Apparently, while the Nerds were all consumed with Star Trek last week, other stuff was happening on the Internet. So here’s a brief rundown of things you might have missed because you were too busy exploring strange new worlds and seeking out new life and new civilizations. But first, let me get a little self-congratulations and self-promotion out of the way.
Welcome Pop Candy readers! And a big thanks to Whitney for giving us a little plug in her USA Today column. We hope you all enjoy the NOC community and join us as we look at “pop culture with a different perspective.”
Okay, that was the congrats, now here’s the shameless self-promo.
Over the weekend, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center opened its traveling Asian American history banner exhibit “I Want the Wide American Earth” at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles — after spending the last three months on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. In honor of the exhibit’s West Coast opening, the Smithsonian APA Center unveiled an online digital comic I edited that features key moments in Asian American history illustrated by some of the top names in the comic industry, including Bernard Chang, Ming Doyle, GB Tran and my SIUniverse partners-in-crime Jerry Ma and Jef Castro.
You can see the comic online here. A downloadable version is still forthcoming.
So there’s that. And after the jump is other stuff on the web you should be reading:
The latest Miss America, Miss New York Nina Davuluri, is also a Nerd of Color! No, she isn’t going to be writing for the blog (not yet!) but she does self identify as a nerd. On The Aerogram‘s “10 Things You Need to Know About Miss America,” this is number seven:
“I love Star Wars, Star Trek and anything sci-fi,” she said in the aforementioned biographical video.
Also want to note that the first runner-up, Miss California Crystal Lee, is also Asian American. So, yay! Miss Asian America! P.S., the internet is very happy about this turn of events.
Over on Salon, cartoonist Vishavjit Singh tells the story about why he went around New York City, photographing himself dressed in a unique Captain America costume and a turban with Cap’s iconic “A” insignia.
I settled on a rock in Central Park, the New York skyline behind me. A glassy new skyscraper neared completion in its stretch toward the skies. I was striking a few poses in my superhero costume when a young boy perched higher on a rock chimed in.
“Captain America does not have a turban and beard,” he said. He had a child’s curious tone. No malevolence.
“Why not?” I asked him. “I was born here. We could have a new Captain America who is Sikh or black or Hispanic.”
He thought about this. Finally, he conceded that yes, maybe a black or Hispanic Captain America would be OK. But his brain couldn’t make sense of it: Captain America in a turban? Captain America in a beard? He’d never conceived of such a thing before.
That’s exactly what brought me to this park on a beautiful summer day. To make fresh neural connections in our collective consciousness. To leave a new image on the hard drive of that boy’s mind.
This story about Christopher Priest’s experience as the first African American writer and editor in mainstream comics was blowing up tumblr all week. Specifically, the portion about how working with Larry Hama helped him make sense about being a person of color working in comics.
Larry suddenly made my world make sense. Suddenly, somebody at Marvel had my back. Staffers were much less likely to rub my head or make the black-hands jokes once Larry arrived.
Writer Mimi Khúc tries to reconcile her love of epic fantasy — and subsequent hate of Game of Thrones — in this piece on Black Girl Dangerous.
Why has GoT garnered such a fanatical following? People who have never been interested in reading fantasy have become huge fans of the show. Friends of mine cite the political intrigue, the rich characters, the plot twists. But it is also this never-know-what-will-happen-or-who-will-die feeling of suspense, a strange vulnerability that we can allow ourselves to access just for a little while. There is something exciting about danger, the unknown, being unsettled, feeling unsafe — in the safety of your living room. A kind of vulnerability that privilege perhaps spares us from in our real lives in differential ways but can be accessed through violence and vulnerability on screen, that belongs to Others. A kind of emotional appropriation and catharsis?
Finally, our own resident NOC, Will West covered a lot of stuff at his personal blog. You can get a greatest hits of the week — where he sweats Arsenio to gain some type of fame, plays around with Spotify, watches Hannah Montana take off her clothes, and visits Baltimore Comic-Con — in his weekly round-up, West Week Ever.