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Issue 6

Raw Reality


This issue marks the one-year mark for Next Page Ink Magazine. For the last year we have made it our goal to feature hardworking artists looking to show their work to the world. And I believe we have succeeded in that. Watching the submissions flow in on deadline day is so exhilarating. Not only because I like seeing that I am not the only one that waits until the last minute but also, it amazes me to see how much our submitters believe in themselves by putting their work on our site.

In college I focused my time on videography and photography, but I have never featured any of my work in an issue. I learned during my time in college that I really enjoyed Web design and Journalism, and my art has fallen off. When Will and Cheryl came to me looking for a web designer, I was excited to finally utilize my college degree rather than exclusively sling drinks at the local chain Italian restaurant (They don’t like us using their name online). A year ago, that is all I was, the web designer. I never thought I would be Judging works in our first writing contest or even be pitching new ideas for the issues to Cheryl and Will.

This will be the first issue I have contributed to personally, and it won’t be the last. I think I speak for the three of us here at Next Page Ink when I say, thank you for all the support this past year. Thank you again from me personally for inspiring me to not only design the site but participate and immortalize my work here as well. 

This issue’s theme is Raw Reality. This site is the embodiment of that to me. Watching artists submit their works to the world to see is inspiring. Reading someone’s poem, short story, essay or listening to their music or examining the photos and paintings gives one of the truest looks into the human soul, and that is Raw Reality.

-Dakota Smith

Web Designer, Next Page Ink

Art and Photos

This is a piece I created in response to the rise in hate crimes against Asian people in America since Covid-19 hit, but also to depict the struggles Asian people have always faced in America—that have been present since the very beginning. My inclusion and representation of the different regions of Asia speak to how we do not “all look the same,” are a diverse/wide range of people, and fight the too commonly overlooked stereotypes that come with being a minority in the U.S. 


This painting was done in acrylic using a squeegee method, and pen ink for the faces. The American flag colored strokes over their facial features (mainly mouths) symbolize the censorship, gaslighting, and silencing Asian people face in this country. 

Short Stories


Issue 6 Recommendations

Want to try something new?

Check out our recommendations!

Directed by: Garth Davis

A young boy in India falls asleep on a train, but doesn't find his home again until 25 years later. A remarkable true story. 

Available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

The Metamorphosis
By: Franz Kafka

I know it’s hardly revolutionary to recommend a piece of classic literature, and it might seem strange to recommend a novella about a man who transforms into a giant bug for the “Raw Reality” issue, but Kafka’s most-well known work could not be a better fit in my opinion. A tragic story highlighting the devastating and dehumanizing effects of capitalism and the selfishness of those around you. It is a short read that will leave you breathless and aching for an escape from a world that seems bent on exploiting us.

Available wherever comics are sold

Bojack Horseman
Created by: Raphael Bob-Waksberg

Watch as a struggling sitcom actor from the 90's falls apart over the course of 5 incredibly heartfelt seasons. I will always look at this show as one of the few truly perfect series I have ever watched. Sure, it's animated and about a humanoid horse, doesn't mean it can't feel as raw and personal as any true story.

Available to stream on Netflix




Acreton by Evan Jackewicz

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Issue 7: Theme


Deadline for Submissions:
August 10, 2021

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