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Jason Chu on the Marvels of Hip-Hop and Comics

In a special edition of Hard NOC Life, guest host Nelson Wong (@aarisings) has a one-on-one with Los Angeles-based rapper Jason Chu (@jasonchumusic) about his latest single Marvels and the Kickstarter-funded music video to accompany the song.

Also, if you’re a comic book or action figure collector and have some great superhero collectibles — or a great cosplay outfit — in the LA Area and want to potentially be featured in the Marvels video, please email jasonchumusic@gmail.com

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Not That Creepy Internet Guy: How GamerGate Gave Geeks a Bad Name

Originally posted at Salon.com

We’re now three months in, and the social media-based “consumer revolt” against the “progressive agenda” of the gaming press, known as GamerGate, shows no signs of abating.

I’ve gotten to know a lot of the industry personalities that GamerGate has targeted for bizarre charges of “corruption” and “nepotism” since this mess started. I’ve come to consider some of them friends, if only Twitter friends. And my frustration and anger at the hounds of GamerGate biting at their heels has increased in proportion.

But it didn’t become personal for me until Felicia Day, an actress and writer who created the popular web series The Guild, dared write one blog post speaking out against GamerGate, talking about how scared she was of being targeted and “doxxed” (having documentation of her personal details revealed online) by gamergaters, only to be immediately doxxed in response.

Not because I know Felicia Day or have any sort of relationship with her, but because I don’t. Let me explain.

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Tanuj Chopra’s Chee and T Told with G.I. Joe Figures

Chee and T is the newest film by my homie Tanuj Chopra (Punching at the Sun, Nice Girls Crew) and is currently being funded on Indiegogo. With a little less than two weeks left in the campaign, his crew has pulled out all the stops to reach their $75,000 goal. Right now, the project is about 65% of the way there, but they need one last push to get it over the top.

So what better way to raise awareness for their movie than getting a bunch of classic G.I. Joe action figures and reenacting the movie?

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I’m Happy for Black Panther… However…

Originally posted at The Fool’s Crusade

If you haven’t heard by now, Marvel Entertainment has announced a Black Panther movie and the Black geek community has gone bonkers with virtual high-fives and backflips about the fact that they’re finally getting a big-budget superhero movie with a Black lead.

I’ve never been a fan of the Black Panther (my favorite Black superhero from Marvel was Night Thrasher from the New Warriors) but I will definitely check out the movie when it is released.

One of the unforeseen developments since the announcement of the film is the fear that this will overshadow the efforts of Black indie creators because the Black genre fans out there will have gotten what they’ve always wanted from the Marvel/DC entertainment machine: recognition.

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NOC Recaps Arrow: Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

The first four episodes of Arrow season three have been relentless in moving several plot lines forward. Ever since Canary’s shocking demise in the final minutes of the premiere, Team Arrow has been rocked to the core and even last week’s brief diversion to Corto Maltese definitely felt the presence of the dearly departed Sara Lance.

So when Nyssa Al Ghul showed up, bow drawn, in the Arrowcave at the end of last week’s episode, and since “The Magician” was also Arrow’s 50th episode, you knew the other shoe was about to drop.

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NOC Recaps The Flash: Where There’s Smoak, There’s Captain Cold

Four episodes into its debut season, and I’m still waiting for one that I don’t like. With everything last night’s episode had going for it — the debut of Flash’s most iconic nemesis Captain Cold and Felicity Smoak’s long awaited crossover appearance — chances were high that “Going Rogue” was going to be another home run for The CW’s most watched show ever.

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The NBA: Where Fanboys are (Big) Fundamental

Cross-posted at Dat Winning

Over the summer, five-time NBA champion Tim Duncan made waves across the internet when it was revealed that he was going to be immortalized on the cover of a Marvel comic book. Not only were comics fans surprised to have such a legendary sports figure in their midst, NBA fans were surprised that Duncan had a personality!

It all started when, during the Spurs’ most recent championship playoff run in May, a reporter tweeted out this photo of Duncan’s knee braces:

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The Marvel Studios Empire Strikes Back

About a week and a half ago, Marvel Studios (owned by Disney) and DC Entertainment (owned by Warner Brothers) got into a bit of a pissing contest. Marvel struck first by announcing Robert Downey Jr. would be bringing Iron Man to the Captain America sequel, setting up a “Civil War” story line in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and making it the highest profile superhero vs. superhero showdown of 2016 (sorry, Batman v Superman).

The next day, Warner Brothers unveiled its long-gestating slate of DC Comics-based films that was supposed to satiate fanboys’ appetites through 2020. While a lot of folks found some of the choices in Warner’s ambitious schedule confounding — including yours truly — the one area where DC had a leg up on Marvel was in the diversity of its lineup. In addition to the inclusion of solo movies for Wonder Woman (finally!) and Cyborg (huh?), you also had people of color top-lining two more films — Jason Momoa in Aquaman and Dwayne Johnson in Shazam. As groundbreaking as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, it’s also overwhelmingly white and male. At least until today.

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Birdman: What We Talk About When We Talk About Superheroes

The superhero genre — as we know it — was first birthed over seven decades ago in the pulpy pages of the 10-cent comic books that are now worth thousands, if not millions, of dollars. Many of those original heroes are even more popular today than they were at their inception. Even the heroes who weren’t popular then have been resurrected to much critical acclaim today. We call this period of superhero storytelling “the Golden Age” of comics, but we are currently living in a new golden age of superhero storytelling, except the heroes have migrated from the four-color page to the fourteen-screen multiplex.

The fact that we can count on a new comic book superhero movie (or three) every year until infinity and beyond is both a blessing and a curse for the nerd contingent. For every billion-dollar grossing blockbuster that stars men in tights saving the universe — and it is almost always men — there are critics from both within and without nerdom that bemoan the genre’s grasp on pop culture and predict its demise every year. “Superhero fatigue,” it’s called. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is the latest film from writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu — best known for heavier, more melodramatic fare like Babel and 21 Grams — and it takes on the superhero genre, and the fatigue that may or may not come along with it, like no other film before it.

Spoilers ahead.

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