An Open Letter to New Line Regarding Shaft

Originally posted at BadAzz Mofo

Numerous people have reached out to me about my thoughts on the new Shaft movie, which New Line Cinema recently announced would be more comedic in tone. Here are my thoughts…

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Five Reasons You Should Pick Up Cyborg #1

[Full Disclosure: David Walker is a good friend of mine and I told him that I would only write something, if I liked the book.]

I’m a Teen Titans fan from since Raven first got the team together. Cyborg (Vic Stone) was never my favorite character, or a character I particularly liked. I mean, how many damn times were you going to use X amount of decibels from your white noise generator? Not to mention that Cyborg is the most dehumanized superhero of color in all of comicdom. Folks are mad that Vic is beginning to look “more human.” I have a question: Why were you okay with him being a walking and talking negroid PS3?

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Get Cyborg #1 by David Walker in Stores Today

We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time, and it’s finally here. Make sure you head to your local comic shop as soon as it opens so you can cop the historic first issue of DC Comics’ Cyborg by our very own David Walker!

Then, as soon as you have a copy in hand, take a selfie with it at the shop and tweet it using the hashtag #CyborgWednesday.

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Ex-Machina Abuses Women to Show that Abuse is Sick

I saw Ex-Machina a few months ago at a special pre-screening here in Los Angeles. Now that it’s out on video, I’m going to jump right in and address some points critics have made against how women — specifically women of color — are treated in the film. I disagree with many of these views and this is why.

Also, SPOILERS — and expletives — ahead. Consider yourself warned.

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Racebending’s Super Asian America Comic-Con Panel

A week ago, I recounted my 48-hour adventure in San Diego. The main reason I was able to return to Comic-Con was an invitation to participate in what was, arguably, the hottest panel not in Hall H. Our friends at Racebending put together a star-studded line up of Asian American comic creators and actors that packed Room 29 of the convention center — bringing some of them to tears — and apparently turned away hundreds of attendees from getting in! Fortunately, the entire panel was caught on video, so if you couldn’t get in, or want to relive the experience, check it out after the jump!

[UPDATE: Those awesome kids at Racebending have not only uploaded the panel video, but they transcribed the whole thing too!]

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My 20 Steps To Getting Published

With two novels under my belt, Hollowstone and West of Sunset, one of the things I’m asked the most is advice about getting published. Shifting into writer mode which coincidentally looks a lot like Puppet Angel (hence the above pic).

The following is an email I sent to readers sharing my experiences which I think may serve as a useful resource for other writing aspirants.

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I Saw Ant-Man, You Should Too

[Disclaimer: I did not see Ant-Man in 3-D. Minor spoilers ahead. I know nothing about the Ant-Man character, aside from the Ultimates storyline and what I remember from the ’70s and ’80s.]

I went to see Ant-Man on a whim. My not being all-in with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is pretty well-known, so I wasn’t too sure if I was going to see it. I am glad I did. Most people will compare it to the other MCU films and find it lacking. It isn’t the universe/dimension/globe-spanning adventure of the other films, and this is precisely why I liked it.

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Remembering Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata

I had just finished teaching my fifth grade class in Japan when I heard the news that the President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, passed away due to bile duct cancer. The news was a slap to the face to me; I had just been talking about Splatoon to some of my students.  While I am not as close to Nintendo as I was when I was a child, I cannot deny to say that Mr. Iwata’s work in the company hadn’t influenced my life.

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Is AMC Finally Embracing Diversity This Fall?

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a week since Comic-Con started, but here we are in that post-Con daze, and I’m still recovering. While I might need some more time before getting back into regularly scheduled posting, I didn’t want to leave before I comment on a couple of the trailers that came out of SDCC. No, not this one or that one. Instead, I want to focus on the early looks that came out of the AMC presentations and how the network is kicking off the post-Don Draper era by seemingly embracing diversity in the casts of its newest shows.

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On Body Image, Diversity, and Comics’ Outdated Standard of Beauty

Originally posted on Black Nerd Problems

ESPN made a “Body Issue” based on Marvel superheroes, and it’s glorious. But before we get to that, let’s go through some fascinating history first. The first Body Issue was published in 2009 in response to a significant decline in ESPN magazine’s revenue during the financial crisis. Not only that, because it was also a response for that pesky high-selling publication from their competitor, Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue. ESPN photographers took shots of athletes — some more famous, others less known — nearly or completely naked, bearing it all with a soccer ball, or a baseball bat, or the snowboard they ride on. Where the Swimsuit Issue focused on homogenous models showcasing bikinis and pandering to the typical standard of Hollywood beauty however, the Body Issue saw an opportunity: ESPN the Magazine would focus on the diversity of the human form by centering on the athletes themselves.

And focusing on diversity proved to be an amazingly successful strategy. Who knew?

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