Luke Cage: Dig a Little Deeper

My sister, Dr. Tara Betts, dropped the Luke Cage syllabus over at Black Nerd Problems. It is a must read. I wanted to add to this wealth of knowledge by offering my own “special features” companion piece to Cage. I will present the following without description as I do not want to taint anyone’s experience. This is only a small amount if what is actually out there. I mentioned other books in my reflections on the series. You can read it here.

Continue reading Luke Cage: Dig a Little Deeper”

Advertisements

Pokémon GO and Choosing the Blackest Joy

by Lauren Bullock | Originally posted at Black Nerd Problems

As you might expect, it begins with a selection of starters: today, do you choose fuming rage, crushing grief, or helpless fear? Perhaps you feel all three. Or none. Being Black in America is not just some game that anyone can control, after all.

As a Black Nerd it’s impossible to ignore that in the same week that we gained Pokémon Go, arguably one of the most anticipated games of the year, we lost Alton Sterling and Philando Castile to police brutality (who in reality are part of an even longer list of murders by the police this week alone). Once again the debates flare up between distraction and self care, between what people “should” be talking about or feeling at any given moment. But if Pokémon taught me anything, it’s that there is always another option than the “starters” you’re given, and sometimes this, too, is its own revolutionary act. I’m talking about allowing ourselves to sometimes choose Black joy. No, the Blackest Joy.

Continue reading Pokémon GO and Choosing the Blackest Joy”

NOC x BNP at #CrossLines with Lauren Bullock

An historic event occurred during our special live recordings of Hard NOC Life from the Smithsonian’s CrossLines pop-up culture lab on intersectionality. The NOC and Black Nerd Problems formed a Nerd Voltron when we were joined by BNP’s own Lauren Bullock.

Continue reading “NOC x BNP at #CrossLines with Lauren Bullock”

On Body Image, Diversity, and Comics’ Outdated Standard of Beauty

Originally posted on Black Nerd Problems

ESPN made a “Body Issue” based on Marvel superheroes, and it’s glorious. But before we get to that, let’s go through some fascinating history first. The first Body Issue was published in 2009 in response to a significant decline in ESPN magazine’s revenue during the financial crisis. Not only that, because it was also a response for that pesky high-selling publication from their competitor, Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue. ESPN photographers took shots of athletes — some more famous, others less known — nearly or completely naked, bearing it all with a soccer ball, or a baseball bat, or the snowboard they ride on. Where the Swimsuit Issue focused on homogenous models showcasing bikinis and pandering to the typical standard of Hollywood beauty however, the Body Issue saw an opportunity: ESPN the Magazine would focus on the diversity of the human form by centering on the athletes themselves.

And focusing on diversity proved to be an amazingly successful strategy. Who knew?

Continue reading “On Body Image, Diversity, and Comics’ Outdated Standard of Beauty”

LeBron James is Captain America

Originally posted on Black Nerd Problems

I want you to imagine superheroes exist. Put an image in your head. What they would look like, what they would wear, what their powers would be. Are you there? Did you envision Superman flying, maybe Cyclops’ lasers? Did you imagine Flash’s speed or Oracle’s intelligence? I can’t blame you if you did, because that’s where we go when we envision the “super” in super-powered. But for those that went a little simpler in their criteria, they might’ve imagined a skilled tactician whose powers are superior strength, speed, intelligence, and healing compared to that of the average human, whose government-sanctioned enhancements came from a secret program decades in the past.

Not 1940, but 1984… because LeBron James is Captain America.

Continue reading “LeBron James is Captain America”

Giving Daredevil its Due

It’s been three weeks since Marvel dropped Daredevil on Netflix, and the nerdosphere is still head over heels for the show. Now that Netflix has announced a second season of their hit superhero series, Hard NOC Life returns to talk about how Marvel is taking over the streaming television game with Black Nerd Problems’ Jordan Calhoun (@jordanmcalhoun) — whose Daredevil piece you’ve probably read — and returning Hard NOC champ Raymond Chow.

Continue reading “Giving Daredevil its Due”

After Daredevil, I Will Never Watch Arrow Again

Originally posted at Black Nerd Problems

Word to God, I will never watch Arrow again.

Let me rewind a minute.

This past weekend was the first weekend of spring weather in New York City, and instead of running through Central Park or eating ice cream from the street vendors that appeared like spring flowers, I spent 13 hours indoors watching Daredevil. And I regret nothing. Daredevil is — and I don’t say this lightly — the best superhero show ever made.

Continue reading “After Daredevil, I Will Never Watch Arrow Again”

People on the Internet Get Things Wrong: Comic Book Cover Edition

by William Evans | Originally posted on Black Nerd Problems

Trigger Warning: Some of the images pulled from comic books depict assault and violence towards women.

DC is celebrating the Joker next month with a plethora of variant covers devoted to him. The Joker, who by definition is a deranged, sinister and disturbed individual is shown on most of these covers the way he’s always been: scaring the shit out of somebody. One specifically that sparked a lot of outrage was where the Joker is cozied up to a frightened Batgirl for her cover. After a lot of people voiced their displeasure with the cover AND RECEIVED THREATS OF VIOLENCE FOR IT, the artist Rafael Albuquerque asked DC to pull the cover. Now of course, there’s the backlash to the backlash as many fans and creators are crying foul and constructing this as an evil feminist argument that ruins everything. Sigh.

Continue reading “People on the Internet Get Things Wrong: Comic Book Cover Edition”

White People’s Superheroes

Hard NOC Life emerges from its winter hibernation, and you can thank Michelle Rodriguez for that. After telling TMZ POCs need to “stop stealing white people’s superheroes,” the actress took to Facebook to say she meant POCs need to focus on creating their own stories.

Naturally, Keith had to discuss this with  William Evans (@willevanswrites) of Black Nerd Problems and newest NOC contributor Valerie Complex (@ValerieComplex).

Continue reading “White People’s Superheroes”