Bonus Hard NOC Life: ‘Hamilton’ as Fan Fiction (from 2016)

Hard NOC Life will go on a brief hiatus as we prepare for our landmark 200th episode.

But since today is the premiere of Hamilton on Disney+, we’re re-sharing this panel from November 2016 as a bonus episode of the podcast. You can find the original post here.

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Bryan Thao Worra on Lao Science Fiction (From CTRL+ALT)

In our final live edition of Hard NOC Life from the NOC Reading Lounge at CTRL+ALT — the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s pop-up culture lab in the former Pear River Mart location in SoHo, award-winning poet Bryan Thao Worra discusses the literature of the Laotian diaspora and explains why the Asian American literay canon needs more speculative fiction.

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History as Fan Fiction: A CTRL+ALT Panel on ‘Hamilton’

Back in November, we recorded a live edition of Hard NOC Life from the NOC Reading Lounge at CTRL+ALT — the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s pop-up culture lab in the former Pearl River Mart location in SoHo. Hamilton superfans Constance Gibbs, Kendra James, and Kevin T. Morales joined Keith to nerd out over the smash Broadway hit musical Hamilton.

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Amy Chu Live at the CTRL+ALT Reading Lounge

In another live edition of Hard NOC Life recorded exclusively from the NOC Reading Lounge at CTRL+ALT — the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s pop-up culture lab in the former Pear River Mart location in SoHo — writer Amy Chu stops by to talk about angry Asians, adding diversity to the world of Poison Ivy, and being a woman of color in the comics industry.

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Vishavjit Singh is the Captain America We Deserve

We continue our special editions of Hard NOC Life recorded exclusively from the NOC Reading Lounge at CTRL+ALT, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s pop-up culture lab in the former Pear River Mart location in SoHo. Today’s one-on-one conversation features Sikh Captain America himself, cartoonist Vishavjit Singh.

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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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La Borinqueña and La La: Heroes Worth Waiting For

When my oldest daughter was 3, we would sit together in her bean bag chair, turn off the lights, and watch the Justice League animated series. Here she learned about superheros and when she started becoming interested in comics, I wanted to make sure she read something that represented and looked like her so I handed her a copy of Araña. That was five years ago, and now she is 12 and is immersed in finding representation in what she reads.

It’s small stories like this that amplify the importance of diversity in literature and, in this case, comics. It is for that reason that the launching of Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez’s La Borinqueña comes at a much needed time.

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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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Artists Matt Huynh and Yumi Sakugawa Live From #CrossLines

Even though the Smithsonian’s CrossLines pop-up culture lab on intersectionality happened two months ago, we’ve been milking our live artist conversations ever since. Sadly, today marks the final live edition of Hard NOC Life, but it’s definitely worth the wait! Join acclaimed artists Matt Huynh and Yumi Sakugawa as they talk about their work and installations presented at the Smithsonian.

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Comics, Culture, and Cooking with Robin Ha at #CrossLines

On the second day of the Smithsonian’s CrossLines pop-up culture lab on intersectionality, artist Robin Ha stopped by the NOC Reading Lounge to talk about her new book Cook Korean, which takes Korean recipes and presents them in a comic book format.

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NOC x BNP at #CrossLines with Lauren Bullock

An historic event occurred during our special live recordings of Hard NOC Life from the Smithsonian’s CrossLines pop-up culture lab on intersectionality. The NOC and Black Nerd Problems formed a Nerd Voltron when we were joined by BNP’s own Lauren Bullock.

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Hard NOC Live at the Smithsonian #CrossLines: Shawn Martinbrough

Last week, we had the opportunity to be a part of CrossLines, a pop-up culture lab on intersectionality presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. In addition to hosting a Reading Lounge/Book Swap and live mural by artist Matt Huyhn, The Nerds of Color was invited to conduct live recordings of Hard NOC Life. The first of these live podcasts featured comic book artist Shawn Martinbrough.

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The Official NOC #CrossLines Reading List

This past weekend in Washington DC, the Smithsonian’s historic Arts & Industries building was home to the most important gathering of artists you have ever seen. The CrossLines pop-up culture lab on intersectionality brought together over 40 artists and scholars to explore race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, disability, etc.

I was fortunate enough to be invited and helped organize a Reading Lounge and live podcasts — while artist Matt Huynh painted a mural in real time the entire weekend. One of the questions I got asked the most was about the books we included, so after the jump you can find a complete list of books we had in the Lounge!
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#CrossLines Takes Over the Smithsonian This Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend, the historic Arts & Industries Building at the Smithsonian will be the place to be when over 40 artists and scholars participate in a pop-up culture lab on intersectionality called CrossLines. And The Nerds of Color will be there all weekend conducting podcast interviews (Hard NOC LIVE, if you will) with artists and writers like Shawn Martinbrough, Ellen Oh, and more. And on Sunday evening, bring a sci-fi/fantasy book or graphic novel and join in on the NOC Book Swap.

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Big Hero 6 Shows That an Asian American Cast Can Top the Box Office

by Adriel Luis | Originally posted at Smithsonian APA NOW

This past weekend’s box office numbers are in, and Disney’s latest project Big Hero 6 stands soundly on top. This might not come as a big surprise, considering that Frozen-fever is still holding every auntie’s TV hostage — but the film still breaks ground, especially in the scope of Asian Americans in cinema. And Hollywood should take note.

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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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It’s More Than Okay To Be George Takei

Last night, I had the distinct honor to attend a screening of To Be Takei — the new documentary about Start Trek actor, civil rights activist, and social media maven George Takei — as part of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center‘s ongoing Asian Pacific Heritage Month celebrations. Bookended by remarks from Smithsonian APAC Director Konrad Ng and a Q&A with the film’s subjects, the entire evening was a celebration of one of our culture’s most trailblazing icons.

Having made its debut at Sundance in January, To Be Takei was recently acquired by Starz for digital and theatrical distribution later this year. In advance of its formal theatrical release, the film has been doing the festival rounds and made its Washington, DC premiere at the Warner Brothers theater inside the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. I was lucky enough to check it out with the homie (and fellow NOC) Patrick Michael Strange.

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Building America by Ming Doyle

Last September, I mentioned how I was honored to coordinate and edit a digital comic in conjunction with the Smithsonian‘s touring “I Want the Wide American Earth” Asian American history exhibit.

(And once again, many thanks to Lawrence-Minh Bui Davis and Konrad Ng for allowing me to be part of such an honor).

This morning, in a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Labor, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez officially inducted thousands of 19th century Chinese railroad workers into the Labor Hall of Honor. I wanted to share Ming Doyle‘s contribution to the Smithsonian project. Titled “Building America,” Ming‘s piece depicts the Asian Americans who risked their lives to connect the Transcontinental Railroad between 1865 and 1869.

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Internment/Service by Bernard Chang

Last September, I mentioned how I was honored to coordinate and edit a digital comic in conjunction with the Smithsonian‘s touring “I Want the Wide American Earth” Asian American history exhibit.

(And once again, many thanks to Lawrence-Minh Bui Davis and Konrad Ng for allowing me to be part of such an honor).

Since today is the 72nd anniversary of Executive Order 9066, and a Day of Remembrance for the 120,000 Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II, I wanted to share Bernard Chang‘s contribution to the Smithsonian project. Titled “Internment/Service,” Bernard‘s illustration honors the Japanese Americans who fought for justice abroad while their families suffered from injustice at home.

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Meanwhile, on The Internet

Apparently, while the Nerds were all consumed with Star Trek last week, other stuff was happening on the Internet. So here’s a brief rundown of things you might have missed because you were too busy exploring strange new worlds and seeking out new life and new civilizations. But first, let me get a little self-congratulations and self-promotion out of the way.

Welcome Pop Candy readers! And a big thanks to Whitney for giving us a little plug in her USA Today column. We hope you all enjoy the NOC community and join us as we look at “pop culture with a different perspective.”

Okay, that was the congrats, now here’s the shameless self-promo.

IWTWAEOver the weekend, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center opened its traveling Asian American history banner exhibit “I Want the Wide American Earth” at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles — after spending the last three months on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. In honor of the exhibit’s West Coast opening, the Smithsonian APA Center unveiled an online digital comic I edited that features key moments in Asian American history illustrated by some of the top names in the comic industry, including Bernard Chang, Ming Doyle, GB Tran and my SIUniverse partners-in-crime Jerry Ma and Jef Castro.

You can see the comic online here. A downloadable version is still forthcoming.

So there’s that. And after the jump is other stuff on the web you should be reading:

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