Marc Bernardin and Ariela Kristantina Present Original Graphic Novel ‘Adora and The Distance’

Just in time for Father’s Day is award-winning writer and FatMan Beyond co-host Marc Bernardin’s first ever YA graphic novel Adora and The Distance. The novel is inspired by Bernardin’s daughter who was diagnosed with autism as a toddler and tells a deeply beautiful and personal tale of adventure, courage, and mystery. The novel follows the goings-on of young Adora as her fantastical world of pirates, giants, and ghosts comes under threat by a mysterious force called “The Distance.”

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See the Emotional New Trailer for Netflix’s ‘Fatherhood’ Starring Kevin Hart

The heartwarming, funny, and emotional new Netflix film, based on an inspiring true story, has Kevin Hart taking on one of the toughest jobs in the world: fatherhood. Fatherhood is described as the inspirational true story of a father who must raise his daughter on his own. A film about overcoming grief and growing up… together.

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Moving ‘Onward’: The Personal Story Behind The Upcoming Disney/Pixar Feature

“We’ve all lost someone, and if we could spend one more day with them,” Dan Scanlon, Writer/Director of Onward wonders aloud, “what an exciting opportunity that would be.” Disney and Pixar’s upcoming feature, Onward introduces two teenage elf brothers who embark on an extraordinary quest after receiving their late father’s letter along with a mysterious spell that will give them one day with him. The story is inspired by Writer/Director, Dan Scanlon’s relationship with his brother and their connection with their dad who passed away when he was about a year old.

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Right Here, Right ‘Bao’

Oakland and the surrounding East Bay Area is a welcoming, casual town. The standard uniform of jeans and a hoodie is a ticket to pretty much anywhere: a Warriors game, a UC Berkeley lecture hall (as a student or even as the professor), a Michelin-star restaurant, R&B paint night at the Complex. The few exceptions are three-fold: the Piedmont School District, an available slice of sweet potato pie at Lois the Pie Queen after 10:00 AM, and Pixar Animation Studios.

I have lived in the East Bay for more than twelve years, and I have never gotten closer than peering through the iron gates while driving past to get my son to badminton practice. Until now.

To celebrate the upcoming in-home release of Bao and Incredibles 2, Pixar opened their gates to The Nerds of Color as well as other media outlets for dinner and interview opportunities with their creators.

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Know Yourself: One Happy Parent

As a long-term comic head, I have become enamored of every type of comic book. I have horror, Classics Illustrated, science fiction, traditional superhero, and tons of international comics in more long boxes than I can count. The one comic lane I could never get in to: educational comics. I love the old Civil Rights, How Toons, and history comic books. What I could not stand were the ‘this is how the digestive tract works’ or ‘let’s wind our way through the eyeball’ offerings. This would seem to be in direct opposition of my cheerleading the use of comics in educational settings. Hey, I’m complex. As a parent, my dislike has curdled to disdain.

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Shawn’s New Site and Podcast

Hello, Family

I know I’ve been posting here infrequently, but I have a very good reason. I’ve been working on my site and my podcast over at www.uncleshawn.com. When I was growing up, and when I became a father, I searched for things that spoke to my navigating manhood, masculinity, and fatherhood. Nothing commented on my experience. The things I found were too white, too patriarchal, too classist, or just plain crap. I’m creating what I wish I had when I was on my search to make sense of my shifting ideas about masculinity and fatherhood.

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An N.O.C. Halloween: Our Children’s Edition

Amongst my friends and family, it is no secret that the only holiday I care about is Halloween. No, it isn’t just because the candy is free and flowing — although this is a huge bonus. What I love the most about he holiday is that there is this unbridled demonstration of ingenuity, creativity, and imagination. People get to step a little outside of their mundane lives and step into the realm of the fantastic.

Another thing I love are the costumes. I don’t think I’m alone in this, especially amongst my fellow NOC. While many of us were too busy to dress up, we made sure that our children did.

I would like to present to you the NOC Parade of Costumes: Our Children’s Addition.

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#DiverseChildrensBooks: El Primer Corte de Mesita de Furqan (Furqan’s First Flat Top)

As a parent of color it is very difficult to find children’s books that reflect how diverse our world actually is. When we do find books, many of them are about historical figures, historical events, or rooted in surviving tragedies. This is what makes El Primer Corte de Mesita de Furqan (Furqan’s First Flat Top) such a wonderful addition to the POC children’s book canon.

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My Family Loves Goldie Vance, Yours Should Too

For parents who know a little about me but don’t really know who I am, the conversation starts something like this: “My [son/daughter] tells me that your daughter is one of the best readers in class. She’s always reading… I also heard that you were really into… comic books, superheroes, and things like that. Is this true?” I proudly proclaim that comic books were instrumental in my becoming a voracious reader, and that I used comics and graphic novels to instill in my daughter and intense love of reading, creativity, and fantasy world-building. I explain that since reading comics and YA fantasy/adventure books, my daughter’s imagination is incredibly expansive and that her being able to make-believe is a value that I and her mother share.

They are usually intrigued by now.

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Talking Advantageous with Jennifer Phang

Last week, one of the most-lauded science fiction films of the year was released digitally, on demand, and in cinemas in New York and the Bay Area. The film, Advantageous, a special jury award-winner at Sundance, tells the story of a single mother and the sacrifices she makes for her daughter in a pre-dystopian, near-future not unlike our own time.

Starring Jacqueline Kim (Star Trek Generations), Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), and Ken Jeong (The Hangover), the film’s writer/director Jennifer Phang recently joined Keith for a special one-on-one edition of Hard NOC Life.

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Nothing’s Wrong with Pink and Purple Bricks: A Defense of LEGO Friends

A few months back, an imgur post about a girl who turned her LEGO Friends juice bar Christmas present into a giant mecha went viral. And the internet cheered. Stupid gendered-girl LEGOs get turned into awesome robot, was the typical response I saw tossed around.

And while the robot was indeed awesome, I couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy about all of the ridicule that was being hurled at the original LEGO set. You see, my own daughter also received a similar playset for Christmas. Should she be ashamed that she wanted (and actually liked) to build the “boring” girly thing instead of the “awesome” robot thing?

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Kickstart This: The Princess Who Saved Herself

Two years ago, comics writer and filmmaker (and familiar name to NOC readersGreg Pak, known for his work on several Hulk and X-Men titles, including the current Storm book, and his current runs on Action Comics, Batman/Superman, and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, among others (like Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology), was raising funds on Kickstarter for a graphic novel based on beloved geek culture singer/songwriter Jonathan Coulton‘s Code Monkey character. As a reward for meeting a stretch goal, Pak and his collaborators promised an original children’s book based on Coulton’s popular twist on children’s fairytales, “The Princess Who Saved Herself.”

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The LEGO Movie’s Lessons for Raising NOCs-In-Training

I took my 9- and 5-year-old daughters to see The LEGO Movie on the second day it was out, and all three of us loved it. It is a true family film, one that can be enjoyed by different age groups at different levels — kids will love the humor, the action, that song they won’t stop singing once they get home, and, hey, it’s LEGO, while their parents will appreciate all the references to the kits and playsets of their childhoods, the inside jokes (ones that stick in my mind include the bearded fantasy wizard confusion, needy Green Lantern, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson playing parodies of their archetypal screen personas, and, of course, Batman and his song), and the amazingly detailed art and animation. It is also more subversive and heartwarming than you’d expect an hour-and-a-half-long corporate toy commercial could ever be.

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A Nerd of Color in Peru

I remember coming home after watching Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi on the big screen. I was quiet, but as soon as I got home and put on my pj’s, I jumped on my bed and pretended to fight invisible foes with my imaginary lightsaber. I had been practicing reproducing the sound of the masterful lightsaber and by the end of the week, I had perfected it. Some kids in the neighborhood where we lived in Lima, Peru either thought it was really cool or let their fists do the talking.

That didn’t stop me. I’ve always been the “unique” person in every room I’ve entered. Nowadays because there aren’t too many spoken word artists of Peruvian heritage in the Midwest — or the U.S. — that grew up watching Mazinger Z and Ultraman, or fell in love with Lynn Minmei from Robotech, or was sucked into Transformers, or collected Dungeons & Dragons figurines, or watched My Little Pony (not a Brony, by the way), or raised the eye of Thundera with Lion-O, or geeked out every time Voltron would form, or loved it every time Saint Seiya would scream out “Dame tu fuerza! Pegaso!

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School of Hard NOCs: The Legend of Korra

Vitals: The Legend of Korra is the second animated series by Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino.  Set 70 years after the first series, it focuses on the next incarnation of the avatar, 17-year-old Korra of the Southern Water Tribe.

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Plot: After Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko re-established peace in the region, they built a nation where benders (basically those possessing supernatural mastery over air, water, earth, or fire) as well as non-benders can live peacefully and modernize together. However, 70 years later in capital Republic City, the world is not as peaceful as it seems, as the harsh realities of capitalism and bending-based elitism take hold: the government is entirely run by benders, for example, and there is a bender-led mafia scene that terrorizes small businesses and citizens alike.

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School of Hard NOCs: Generation X

Vitals: Generation X is a comic book title by Marvel Comics that ran for 75 issues between 1994 and 2000. Some of the books can also be read in a series of collected trade paperbacks.

Plot: Generation X focuses on a “misfit” group of teenaged mutant superheroes as they both battle villains and deal with life as teenagers with superpowers. The teenaged protagonists include: Jubilee, an Asian-American girl with the power to shoot firework-like plasma energy from her hands; Synch, an African-American boy with the power to temporarily copy other mutant powers; Skin, a former Latino gang member from East L.A. with super-elastic skin; Husk, a Southern girl with the power to transform her skin into various materials; Monet, a Muslim girl with invulnerability, super-strength and telepathy; Chamber, a British mutant whose barely-contained psychic energy has consumed most of his chest and lower jaw; and Penance, a mysterious girl with red diamond-skin. The teenagers are mentored by teachers Emma Frost (The White Queen) and Banshee.

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