Ballad of an AfroGeek

This is the cover image of my upcoming book: "Diary of an AfroGeek."
This is the cover image of my upcoming book: “Diary of an AfroGeek.”
Being an AfroGeek is all about being comfortable, and expecting, to hold immense contradictions. It is loving Firefly, Serenity, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but having a strong feeling that Joss Whedon doesn’t love you back. It is about getting into passionate discussions about why and how Storm’s original mohawk incarnation was one of the more powerful political statements in comics, but being appalled at how uninteresting she became when she married Black Panther. Unknown

And then being even angrier when their marriage ended. It is about spending your hard earned cash and carving out time to attend SF film’s the day they open only to find that, on the screen, people who look like you don’t exist, die early, or are simply used as wallpaper to try and provide the illusion of diversity. It is taking a critical microscope to the first two Blade  films (the third one should never be spoken of) and parse out the implicit and explicit Africaneity of the character and the films. It is also going to the mat with anyone who disagrees with you that if it weren’t for the first Blade film, X-Men (2000) would have taken longer to reach the screen. Yes, I said it. If it weren’t for Blade the X-Men film would have languished longer. Hey Marvel “phase film” fans, bow down to Wesley Snipes and Blade and thank them for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"You're welcome, MCU fan folks."
“You’re welcome, MCU fan folks.”

***

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Creating a Perfect Storm

At a time when many comics fans are clamoring for more gender and race representation in superhero comics, one character has been the benchmark for strong women heroes of color for decades. And the X-Men’s Storm is currently receiving a bit of a creative renaissance with Marvel recently launching her first ever solo series.

On the latest episode of Hard N.O.C. Life, guest host Shawn Taylor (@reallovepunk) discusses the importance of the character with an all-star panel: Storm writer Greg Pak (@gregpak), actress Maya Glick (@MayaSokora) — creator of the Kickstarted Storm fan film Rain, and Storm superfan Jamie Broadnax of @BlackGirlNerds.

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If Captain America Were in Ferguson…

One of the biggest stories in comics and pop culture over the summer was from Marvel Comics showing their efforts in creating diverse characters. Much to a lot of fans’ dismay, they made Thor a woman and Captain America a black man. Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon) is now officially Captain America.

While working today through my anger at the Ferguson, MO story — which is still unfolding — I wondered what Sam would do if he were a real person.

So, I did this image to deal with the madness.

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N.O.C. One-Shot: The Origin of Black Girl Nerds

In this debut N.O.C. One-Shot extra, Shawn Taylor and Jamie Broadnax discuss the origins of Black Girl Nerds. The website and twitter account that has quickly become the go-to destination for live tweeting, news sharing, and culture critiquing for discerning blerds on the internet.

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The Way of the Dragon: The Career of Cung Le

Just to get the obvious out of the way: Cung Le is no Bruce Lee. Nobody ever will be. That said, I don’t think anyone else currently walks in the shadow of The Dragon quite like Dragon Eyes. As he trains for his next UFC headlining Fight Night in Macau on August 23 against Michael Bisping, I thought it would be fun to point out some similarities between Lee and Le and why, whether you’re into Mixed Martials Arts (MMA) or not, it will be worth getting up early on a Saturday morning to watch the fight.

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Genius: The Tipping Point

by Marc Bernardin

[Ed. note: This essay first appeared as a series of tweets on Marc's twitter account and is being re-presented with his permission.]

The six years between the  Pilot Season issue release and the miniseries dropping [last week] felt like an eternity. But now, it feels like the world was making us wait for just the right time. When the hunger for female leads would reach a tipping point. When the hunger for diversity on and behind the comics pages would reach a tipping point. And, sadly, when the devaluation of black youth would reach a tipping point.

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The Carcosa Interview: Greg Pak

by William Evans | Originally posted at Black Nerd Problems

At Black Nerd Problems, two types of people that will always appeal to us are: 1) those that “get it” when it comes to diversity and representation in our geekdom and 2) really smart individuals. Greg Pak is both of those. As the comic book writer responsible for Batman/Superman, Action Comics’ recent resurgence, the most heralded Incredible Hulk books in the last ten years and the first ongoing series for Storm, Pak has made a huge impact in the comic book world. But as we found out, there’s still a lot more beyond comics that make him such an interesting talent.

This interview could’ve been three times as long, but not wanting to keep the man from all this good work he’s involved in, we got to talk about the politician that never was, beating down superheroes, and I even snuck in a little bit of NBA talk.

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R.I.P. Robin Williams

Like most of the world, we were shocked to hear of the passing of Robin Williams last night. It’s hard to crystallize all of the emotions that come when a beloved personality passes away. Shock gives way to grief and then finally reflection. There are countless tributes and eulogies celebrating Williams’ life and career all over the internet. Here, we’re going to remember the roles and memories that have touched our lives and will continue to bring joy and laughter to generations to come.

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