Early Bird Passes for Universal FanCon are On Sale Now

In exactly one year from now, fans from all over the country will be gathering by the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, Maryland to celebrate their diverse fandoms at the first ever Universal FanCon. And for a limited time, you can get early bird weekend passes for the convention, which go on sale today!

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Our Picks For The 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

 

The Annual Gather-up of Los Angeles Asians in Entertainment is upon us.

I mean, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Starting tomorrow, from April 27 to May 4, the LAAPFF will showcase a week of films from the opening of Better Luck Tomorrow for its 15th anniversary, the centerpiece Gook starring Justin Chon, the closing film Columbus with John Cho as the romantic lead, and a whole slew of shorts and features in between.

To be exact, there are 45 features and 139 shorts to choose from. Here are the few select ones that have caught my attention as Josephine Chang and I will cover the festival:

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: A Winter’s Brawl

Despite my better judgement, I went with a Hamilton pun this week rather than straight up lyrics from the show. Couldn’t help it. The fight scene between the Abbots and Sunny’s old and new sidekicks — juxtaposed against a Christmas-y backdrop, no less — was a highlight! Before settling on “A Winter’s Ball” wordplay, the other obvious number to reference was Jasmine Cephas-Jones’ showstopper “Say No to This,” thanks to twitter user @Bespectacled_Cy!

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Power Rangers Brings Asian American Poverty Front and Center

By the time the Power Rangers craze first swept through in the early ’90s, I was just starting college, paying $290 a month in rent for a studio apartment in the Whittier neighborhood of South Minneapolis with a bed that pulled down from a wall, going to see Hong Kong flicks like Swordsman II and The Bride with White Hair Fridays at midnight, organized by Asia Media Access. I was still into nerd shit, but honestly the Power Rangers seemed, to me, corny and commercial. I thought it was funny that the Black Ranger was Black, the Yellow was a Vietnamese woman, and the Pink Ranger was a white woman.

My love of all things nerd grew in Phillips: Minnesota’s largest, poorest, and most racially diverse neighborhood, not all that far from my college apartment. As refugees from war with not a lot of money to spare, I learned to walk to the Franklin Avenue library where reading and checking out books was free. Comic books were less than a dollar, and watching television shows like Robotech and Dungeons and Dragons just meant having the discipline to wake up in time. I had friends of all colors and genders and backgrounds, and bullies of all colors and backgrounds. Things were difficult for us since my family were among that first wave of refugees that became the first large visible concentration of Asian American people in Minnesota. But there was also joy, and love, and friendship to go along with all the pain and conflict.

Flash forward to 2017.

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A Behind the Scenes Look At My Process

Originally posted at Medium

I recently got an email asking about my latest appearance on Madam Secretary and I thought I’d draw a cartoon about the whole thing.

Here was the email:

Wow!! I saw your episode last night and I’m blown away! So I had a question that you partially answered with a tweet. Do you speak Russian? At all? I saw that you had to learn 4 pages but did you have any background in the language. Also, your accent was amazing!!! Did you ever study the accent or did you just learn it when you got the audition?

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Harvard Man

As many of you may know, in addition to being a published author, an equal rights activist, and a nerd seraph, I’m also a pop culture analyst.

A regular fixture on the Nerds of Color, my work has also been featured on Salon, MTV.com, Mental Health Matters, Geeks OUT, Black Girl Magic Lit Mag, and a host of other places.

Whether it’s comic books, video games, blockbuster films, or music albums, it is absolutely paramount that we critique our media if for no other reason than to analyze its influence in molding minds and shaping society.

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My Love/Hate Relationship with HBO’s Girls

Girls is over. I have a lot of feelings about this show, if you’re aware of the criticism surrounding it, then yes I’m going to dabble into that. As well as some of the parts I actually liked. If you don’t want to read this whole essay, then it’s fine. To sum up how I feel: I showed up for Adam Driver and developed a love-hate relationship with the series overall. Brace yourselves, this is going to be long.

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Your Name: When Body-Swapping Encounters Adolescence

Your Name, Makoto Shinkai’s latest animated film, has been making news and setting records in Japan (it’s currently the second highest grossing film of all time over there!) and after watching it, I’m not surprised. Your Name initially comes off as a light-hearted comedy but evolves into a film that touches upon various relatable themes that are woven throughout this story of adolescence, nostalgia, and love.

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NOC Recaps Into the Badlands: A Glimpse of the Other Side

Another week, another Into the Badlands recap that takes its cue from a Hamilton song. While it’s pretty obvious that I’m quoting Lin-Manuel’s soliloquy from the end of “The World Was Wide Enough” — fittingly about the lead-up and aftermath of a duel not unlike what Quinn and Ryder did last week — this week’s subtitle has as much to do with #GhostRyder as it does with the return of Sunny and Bajie who are just on the other side of the Badlands as well. And speaking of “other sides,” we see some characters aligning with other sides too. But really, it’s all about Quinn’s son on the other side.

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Know Yourself: One Happy Parent

As a long-term comic head, I have become enamored of every type of comic book. I have horror, Classics Illustrated, science fiction, traditional superhero, and tons of international comics in more long boxes than I can count. The one comic lane I could never get in to: educational comics. I love the old Civil Rights, How Toons, and history comic books. What I could not stand were the ‘this is how the digestive tract works’ or ‘let’s wind our way through the eyeball’ offerings. This would seem to be in direct opposition of my cheerleading the use of comics in educational settings. Hey, I’m complex. As a parent, my dislike has curdled to disdain.

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