Black Friday Special: Jamal Igle at CTRL+ALT

Earlier this month, we were part of CTRL+ALT, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s pop-up culture lab in the former Pear River Mart location in SoHo. Along with Clark University’s Betsy Huang, our fearless leader Keith Chow co-hosted a reading lounge in which they held workshops, panels, and salon discussions with other artists. We’ll be bringing you these sessions over the next few weeks, starting with this one-on-one conversation between Keith and renowned comic artist Jamal Igle.

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CTRL+ALT: A Culture Lab on Imagined Futures, This Weekend in New York City

Like the rest of the nation, I woke up this morning to an unfathomable reality. Despite our best efforts, the country has chosen hate and division. Those dystopian science-fiction novels don’t feel so far off anymore. Still, we at The Nerds of Color must soldier on. I’m doing that by participating in CTRL+ALT, the Smithsonian’s pop-up Culture Lab on imagined futures this weekend in New York City. Though, to be honest, I’m having a difficult time imagining the present, much the less the future.

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Kickstart This: Black

Over the years, we’ve been pretty selective about which crowdfunding campaigns to support on this site. Once in a while, though, a campaign comes through our inbox or news feed that is too brilliant to ignore. The campaign to publish the graphic novel Black is one of those. Created by long time comic pros Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, with art by occasional NOC contributor Jamal Igle and cover artist Khary Randolph, Black posits the question, what if only Black people had superpowers?

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For the Love of FN-2187: Why John Boyega as Finn is One of the Best New Characters in Star Wars

by Jamal Igle

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a juggernaut. Critically acclaimed and the current holder of the title of “biggest film opening of all time.” It’s an engaging film that engrosses the viewer and harkens back to the early days of franchise. As it is with all things pop culture, particularly in the age of internet piety, the film also has its detractors. The complaints range across the spectrum but one of the most pointed complaints have been towards Finn, the character portrayed by British actor John Boyega. Two writers whom I’m good friends with — Hannibal Tabu and Joe Illidge — have both written pieces complaining about the character for similar reasons, calling him inept, and even neutered.

I love you guys, you know I do, but I couldn’t disagree with you more. Now this is going to be a rather spoiler filled piece, so if you haven’t seen the movie, now’s your time to hit the eject button and go look at Buzzfeed.

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R.I.P. Robin Williams

Like most of the world, we were shocked to hear of the passing of Robin Williams last night. It’s hard to crystallize all of the emotions that come when a beloved personality passes away. Shock gives way to grief and then finally reflection. There are countless tributes and eulogies celebrating Williams’ life and career all over the internet. Here, we’re going to remember the roles and memories that have touched our lives and will continue to bring joy and laughter to generations to come.

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The Invisible World of Black Comic Creators

Originally posted at BadAzz MoFo

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).

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Superman is a Brand

by Jamal Igle

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or don’t read the book (which is probably a lot of you) DC’s Earth 2 series has introduced Val-Zod as a new “Black” Superman character [Ed. note: not to be confused with the Superman of Earth-23 from Grant Morrison’s upcoming Multiversity series]. Many have asked if Marvel can make a black Spider-Man, why can’t DC make Superman black permanently?

Well for one reason, like Earth 2 Superman, Marvel’s version of Spider-Man is also in an alternate reality, or have we forgotten that?

Changing Superman’s race only works in an alternate dimension because Superman is an established brand and has an established look. Every attempt to permanently change or alter him has failed because the people behind it don’t know the basics of marketing and public perception.

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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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Your Pre-NYCC Pull List

It’s Wednesday again! But not just any ordinary Wednesday. For those of us on the east coast, today marks the calm before the storm that is New York Comic-Con! Speaking of which, be sure to swing by Booth #2010 and visit me and my SIUniverse buddies at the Epic Proportions mega-booth. We’ll have signings by Greg Pak, Bernard Chang, Cliff Chiang, Larry Hama and Walt Simonson all weekend.

Now that that’s out of the way, keep reading to see what are some books that I think folks will be buzzing about on the con floor. And find a comic shop near you, so you don’t miss out on the conversation.

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