Homestuck, a popular multimedia webcomic series, announces that Dante Basco (Hook, Avatar: The Last Airbender) has joined the Homestuck creative team to bring the series to Hollywood. The webcomic follows four teenagers that became friends on the internet and their fight to save the world after playing a computer game that inadvertently triggers the apocalypse. Since its launch in 2009, Homestuck has gained a large online following in the millions, reportedly reaching about 600,000 visitors daily. In 2012, Homestuck fans — often called “Homestucks”– pledged over $2.4 million through a Kickstarter campaign for the development of a Homestuck Adventure Game.
I have spoken to a lot of people in the games industry who are frustrated about GamerGate but shaky on the prospect of speaking out themselves; they’re worried about receiving death threats, or drawing unwanted attention to their employer, or just overextending themselves getting involved in an exhausting conversation.
All of these are valid concerns! The problem is that good people being silent on the matter is what enables this to continue; many of the folks who organize under the GamerGate banner (both harassers and non-harassers) genuinely believe that they’re speaking up for the silent majority who share their beliefs but aren’t brave enough to speak out. (Personally, I tend to assume that people are jerks despite their good intentions until proven otherwise; IMO the hard part of being a good person isn’t thinking the right thing, it’s doing the right thing). In other words, silence is interpreted as implicit permission to continue.
So, here’s the thing. Speaking out doesn’t mean you have to wake up every morning and only get out of bed after reading the previous night’s GamerGate stuff for twenty minutes and getting angry. (I will say it’s pretty good at getting me out of bed, though). There are a bunch of different ways that you can make your voice heard, depending on how your personal HP/MP are doing.
Last weekend, at Baltimore Comic-Con, I had the opportunity to run in to several members of the SIUniverse fam in attendance. One of the alums I visited with was artist Robin Ha, who was exhibiting in Artist Alley for the first time. Not only was it great to catch up — however briefly — but it was also an opportunity to get a print copy of Banchan in Two Pages, a pretty cool recipe comic she’s been updating on the tumblr of the same name.
I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Kelly yesterday, author of the wonderful Image Comics graphic novel, I Kill Giants. He was an amazingly nice and supportive person, and I had the chance to perform my “I Kill Giants” track for him, which made the house a bit misty eyed. It was a great moment for me, and if you haven’t had the chance to read the book, or hear the song that I made, please take a second to check it out!
If you’ll allow for a moment of first-person writing today, I’m happy and proud to announce that, in addition to being part of the team at The R, I was asked to be part of We Are Comics, a new campaign created by longtime comics pro editor Rachel Edidin over the weekend to spotlight the fact that comics fandom extends far, far beyond the cis-het white male realm often attached to it.
In her words:
We are comics: creators, publishers, retailers, readers; professionals and fans. And we are a lot more diverse than you might think.
We Are Comics is a campaign to show—and celebrate—the faces of our community, our industry, and our culture; to promote the visibility of marginalized members of our population; and to stand in solidarity against harassment and abuse.
On Saturday, professional comics editor Rachel Edidin sent out the following tweet in response to a lot of the fanboy gatekeeping — and just general terrible behavior on the part of fanboys — that’s been burning up the geekosphere recently.
Idea: A photo campaign of personal statements from people on the margins, w/ photos reading "I am comics." Somebody do this?
— (((Jay Edidin))) (@NotLasers) April 26, 2014
In a matter of a few hours, that initial idea morphed into a full blown campaign that quickly gathered steam over the weekend when We Are Comics was launched. And the “somebody” who did it? Edidin herself.
Many years ago, I was part of a loose band of ne’er-do-wells from Minnesota. We all were women, men, Queer people of color and Native people who are/were nerds. We dubbed ourselves Nerds of Color, or NOCs. I vaguely recall a conversation back then, I don’t even remember with who. It was about how non-white characters always die first in American films. And I remember watching this shitty film called Deep Blue Sea starring LL Cool J, and thinking to myself: whoever made this film is playing with the idea that the Black guy is going to die first.