Hard NOC Live from SDCC 2016: Gene Luen Yang

Just in time for the release of DC Comics’ New Super-Man #2, check out our conversation with Gene Luen Yang, recorded live from the floor of San Diego Comic-Con 2016!

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Today is the Last Day to Pre-Order Greg Pak’s Kingsway West #1

Today, August 1, is the final order cut-off date for comic shops to order Kingsway West, the new creator-owned series by Greg Pak and Mirko Colak. The Dark Horse book officially hits stores on August 24, but the more retailers order the book, the better chances you’ll be able to secure your own copy — and ensure more books like this get made.

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Concrete Park Vol. 2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Another Huge Endorsement

I can only talk about the second volume of Concrete Park,RE-S-P-E-C-T,” in relation to music. I wanted to use other graphic novels or films as benchmarks, but I’d be talking more about the evolution to make the book, the shift in materials and not the meta-shift I want to capture here. While I enjoy what GeekCulture has to offer, it doesn’t transform me the way that music does. There has yet to be a geek-influenced film, comic, graphic novel, or anything else that has affected me the way Bad Brain’s 1983 life defining album Rock For Light did.

Well, that is until now.

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Concrete Park Vol.1: You Send Me — A Huge Endorsement

I had the pleasure of meeting two-thirds of the Concrete Park creative team at the Black Comix Arts Festival (BCAF) in January 2015. Not only were Tony Puryear (ill on the keyboard and with the pen) and Erika Alexander (Hollywood demigoddess) beautiful and amazing beyond all possible measure, their property was absolutely insane. There are very few things I want to teach in my classes, but Concrete Park Vol.1 You Send Me is a book I am rearranging my fall syllabus to include. It was my favorite thing (and I bought a whole lot of stuff) I picked up at BCAF. Did I mention that their property is off-the-rails crazy?

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NOC Reviews Toshiro: An Endorsement

If I had only one sentence with which to review Toshiro, a new original graphic novel from Dark Horse hitting store shelves this Wednesday, it would be this: Buy it the day it drops. If I had another: Wait in line if you must.

This isn’t hyperbole. Toshiro — written by Jai Nitz with art by Janusz  Pawlak — is the reason I read comics.

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Does Anyone REALLY Care About Diversity in Comics?

Originally posted at BadAzz MoFo

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).

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Where the New Black Comics Writers Are

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.

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It’s a Draw with Natalie Kim and Simon Fraser

How do the best comedians and cartoonists do what they do? Check out our new twice-weekly collaboration with Natalie Kim to find out!

Today Natalie had the privilege to sit and draw with renowned Scottish cartoonist Simon Fraser. They talk about how Simon learned to draw so well and about why you should not read his upcoming project Grindhouse, a collaboration with writer Alex de Campi coming from Dark Horse.

Check out the episode after the jump!

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The Lack of Diversity in Comics: What’re You Doing About It?

ImageIt seems like every day I read something, somewhere, about the lack of diversity in comics (not to mention various other pop culture mediums). Sometimes these pieces focus on gender, other times on people of color, and sometimes both. At the recent Image Expo, sixteen comic creators took the stage, with only two being women, and none being of color, and in the aftermath we are once again having this conversation. (Read about it here on Bleeding Cool.) To be absolutely clear, this lack of representation in the creative forces that produce comics is problematic. There needs to be greater diversity on many levels when it comes to comics, both on the creative side, and within the stories that are being produced. But that is only one problem, and not the problem I want to address.

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Wednesday Comics Flashback: S.H.O.O.T. First

The penultimate issue of Justin Aclin and Nicolas Selma’s Dark Horse mini-series S.H.O.O.T. First is in comic shops across the country today. If you haven’t already, we suggest you stop by your local shop and pick up issues #1 and #2 because this is one of the best books on the racks today.

Justin has been a great friend to the Nerds of Color during our short existence. Check out Keith’s thoughts on the first issue in the series and after the jump, watch the special episode of Hard NOC Life in which Keith and Justin have a one-on-one conversation about the book’s secret origins.

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