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Barbarians at the (Gamer)Gate

The latest Hard NOC Life dives headfirst into the internet controversy that is #GamerGate. Joining guest host N’Jaila Rhee (@BlasianBytch) are Jeopardy! champion Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect), from This Week in Blackness Aaron Rand Freeman  (@ANSFreeman), #StopGamerGate2014 creator Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal), and Tanya (@INeedDivGms), creator of the #INeedDiverseGames hashtag.

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NOC Recaps Arrow: Training Day

I can admit when I’m wrong. At the end of last week’s episode of Arrow, when it was revealed that Thea has been training on the island of Corto Maltese1 with her biological father Malcolm Merlyn, I thought the follow-up episode would be a slog to get through.

Fortunately, episode three — titled, fittingly, “Corto Maltese” after the fictional island nation in the DC Universe — was a pretty great hour of television and moved a lot of plotlines forward for what is increasingly looking like an action-packed season of superheroing.

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Lost in Translation: Scarlett Johansson and Ghost in the Shell

As our friend Angry Asian Man pointed out earlier this week, Scarlett Johansson has been offered the role of Major Motoko Kusanagi in Dreamworks’ live-action remake of Mamoru Oshii’s ground-breaking anime Ghost in the Shell. And well, she’s white. Which to many of us here certainly feels like more Hollywood whitewashing at first glance. Particularly to anyone following the on-again off-again plans for a live-action remake of Akira with an all white cast or M. Night Shymayalan’s tragic The Last Airbender.

Ghost in the Shell  is a seminal film in Japanese cinema for its part in a wave of anime releases in the early-to-mid 90s that set a new bar for the form in Japan, and solidified its legitimacy abroad. I watched GITS along with Katsushiro Otomo’s Akira and Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s Ninja Scroll over the course of one night in 1996, and I was converted irretrievably to the understanding that Japanese anime was the default in animation.

But as much as Ghost in the Shell is essential viewing for anyone interested in entering this very Japanese world of anime — a rabbit hole through which careful consideration is required — the film’s premonitory vision of the future is not uniquely Japanese. There are certainly cultural nuances that drive the film, and its rendering of future Japan is one of its most enjoyable aspects, but that is why we adapt films, to make them uniquely ours.

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Things I Finally Did Right in Artists Alley

by Greg Pak | Originally posted on GregPak.com

In our book Make Comics Like the Pros, my co-writer Fred Van Lente provides some spectacular advice about how to work a comic book convention. This year at the New York Comic Con, I took Fred’s advice seriously and did my Artists Alley table up right for the first time. And I had my best con ever!

So here’s what I did:

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NOC Recaps The Flash: Fire and Ice

Another Tuesday and another strong episode of The Flash has come and gone. Unlike Arrow, which I admittedly bolted on after three episodes during its debut season, or even Gotham, which I continue to hate-watch for some reason, I’m pretty sure I’m all in on The Flash. While there are some superhero TV tropes that might get annoying eventually — Barry’s unrequited pining for Iris, for instance — there’s enough good to keep me tuning in. Episode three, “Things You Can’t Outrun,” introduced yet another baddie from the DC Universe while foreshadowing the debut of another classic DC hero.

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Don’t Be Silent! Things You Can Do about GamerGate

by Patrick Miller | Originally posted on Tumblr

I have spoken to a lot of people in the games industry who are frustrated about GamerGate but shaky on the prospect of speaking out themselves; they’re worried about receiving death threats, or drawing unwanted attention to their employer, or just overextending themselves getting involved in an exhausting conversation.

All of these are valid concerns! The problem is that good people being silent on the matter is what enables this to continue; many of the folks who organize under the GamerGate banner (both harassers and non-harassers) genuinely believe that they’re speaking up for the silent majority who share their beliefs but aren’t brave enough to speak out. (Personally, I tend to assume that people are jerks despite their good intentions until proven otherwise; IMO the hard part of being a good person isn’t thinking the right thing, it’s doing the right thing). In other words, silence is interpreted as implicit permission to continue.

So, here’s the thing. Speaking out doesn’t mean you have to wake up every morning and only get out of bed after reading the previous night’s GamerGate stuff for twenty minutes and getting angry. (I will say it’s pretty good at getting me out of bed, though). There are a bunch of different ways that you can make your voice heard, depending on how your personal HP/MP are doing.

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Gotham Bruce

When Gotham is Ashes, You Have My Permission to Die

Whatever issues you might have with The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Bane is probably one of the most divisive. Either you loved it or you hated it. Nolan’s take on the villain deviated so much from the comics, it was a wonder why he even chose to go with Bane in the first place. Another strike against Nolan’s Bane is that you could also argue that the character was racebent from the way he’s depicted in the comics. Or not. Personally, I rather enjoyed Hardy’s completely wacky and out there interpretation of the character. Not only are his mannerisms and fuddy-duddy English accent so utterly imitable, but he made a character that is admittedly boring on page really compelling on screen.

The reason that I just spent 100+ words talking about Bane in The Dark Knight Rises is because last night’s episode of Gotham used the opportunity to introduce Venom, the drug responsible for Bane’s abilities in the comic. And the whole time, all I could think about was Tom Hardy in his ridiculous face mask.

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Diggin’ In the Carts: A Sound Test for Your Childhood

I love video game music. Ever since I started playing them back in the NES/Famicom days, I have always appreciated the catchy tunes from various games. This never went away as games evolved; if anything, my love for them only expanded. I would say at least 50% of my iPod library contains music from video games ranging from the 80s to the present day.

Nowadays, accessing the music you wanted to hear is pretty easy; usually a search on YouTube will do it. But back in the day, you had to either go to that specific part of the game or record it yourself. Props to my dad who had the fantastic idea of using an audio recorder to record Magic Sword through the SNES by going through each song in the sound test for a couple of minutes and recording it onto a cassette for me to jam to while on the move.

But now? I can just type that on YouTube and voila!

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Is it Batman v Superman or The Dark Knight Returns?

Because, really, it can’t be both.

Just before the weekend — and right after Warner Brothers had rocked DC fanboys’ world by announcing no less than ten superhero movies over the next five years — the rumor mill got churning once again as an extra on the set of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Ridiculous Movie Titles leaked to a local reporter that Hunger Games star Jena Malone had been cast as Robin in the 2016 blockbuster, reuniting her with Sucker Punch director Zack Snyder. Though it has yet to be confirmed, the internet lit up with excitement at the prospect of seeing the first female Robin1 depicted on the big screen.

While I’m all for more gender diversity in what is so far a very testosterone-heavy cast, the fact that Carrie Kelly may end up in the movie is actually really disappointing to me. Mainly, because I’m tired of Frank Miller.

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NYCC 2014: We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat…

Hello Everyone! My name is Raphael, and I’ll be a regular contributor here at The Nerds of Color! New York Comic-Con may have ended a week ago, but here are my thoughts after attending my eighth NYCC.

I’ve been going since its inception, but this was my first as a civilian — working the Midtown Comics booth for the last six years — and it’s definitely a different experience (the lines). The one positive is that since they decided to stick to the current layout (with the Show Floor on the main floor, autographing and panels downstairs, Artist Alley in Javits North) for the last couple years.

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