Shout out to Brandon Easton (Agent Carter TV series, M.A.S.K.,Vampire Hunter D comics, and the Brave New Souls documentary) for broaching this topic on his Facebook wall.
We are living in a truly golden age of nerdom. There are several superhero films out each year — the amount of films increase each subsequent year; damn near every night of the week you can watch a superhero, supernatural, paranormal, or spy-fi program, comics are everywhere, graphic novels are taught in the academy — our once exclusive (and highly ridiculed) club is, gasp, mainstream. Going mainstream comes with its own set of problems. But I want to focus on what I feel is the primary problem of this golden age: Toxic Fandom. Continue reading “Toxic Fandom”
Can you feel it in the air? It’s officially Comic-Con week, and we are happy to announce that for the first time ever, the N.O.C. will be in full effect in San Diego! In addition to seeing many of our guest contributors on panels and at booths during the show, we are also co-hosting a meet up with our friends at Black Girl Nerds on Saturday night! So check out everyone’s schedules and we’ll see you at the con!
Let me start by saying, I’m not a writer. I’m a hustla that raps a lot. For the duration of this causerie, I’m a rapper. Like your favorite rhymes sayer: I got a story to tell.
About decade ago, there was a cipher with the man who gave Bruce Leroy his glow. That build set me on a journey; I took my lyrics and went looking for Sun Dum Goy.
My rhymes, evolved into a screenplay. I rapped in the studio, my rhymes became a novel. I kept on rapping until I had a demo tape.
When I was hustling my original novel in the streets, OGs put me on to the comic book route. Considering the nature of my rhymes: martial arts fantasy fiction, many figured it was best way for people see me lyrically.
The story was a bit shaky at times, but the performances were strong because of the cast chemistry and the trademark Joss Whedon banter. Meanwhile, the visuals were outstanding, the fight scenes were expertly choreographed, and there were a couple of interesting twists regarding one of the main characters.
Get ready. This weekend is going to be a huge one as our very own John Jennings has organized two comic art festivals on either coast that will celebrate Black comic art and artists with day-long events featuring panel discussions, film screenings, and more.
I’ve never been a fan of the Black Panther (my favorite Black superhero from Marvel was Night Thrasher from the New Warriors) but I will definitely check out the movie when it is released.
One of the unforeseen developments since the announcement of the film is the fear that this will overshadow the efforts of Black indie creators because the Black genre fans out there will have gotten what they’ve always wanted from the Marvel/DC entertainment machine: recognition.
Okay, so I got back from the San Diego Comic-Con a few days ago, and I really wanted to share some of my experiences and thoughts, before they are lost in the jumbled mess of my mind. Let me start by saying that I’ve been going to SDCC since 1998, and in that time there are only two years I’ve missed. Some years have been great, and other have been not-so-great. This year was one of the best years for Comic-Con — especially considering where my life is at on a personal level (which I won’t bore you with). Professional things are going well, but because of a series of non-disclosure agreements, I can’t talk about what I’m working on (nor could I talk about these various projects at the con itself).
Brave New Souls is a documentary I wrote, produced, and directed that explores the thoughts, goals, and inspirations of a new generation of Black creators in graphic novels, television, cinema, literature, and digital media. It was a very tough shoot as I did the camera work, sound recording, lighting, and directing ALL BY MYSELF! While the movie will be released on DVD in two weeks — on July 15 — for those that want to watch it via their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and home PCs, you can stream or download it as a high-quality, digital video right now at Gumroad for $7.99!
I wanted to take a moment to thank all the creators I worked with during the production of the documentary and share a few things I learned:
I’m starting to feel like I’m going crazy — as if there is something seriously wrong with me — when the sad truth of the matter is that it is not me at all. It is you. And by “you” I don’t necessarily mean you, the person reading this, but I do mean someone other than myself — the crazy person running around pointing out the truth that You (though not necessarily you) don’t want to face. And the truth that I’m talking about is the simple fact that for all the complaining about the lack of diversity in comics — specifically as it relates to black creators — You don’t really want diversity. Instead, You want to sit around, writing blog posts and articles and leaving comments here and there about how few black creators are working in comics, and how You are so righteously indignant to the plight of struggling black creators who aren’t being given a chance to work for major corporations like Marvel (owned by Disney) and DC (owned by Warner Brothers).
The other day, one of our favorite websites, Bleeding Cool, posted a column by Devon Sanders bemoaning the lack of black writers in comics — or more precisely at the Big Two (i.e., DC and Marvel) as well as the mid-major publishers like Dark Horse and Boom. Since its publication, the article has been making its way around the comics blogosphere and message boards sparking some much-needed conversation about the lack of diversity in comics.
The question posed is focused primarily on the lack of black comics writers, and not artists such as Shawn Martinbrough, Jamal Igle, Kyle Baker, or Rob Guillory whose mainstream comics work have all developed quite a following. In the article, Sanders says:
This is the writer’s name, the one you see above everyone else’s and when you count black writers actively working for Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, etc. it comes down to less than the number of digits on Nightcrawler’s hand.
Now while the thesis of the article is the lack of black writers at the big publishers, the column’s title posited the question “Where are the New Black Comics Writers?” The answer to that particular question would be to look beyond the Big Two. Just ask our own Brandon Easton who recently received an Eisner nom for his work on the spectacular Watson and Holmes.
Here at The Nerds of Color, we are big fans of the podcast The Two Brandons featuring comic professionals Brandon Thomas and our own Brandon Easton. Since it’s May the Fourth (aka Star Wars Day), we wanted to share with you all their latest episode, “New Hopes.” Be warned that the podcast contains strong language, so if you’re listening at work — or you have young impressionable ears around — make sure you put your headphones on.
So the inevitable finally happened. After a season of steadily declining ratings and even more weeks of speculation. Fox finally pulled the plug on the J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi series Almost Human. The show, which starred Karl Urban and Michael Ealy, was a popular one — around NOC HQ, at least — and will definitely be missed.
To bid the show a fond farewell, the Nerds once again took to the Roundtable to pay their respects.
This year, Easter Weekend is a busy one in the geekosphere. Two big cons are happening on each coast, and an old school kung fu film fest is happening in the Big Apple. And each of these events will feature some of your favorite NOCs.
So click through and make your plans to spend time with some of us this weekend.
Saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier and really have nothing bad to say at all. There were a few issues with story logic but outside of minor nitpicks, I’d have to say this is as good as The Avengers and definitely the best “solo” Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to date.
The best way to describe this movie is “balanced.” It achieved an almost perfect balance between comic book-style action, humor, character development, and story sophistication. Taking a page from the Robert Ludlum/Tom Clancy school of 1970s-era Cold War espionage pop culture storytelling, The Winter Soldier (at the very least) establishes a formula for Marvel Studios that, if used repeatedly, should guarantee the cinematic dominance of Marvel IPs for the next generation.
Now that I’ve had a day to process it, here’s my take on The Raid 2: Berandal. (Caution: there will be minor spoilers here.)
Let’s get the negatives out of the way — the only thing that (some ADHD-riddled folks) will complain about is the length and the subtitles. Also, a few cinephiles may not be happy about the recycled story concept — it’s a high-octane martial arts re-imagining of the outstanding Hong Kong police thriller Infernal Affairs that was later re-made into the Academy Award-winning Hollywood film The Departed. The plot and characters can get a little labyrinthine with the double-and-triple-crosses but that isn’t a complaint just a heads-up that this action film has a strong component of character development and interaction.
With that said, The Raid 2 picks up right after the end of the first movie and puts main character Rama (Iko Uwais) back into the mix as an undercover agent sent to bring down two Indonesian crime syndicates. I have to say, the acting in this movie is strong from top to bottom. You get to know each character and why they do what they do — and some of them are slimeballs but others are crimelords with a sense of honor and duty.
For most regular folks, Wednesday is known as “hump day” because it represents the halfway point between weekends. Because if you’ve made it to Wednesday, congratulations, the weekend is almost upon you. But for people like me (i.e., nerds), Wednesdays were the destination point. As a fanboy, I didn’t need to wait until Friday afternoon to reward myself for a week’s worth of work or school. Instead, Wednesday afternoons offered me a respite from the week because I could trek down to my local comic shop. You see, Wednesday isn’t “hump day,” it’s new comics day.
So in honor of this American tradition, we’re going to have a weekly column here at The Nerds of Color that focuses on notable comic books debuting that week. Except this week, that is. I wanted to kick off Wednesday Comics talking about a book that doesn’t even come out for another three weeks. The book in question? Marvel’s hotly anticipated Mighty Avengers #1, which is being reviewed in advance by multiple sites this week. And so far, those reviews cover the spectrum from good to not so great and everythingelse in between.