When you’re into comics, science fiction, role-playing games and the rest, people will make assumptions about you. These assumptions are that you’re a nerd (not in the liberating sense that we use here), a geek, a wimp — somehow different or less than the folks who consume and participate in mainstream popular culture. And this applies to white people. When you add race to this, you get doubly othered quite a bit of the time. You like “white shit” and you’re soft. In many cases, you become an ass-whooping magnet. We won’t get into how all of this stuff is now mainstream or how fantasy sports leagues are about as Dungeons and Dragons as you can get, just minus the swords, gold, and magic.
And it is D&D that I want to talk about here. I’ve played for over thirty years. While I am not participating in an active campaign, I would in a heartbeat if I found one that interested me.
Black Panther is having a moment. And it’s looking evidently clear that 2016 will officially be the Year of the Panther.
Not only is the character being primed for his big screen debut next summer in Marvel Studios’ blockbuster Captain America: Civil War — played by Chadwick Boseman — setting the stage for his own cinematic feature two years later, the comics version is going to get some shine as well since Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of the country’s greatest and most important writers, is making his superhero comics debut on Black Panther #1 next spring.
I mean, why else would a new comic creative team be exclusively announced in The New York Times?
[I did not include the Riddick-verse video games or animation as I am unfamiliar with the material.]
In 2000, a little movie named Pitch Black dropped in select movies houses. I had no idea what it was about, but the posters and the one trailer I saw intrigued me. I was also a lightweight David Twohy fan based on his 1996 alien invasion film, The Arrival. So, me and my boy Corey walked into the theater without any expectations. When the film ended, we sat quietly through the credits. We said nothing to each other until the lights asserted themselves. I looked at him, and he looked back and almost in unison we said some variation of: ‘What the hell did we just see?’ Without any verbal confirmation, we sat in the theater and watched it again.
The following is the original column by Bao that inspired this website.
Originally posted at The Star Tribune on January 20, 2010
I’ve told this story a million times: when I was young, my father kept me off the streets and saved much needed money buying me the toys I wanted by getting me a library card and teaching me to walk to the Franklin Avenue library, and there began my love of books and stories.
What I’ve written less about is the books I gravitated towards: books about mythological monsters, Greek gods and heroes, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Lord of the Rings, my older sister’s Elfquest collection and X-Men comic books. And the secret of many a nerd of color from the ‘hood: my lifelong devotion with role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, and Vampire: the Masquerade (making vampire fixations embarrassing long before Stephanie Meyer).