life.
Her family, and what few friends she has, may care about her to some degree, but that doesn’t mean they get her. I mean really get her, both on a mental & emotional level. That’s not to say that they need to be her, because of course her experience is her experience…But…
She has very little support. There is this indifference to her from those in her life. And there is definitely no empathy. None. There may have been on Huntress’s part in Bird’s Of Prey #76, when Helena shared with Lori that she lost her parents too & gave her a card if she ever needed to talk…However…
No one has ever sat down with her, held both her hands & said something along the lines of “Look, you are not alone. You are never alone. You have support. And you have someone who is willing to listen, to understand as best I can to know where you are coming from, & help you as best I can. You have people who love you very very much & care about you very deeply. People who don’t want to see you hurt…Or you hurt yourself. “
That is what Lori needs. It’s something I had almost none of growing up. This is one of the reasons I can relate to her so well.
Especially now. Right now. At a time in my life where things are far from easy going. I definitely have a lot to be grateful for though. I get plenty of financial support from my family, I’m very self aware. I know things a lot of people my age take a life time to figure out, & all around lead a pretty privileged life…Not for a second do I ever take any of that for granted. But that still doesn’t mean that I don’t feel alone emotionally some of the time.
I am going to do something I’ve not done before, and that’s to be brutally honest here, because I’m hoping it will help someone in need. So I’ll share my experience. I’m prone to depression. I do the best that I can to work through whatever issues face me now, or I still need to face from the past. Twice in the two last year I called the Suicide Prevention hotline just to talk to someone, because no one seemed to listen or care, even after expressing myself to friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, & in real life. And just to clear something up first and foremost: I would never ever ever take my own life. I am strong & I have so much to offer this world in this life. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had thoughts of harming myself…Thoughts are thoughts and we all have to learn not to listen to every single thought that comes into our minds.
It’s can be tough growing up. Especially if you’re having to figure things out on your own. All by yourself. But let me just tell you that you are never fully alone. And you may not see or feel it now, but people do care. They sometimes just either don’t know how to show it, or maybe they just haven’t found you yet. Maybe they’re still yet to enter your life.
Many of the people working for the Suicide Prevention Hotline want to help. In fact, the last couple of times they’ve talked to me, they’ve shared their own stories…and have said some really encouraging things that helped give me hope & lift me up. If anything, they can give you information on where you can get help in your community, and give you the best support they know. Here is their hotline number:
Suicide Prevention Hotline: #1-800-273-8255
I think this is why Black Alice has been so important to me. Because she definitely reminds me that I’m not alone in my own personal fight to stay strong, in spite of the crappy things that may be going on around me. Bless Gail Simone for creating such a beautifully flawed character.
The way I see it, like me, Black Alice has a whole lot of potential and a whole lifetime ahead of her.
What Lori needs is a mentor.
She needs someone–preferably someone who has magickal based powers–who can help bring or lead her into focusing and having better control over her powers. Someone who can show her that ALL of her actions–both good & bad–have consequences. And one of great importance: How she could use this very powerful gift as a way to help humanity as a whole.
I’d like to share a dream I had last week about Black Alice. I recently attended San Diego Comic Con 2011, most of you know that it’s the worlds largest comic book convention–now becoming trickier to get into, due to Hollywood making its move to promote itself & word by the interwebs.
Well, I had a dream that I had my four day pass, and I was waiting in line. I wasn’t sure if I was waiting in line to get into SDCC…or if I was waiting to get a pass for SDCC 2012…Anyway! The point is, I had just gotten through SDCC 2011, and had a hell of a good time! Which is equally true in real life. While in line, I was wearing my Mary Marvel Black Alice costume, and hiding from a group of people whom were after me. I didn’t know who they were or why they wanted what they wanted from me…All I knew is that they were after my memories of San Diego Comic Con. They wanted to take my memories. My hope. My power. So, I took them on a wild goose chase. I even used the power of my mind to fly–and I’m talking about the lucid dream type of flying where it actually FEELS real. …Like, this is what it would be like to fly if we could fly in real life type of flying. It was funny watching them try to grab at me while I lifted myself higher & higher and yelled “Ha ha! You can’t get me from up here!”
When they finally did catch me, I made them think they stole my memories, but giving them a copy of my thoughts. The originals were stored in a box in my mind. That sent them on their way. Little did the fools know that I wouldn’t willingly give up without a fight.
Personally, I think it was about rising above the curve balls life has thrown me thus far. Both in speaking my mind, and not letting or giving into anyone telling me that I can’t do what I was destined to do in this life.
That is what Black Alice has given me.
Wisdom comes at any age.
That is one of many things that I’ve learned in my short life time.
You know who you are. And if you don’t, you will.
After more than a year of procrastinating on putting this blog together, I’m finally doing it. Sometimes you just have to move whatever it is that’s blocking you out of your way. Even if it’s yourself. No one is perfect–And you have to start somewhere. Having said that:
Who am I?
My name is Elena. But you can call me whatever you want. On Tumblr, Twitter, & the inner & outer reaches of the interwebzverse I’m known as JesterWitch. And with that knowledge, you can even call me Jesty.
I am an avid geek! I read comics, I watch cartoons, I create works of art, and am a HUGE Batman fan, more so of Joker & Harley Quinn, but have more of a huge appreciation of the communities of Gotham City in general.
I’m originally from Anchorage, Alaska. But am slowly but surely relocating to New York. I attend SUNY Oswego and am studying creative writing in upstate Oswego, NY. It’s a small town. Don’t care for the town or school much, but I have two semesters to go, so I’m sticking with it! I do enjoy the program though!
My main goal this year is to get my writing portfolio started & finished, and have found a way to attain self-employment, making a substantial amount of income by May/June 2012.
Storytelling is my absolute passion. It’s always been my dream to become a published writer. My ultimate goal is to writing for episodic television, specifically for animation and live action programming that appeals to teens & YA–and to some degree, writing for comic books. Having said that, I feel a very deep connection to perpetual underdog characters whom are teenagers & young adults, especially characters whom are torn in two different directions, and need to make a choice. Characters that are or have been bullied, wounded in someway, & have to constantly & consistently fight the prejudice, discrimination that’s working against them every. single. day. All because they are different in someway. It is never easy to deal with, but for lots of us, it gets better or will get better.
All of my stories are character driven.
Issues of women, people of all ethnicities, LGBTQ’s, & anyone who feels like an outsider are all things I’d like to explore in different mediums of story telling.
I strive to speak the truth in everything I write. The truth about the different groups of people that exist in the world is very important to me. One thing I definitely am aware of and know for a fact:
I have a lot to learn.
A good friend of mine, Denny Upkins once said “Just because you’re a minority in one aspect, doesn’t mean that you’re not privileged in another.”
As a white female, who struggles in some aspects of my life, I will never know the true struggles that a woman of color has to face on a daily basis.
The best thing one can do is:
No. Really listen.
Understand that we are all human and that everyone deserves respect & for their stories to be heard.
Part of what I hope to accomplish with this blog is focusing on & spot lighting characters, stories, & any news in comics, television, & film, that are about young people. That’s not to say that I won’t be focusing on anyone but teenagers and young adults! I do see a lack of blogs that focus on specifically youth characters within comics, television, & entertainment in general. Maybe I’m wrong. Don’t quote me on that. LOL!
This is a space where all my readers are safe to be themselves. You will never be judged here.
I plan to update this blog every other day. That is what I’m striving towards.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, etc. don’t hesitate to ask.