A Conversation with the Creators of ‘ALL CAPS,’ a Webcomic Love Letter to the Late MF DOOM

On April 20, a crew of some of the most talented artists and creators came together to produce a free webcomic as a love letter to the late Daniel “MF DOOM” Dumile. The work was a collaboration between longtime artists Troy-Jeffrey Allen, Sean Anthony Mack (a.k.a. Smack!), senior editor and MECCAcon CEO Maia “Crown” Williams, and others. The webcomic is a six-page trek across the many influences Doom left behind and came after the news of his passing rocked the hip-hop community in December 2020.

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Hard NOC Life 211: Captain Act a Fool Up in Here

Dominic, Keith, Britney remember the life of DMX before breaking down the latest episode of Disney+’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and getting hyped for Snake Eyes which is now coming out in July.

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Chadwick Boseman Was a Source of Light in My Understanding of a Black Hero

In the Bantu language Xhosa, Ulwimi olunye alwanelanga tu means “One language is never enough.” In the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s passing, there is an inconceivable grief rippling across language barriers and cascading through communities and countries. The letters on my keyboard look like a jumbled mess — trying to use language to communicate this loss is an act I am unfamiliar with.

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Mega Ran on The Soul Man

My relationship with professional wrestling is very complicated at best. I watched my first wrestling match sometime around 1983, and the larger than life characters were literal comic books that had exploded in front of me. Like most other kids in the ’80s, I wanted more. I begged my mom to buy me wrestling magazines, toys, and watched every Saturday morning.

I loved guys like Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage, but I remember my eyes widening every time there was a Black or Brown face on my screen. So naturally I had an affinity for characters like The Junkyard Dog, Koko B Ware. But what really turned me on to wrestling was a tag team called The Soul Patrol.

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Character Study: Barbara Gordon

Dedicated to the late Yvonne Craig who passed away yesterday.

It’s a shame how much Barbara Gordon/Batgirl is perhaps one of the most underrated characters in comics and pop culture. Not surprising that many dismiss her as little more than a “female Robin” or a lesser spinoff character of the caped crusader.

But the astute observer will note that by being tied to the Batman mythos, Barbara Gordon has arguably made more appearances in mainstream media than any other comic book super heroine, including Wonder Woman, thus perhaps making Batgirl the most publicized comic book super heroine to date.

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R.I.P. Francis Tsai

Last night, the SIUniverse family was rocked when we learned we had lost one of our own. Francis Tsai, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010, passed away after a long battle with the disease — just one week after celebrating his 46th birthday. In 2009, Francis became part of the SIUniverse by illustrating the story “Taking Back Troy” in the first Secret Identities volume. Though ALS slowly took away his ability to draw with his hands, he never let the disease stop him from creating art. First, he trained himself to draw using his feet, and when that was taken from him, he pioneered special technology using his eyes to create art.

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R.I.P. Yuri Kochiyama: For All The Free by Jef Castro

Last night, news broke across social media that legendary human rights activist Yuri Kochiyama had passed away. Official news sources were slow to confirm, but sadly, it was true. The world had lost another titan of history — less than a week from the day Maya Angelou was taken from us, no less. The universe can be cruel sometimes.

As part of the digital comic I edited in conjunction with the Smithsonian‘s touring “I Want the Wide American Earth” Asian American history exhibit last September, I commissioned my fellow SIUniverse alum Jef Castro to create bookend pieces for the book that were inspired by the Carlos Bulosan poem from which the exhibit drew its name.

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NOC Poetry: R.I.P. Amiri Baraka

The world lost a titan of the Black Arts Movement when the poet Amiri Baraka passed away today in Newark, New Jersey after several weeks of hospitalization. Baraka was 79 years old.

On twitter, honorary NOC Saladin Ahmed wondered if Baraka was the first poet to reference superheroes in his work.

The poem Ahmed was referring to, “In Memory of Radio,” comes from Baraka’s first collection of poetry, Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note, which has been reprinted below. In it, Baraka — then still known as Leroi Jones — uses The Shadow to bookend the poem:

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Remembering Lee Thompson Young

This afternoon, actor Lee Thompson Young was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his Los Angeles home after he failed to report to the set of the TNT show Rizzoli & Isles. For most millennials and post-millenials, Young will forever be known as “The Famous Jett Jackson,” the titular star of the late-90s/early-Aughts Disney Channel phenomenon of the same name. For me, though, Young will always represent the first and only live action incarnation of DC Comics’ iconic Teen Titan, Victor Stone, a.k.a. Cyborg, the character he portrayed in several recurring episodes of the long-running Superman series for the WB and the CW, Smallville.

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