Ladies and gentlemen, this is my 100th post here at the Nerds of Color.
To say I’ve been ecstatic about hitting this milestone would be a vast understatement, as my colleagues will tell you.
So for this special edition post, I wanted to do something special. I’m going to answer some FAQs, share some memories and some behind the scenes shenanigans.
But before I do anything else, I want to take this opportunity to thank the person who all of this possible, Fearless Leader. Though he’s known to some of you as Keith Chow. None of us would be here if it wasn’t for him. He works tirelessly to make the NoC the special place it is. More than that he’s been an amazing leader, friend, mentor and brother and I will forever be grateful for him taking a chance on me and giving me this opportunity.
Also mad love to the rest of the NOC team that welcomed me and made me feel like I joined a family.
How did you get assimilated into the NOC Collective?
It was actually a chance encounter with Fearless Leader while I was in Midnighter mode which led to my recruitment.
Did you see yourself making it to 100 posts?
To be honest, I didn’t come in with any expectations. Anytime you collaborate or participate in an endeavor like this you never know how it’s going to go. So the only thing you can do is put your best foot forward, go into writer mode (which for me is Puppet Angel) and hope for a positive outcome. Clearly it’s been an awesome journey as this month I also hit my two year anniversary and there is the fact that you’re reading this milestone post.
What in your opinion makes the NOC so special?
Several things. Fearless Leader has done an amazing job assembling and cultivating a very eclectic, wonderful and talented team of contributors. A super group. A Justice League of sorts. Everyone brings something unique to the table. I love reading the other posts of my comrades.
Even though we joke about being the Borg Collective, the reality is there is no group-think or hivemind. The diversity is celebrated and that’s key. It’s not uncommon for one post to give a show or movie a less than flattering review and the next post to praise it as the greatest thing ever. Both posts will offer opposing but equally valid perspectives.
Keith also works tirelessly to network and connect with other excellent people and groups, such as our partners in nerds, the exquisite ladies of Black Girl Nerds. Shout out to Jamie Broadnax and Amaya Radjani, both of whom epitomize #BlackGirlMagic. Greetings from Central City. As I’ve mentioned in the past, anytime BGN and NOC team up, it reminds me of the Supergirl/Flash crossover World’s Finest.
Also I think it’s love. Anytime you undertake any endeavor, especially social justice/equal rights activism, your methods and your motives have to be on point. NOC is a team of extraordinary men and women who genuinely love speculative fiction and want to make it the best it can possibly be and be welcoming and inclusive of everyone and I think that love translates in the posts and podcasts and what have you.
How has the NOC impacted you directly?
On a personal level I’ve met so many amazing people who I’m both humbled and honored to call friends: Keith, Junko, Jason, Desiree, Rodrigo, and many others.
I’ve learned so much from Alice Wong in terms of her experiences and activism for disabled individuals.
And I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Lexi Alexander is the definition of awesome. I wanna be her when I grow up.
Reading my colleagues’ posts has helped me evolve. I’ve grown immensely in the approximate two years I’ve been with the NOC.
On a personal note, these last two years have been pretty rough for me. Losing my Comicbookdotcom job due to harassment and racial and homophobic discrimination and my ongoing legal battle with them. A lover passed away last year and one of my best friends underwent chemo this summer. Being able to write here has been something positive to keep me going and to keep me focused and thankfully it’s helped me weather some severe crises.
Another example of how the NOC has impacted me directly would be my origin story. Fearless Leader had been encouraging me to write one for months and for the life of me I had major writer’s block. When I finally sat down and did some reflection, it resulted in one of my most powerful pieces and it gave me both direction and purpose as an artist, activist, as a human being.
From a professional standpoint, the NOC has been an impact in that I’m given the opportunity to hone my craft as an author, network and connect with some amazing individuals and use this platform to bring awareness to important issues and very cool peeps who are doing some worthwhile work.
It’s also very cool when the industry shotcallers apply the feedback you give about comics, movies and tv shows.
Any fond memories?
Any opportunity to worship the goddesses Storm and Gina Torres.
Having pretty awesome peeps like Clark Gregg, Freema Agyeman and Jon Chu share your pieces on social media.
One of my favorite memories actually occurred back in August the weekend Suicide Squad was released. RSC, Desiree, and some other buds were on my Facebook page and we were celebrating that we finally got a comic book film for us. People of color, LGBTQs, women, etc. We were celebrating this triumph and having all of these wonderful conversations that you can rarely have in white dominated spaces. Desiree thanked me for creating a safer space for my marginalized peeps to celebrate being geeks and that meant so much to me.
Any less than fond memories?
Needless to say, I was not happy. Voices were raised, furniture was thrown. Threats of lawsuits were made.
It’s like I told the others. I don’t insult their family, how dare they insult my future husband and father of my adopted children. I WILL NOT STAND FOR IT.
But thankfully our attorneys were able to work everything out and no defamation suits were filed.
Where do you see the NOC headed?
God only knows but if history is any indicator it’s gonna be epic and the sky is the limit. Whether it’s the Asian Iron Fist campaigns or our articles going viral, the NOC has definitely put both the industry and fandom on notice in showing that this is the premiere spot and I’m honored and humbled to be a small part of such an amazing team.
100 posts. That is insane. What’s your secret to writing?
Being a misanthropic introvert, living on four hours of sleep a night, having absolutely no life whatsoever and a major masochistic streak. Oh I mean something something something discipline something something commitment to artistry something something something hard work something something something.
What’s in your immediate future?
Working on my next short story which is quickly becoming another novella. I have short story appearing in a black superhero anthology that is due to be released next month, and I will be introducing the world to a little something called the Pogue Institute.
Any parting shots?
They say the Path of the One is made by the many and that’s certainly true here. Thanks once again to Fearless Leader and the rest of my NOC family. More than that thanks to all of the readers who have supported me and this special place. Whether you’re a longtime reader or this is your first post (waves), welcome and thank you. You take time out of your schedule for us and I think speak for everyone when I say we are both honored and humbled.
One thing is for certain. My life will continue to be a Hard NOC one.