‘Fightin’ Words’ Episode One: Gaming Icon Tanya DePass

Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a not-for-profit organization based in Chicago, which is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. She’s also a gaming icon, having been named one of the “Gamers of the Year” for 2020 by Kotaku, as well as a 2020 Annenberg Innovation Lab Civic Media Fellow at USC.

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An Endorsement: Tim Fielder’s ‘Infinitum’

Afrofuturism is having a moment. First posited by journalist Mark Dery in the early 1990s, Afrofuturism is now a full-blown social, cultural, psychological, technological, and aesthetic movement. And never has this movement, this moment, been more fully realized than in Tim Fielder’s magnum opus, Infinitum. To call it a graphic novel would be to undercut it’s value. It is an enterprise of speculative cultural cartography.

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Introducing Megascope: a Diverse Line of Graphic Novels Curated by John Jennings

There are some people who like comics. There are others who love them. Then, there are those who live and breathe comics. Not as a way to keep copyrights up-to-date for further cinematic use, but who see the comic form as important; as a worthy and necessary part of our collective artistic and cultural life. Professor, scholar, and creator, John Ira Jennings, embodies the latter.

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Afrofuturism and the Legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: The Black and Brown Comix Arts Festival

Happy New Year to you all. I hope everyone is well and doing what they need and want to do.

I wanted to share a few things with you.

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Hard NOC Life: Mystery Science Theater Oakland

This week on Hard NOC Life, Shawn and Keith recap the week in Nerd Pop, by running down what happened at Comic-Con and diving into the rise of the Black Auteur and Afro-Surrealism.

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Lifewriting 101

One of my New Years resolutions was dedicating this year to leveling up, specifically as an author and artist. Or rather as an auteur.  😉

Breaking personal records and churning out more pieces than ever, I’ve spent the better part of the year in nonstop writer mode which of course is the equivalent of Puppet Angel.

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Congratulations Kid, You Have Arrived

One cannot truly celebrate #BlackExcellence and look to the future without taking a moment to honor those who paved a way for us to journey forward.

Case in point, author, philosopher, life coach and fellow Wakandan, Steven Barnes, who is celebrating a birthday today.

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John Jennings & Damian Duffy’s Kindred is now a #1 New York Times Bestseller

Last week, Abrams Books finally released the highly anticipated graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s classic novel, Kindred. Created by our friends John Jennings and Damian Duffy — collectively known as J2D2, the book has already shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for hardcover graphic novels! To celebrate this momentous occasion, revisit my conversation with them recorded last summer during San Diego Comic-Con. The conversation is also available via podcast from Soundcloud (embedded below). Please remember to subscribe to Hard NOC Life on YouTube or iTunes and leave us a rating and review so folks can find us there! And don’t forget to get your own copy of Kindred.

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Butler, Dystopia, Propaganda, and a Way Through?

This is an excerpt from a book I started in 2008. I wanted to take a more academic approach to afrogeek and afrofuturist culture and cultural artifacts. I felt this section was important in the present, in light of our new political reality. The books is done, but I’m not sure how I feel about publishing an academic text in a time when we need information to be as clear as possible. Continue reading “Butler, Dystopia, Propaganda, and a Way Through?”

Cindi Mayweather: Behind The Music

Originally published at Black Sci-Fi.Com in June in honor of Black Music History Month and LGBTQ Pride

“I imagined many moons in the sky lighting the way to freedom.”

She is one of the most the critically acclaimed musicians out today. Between her successful albums, films, award nominations and collaborations with everyone from the late Prince to First Lady Michelle Obama, one thing is certain for Janelle Monae; her rising star is only getting brighter.

But who is Janelle Monae?

While researching the chanteuse, I uncovered a most profound discovery. Everything we thought we knew about Monae is a complete work of fiction. For starters her name isn’t even Janelle Monae. It is an alias and part of her cover. In actual fact, Monae’s true identity is Cindi Mayweather; an android from the future.

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Hard NOC Live from SDCC 2016: John Jennings & Damian Duffy

This January, Abrams Books will be publishing a graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s classic novel, Kindred. At San Diego Comic-Con, we had the opportunity to talk with the creators behind the graphic novel, John Jennings and Damian Duffy — collectively known as J2D2, as they were signing galley copies of the book!

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The Official NOC #CrossLines Reading List

This past weekend in Washington DC, the Smithsonian’s historic Arts & Industries building was home to the most important gathering of artists you have ever seen. The CrossLines pop-up culture lab on intersectionality brought together over 40 artists and scholars to explore race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, disability, etc.

I was fortunate enough to be invited and helped organize a Reading Lounge and live podcasts — while artist Matt Huynh painted a mural in real time the entire weekend. One of the questions I got asked the most was about the books we included, so after the jump you can find a complete list of books we had in the Lounge!
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Why Comix? Drawing the World You Want to See

If you’re in the Boston area on Thursday, January 14, then I hope you have a chance to stop by Northeastern University. Starting from 9:30am, fellow NOC and celebrated artist and scholar John Jennings will be kicking off a day-long conversation about the politics of race and identity representation in comics.

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