A Talk With Marc Bernardin About His Version of Peter Parker in ‘The Amazing Shutterbug’

With great power, comes great responsibility. A timeless phrase with a powerful meaning. While it didn’t originate in comics, it was the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man that solidified the adage, transforming it into one of the most iconic comic book lines of all time.

Even if you haven’t ingested a single piece of Spidey content, the famous line tied heavily to Pete’s Uncle Ben has probably been ingrained in your memory by now. The line has been a major part of Peter Parker’s life for years, guiding the troubled hero through his hardest moments and reminding him why he dons the suit every day. But what happens when you don’t have great power anymore? What would Peter Parker do if he never became Spider-Man?

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25 Years of Encouraging Dream Pursuits in ‘Whisper of the Heart’

Over the course of Studio Ghibli’s 35 years of movie-making, only seven of its theatrical releases have been directed by people other than the company’s co-founders, Hayao Miyazaki and the late Isao Takahata. While the eighth film of its kind, Earwig and the Witch directed by Miyazaki’s son Gorō, will be released later this year, this summer holds significance in the fact that its been 25 years since the first time such a project was released from the studio. That film is Whisper of the Heart. Continue reading “25 Years of Encouraging Dream Pursuits in ‘Whisper of the Heart’”

The Timing and Timeliness of ‘Hamilton’

The following is a slightly altered cross-post, originally published on Lola By The Bay.

Last weekend, I finally got to see a matinee performance of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical, Hamilton, at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco.

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Hard NOC Life: Zack Stentz at the ‘Rim of the World’

With the premiere of the new Netflix original movie Rim of the World debuting this Memorial Day weekend, the film’s screenwriter Zack Stentz joins Hard NOC Life to talk about its origins and the current state of pop culture fandom.

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Lifewriting 101

One of my New Years resolutions was dedicating this year to leveling up, specifically as an author and artist. Or rather as an auteur.  😉

Breaking personal records and churning out more pieces than ever, I’ve spent the better part of the year in nonstop writer mode which of course is the equivalent of Puppet Angel.

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Writing to a Non-Existing Audience

Originally published at Thagomizer

Recently I was having a conversation with a couple of friends and acquaintances regarding the release of my novel, Hollowstone. As I explained the premise behind the book, they expressed it was a novel they would be very interested in reading.

They then expressed that they don’t read books. As the conversation continued, they explained it was in large part to their horrors in school. Horror stories I was all too familiar with. The others elaborated that they hated being forced to read classic literature which usually translated works written by old dead white men and ergo deemed as the only type of “literature” worth reading.

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My Steps To Creating Characters And Building Worlds

Originally published at Twinjas Book Reviews

One of the questions I’m constantly asked (which admittedly I never get tired of answering) is what  my process in terms of world building and developing complex characters.

My approach to world-building and character development ultimately corresponds to my overall approach to storytelling. As a writer, I personally belong to the school of character = story. What truth do we discover along the character’s journey? More than that, whether it’s fiction, articles or blog posts, I generally have three mandates which I dub E-Cubed: Enlighten, entertain and empower.

Needless to say that E-Cubed has led to other techniques which has only enhanced my storytelling abilities over the years.

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The Iron Fist That Almost Was: One-on-One with Steven Maeda

It’s been nearly two weeks since Iron Fist debuted all 13 episodes of its initial season on Netflix. Prior to its release, the first half of the season previewed for critics received a drubbing the likes of which is unheard of for a Marvel/Netflix property. I’ve since watched the whole season, and yeah, it wasn’t good. Setting aside my issues with the casting of the lead, Iron Fist suffers from the worst sin of any piece of entertainment: it’s boring! Worse than that, it has absolutely zero point of view. I still don’t know what Scott Buck is trying to say with this show. To that end, I wrote a post about different Asian American showrunners who could have brought a unique perspective to the Iron Fist story that the current show lacks. In response to my article on twitter, one of those writers, Steven Maeda, even revealed he actually pitched an Iron Fist concept to Marvel!

I reached out to the former X-Files and Lost writer to get the skinny on what happened to his pitch to Marvel.

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The Martian View of Cultural Appropriation

Let’s say you’re a Martian. Let’s say you’ve been sent to Earth to study human society and culture. Let’s say you have a universal translator.

Let’s say you landed on Earth, randomly, a week or so ago in Brisbane, Australia, and followed the crowds to the Brisbane Writers Festival (culture! perfect!) just in time to hear Lionel Shriver’s keynote address about how cultural appropriation isn’t a thing and fiction writers get to have all the freedom. How is this going to sound to you?

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Representation Is Heavy (But It Matters)

[Featured image by: Menellaos]

Several weeks ago I had the singular pleasure of substitute teaching for a course in the California College of Arts M.F.A. in Comics program. Yes, you read that correctly. There is an M.F.A. in comics. Where was this X number of years ago when I was on my Higher Ed journey?

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Daniel José Older v Batman v Superman

[Ed. note: Over the weekend, our own Daniel José Older found himself on a plane with nothing to do but watch Batman v Superman (which is now available digitally and will be released on blu-ray in two weeks). His tweet thoughts have been collected below. Enjoy.]

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How to Break Into TV Comedy Writing with Grace Nkenge Edwards

Grace Nkenge Edwards is a writer, actor, and producer who has both written for and performed on MTV’s Decoded, Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central, and is currently a writer on MTV’s Untitled Nicole Byer Project. She co-writes and performs in a monthly show with her sketch team The Heavenly Creatures. She has an MFA in Screenwriting from Columbia University, a BFA in Acting from the University of Michigan, and has taught television writing at NYU.

I had the pleasure of meeting Grace at Columbia where I was acting in her screenwriting class taught by one of my favorite playwrights, Israel Horowitz. Since then, Grace has created a TV writing career that many creatives only dream about. How did she do it? With perseverance, preparation, and well… grace. Check out my interview with her below.

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Paladins: An Interview With Vaughn R. Demont

Recently I had the opportunity to meet and connect with author Vaughn R. Demont. A talented writer and an all-around very cool guy, I was more than stoked when he agreed to sit down for this interview where we cover everything from life as a gay geek, being an urban fantasy author and of course diversity in speculative media.

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How to Fall in Love with Your Writing

It’s 5:45 a.m. on Monday, November. 30, at the time of writing this article. For the past few hours I’ve been in writer mode which can best be described as Puppet Angel, hence the pic.

For most people it’s the start of a new week and the final day in the month. But for an intrepid lot, today is essentially Judgment Day.

The final hours of National Novel Writing Month are upon us. NaNoWriMo is perhaps the writing equivalent of Battle Royale/Hunger Games/Mortal Kombat/Thunderdome. Each year, many enter, but only a handful survive.

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My 20 Steps To Getting Published

With two novels under my belt, Hollowstone and West of Sunset, one of the things I’m asked the most is advice about getting published. Shifting into writer mode which coincidentally looks a lot like Puppet Angel (hence the above pic).

The following is an email I sent to readers sharing my experiences which I think may serve as a useful resource for other writing aspirants.

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The Unlikely Muse

Originally published on Latin Negro

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

— Toni Morrison

They say necessity is the mother of all invention and by extension, creativity. As a storyteller I’ve certainly found that to be true for the narratives I penned. As a queer geek of color, I’ve learned early on that geek culture is for white people for a number of reasons, and to be a PoC or an LGBTQ means to be treated like a pariah.

More than that, countless marginalized characters are endlessly undercut and buried due to the rampant bigotry that pervades the media. Extraordinary characters such as Storm (the First Lady of Marvel), Renee Montoya, Regina Mills, Freedom Ring, Midnighter, Cassandra Cain and countless others who have been lightning rods for racism, misogyny, and/or homophobia by fandom and the industry alike.

But as any artist will tell you, inspiration can often come in the unlikeliest of forms.

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What I Learned by Failing in Comics: Hustle & Flow

Let me start by saying, I’m not a writer. I’m a hustla that raps a lot. For the duration of this causerie, I’m a rapper. Like your favorite rhymes sayer: I got a story to tell.

About decade ago, there was a cipher with the man who gave Bruce Leroy his glow. That build set me on a journey; I took my lyrics and went looking for Sun Dum Goy.

My rhymes, evolved into a screenplay. I rapped in the studio, my rhymes became a novel. I kept on rapping until I had a demo tape.

When I was hustling my original novel in the streets, OGs put me on to the comic book route. Considering the nature of my rhymes: martial arts fantasy fiction, many figured it was best way for people see me lyrically.

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Putting Faith to Purpose: An Origin Story

A great visionary by the name of Cindi Mayweather once said, “Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.”

My name is Dennis R. Upkins. I’m a speculative fiction author who writes urban fantasy, YA, and superhero fantasy. Storytelling has always been my calling, but sometimes fate has to put you on the path. The key is to be astute when the signs present themselves.

It was two years ago and I had a homecoming of sorts as I was back in Atlanta for Gaylaxicon/Outlantacon. The con was a smashing success but that was to be expected. What wasn’t expected however was the revelation I would receive repeatedly throughout the weekend.

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An Interview with RUNLOVEKILL Writer Jonathan Tsuei

Jonathan Tsuei and artist Eric Canete will soon be gracing the nerd world with their new comic from Image, RUNLOVEKILL. I had the honor of reading the first issue and can report that it is an innovative, futuristic, action packed story with some elements that I would dare to compare with Aeon Flux.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to writer Jonathan Tsuei about the comic, character development, and his future projects.

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Apply for the Dat Winning Sportswriting Fellowship

We don’t cover sports much here on the NOC, but that’s what our sister site Dat Winning is for! And I’m pleased to share that the site, The Dynasty Project, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop have teamed up to announce the Dat Winning Fellowship that  “seeks aspiring Asian American writers with an interest in covering the world of sports.”

The application deadline is December 19. More info after the cut.

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Why Creators Should Look at Conventions Differently

Originally posted at Black Nerd Problems

For a comic fan, attending a convention is a mass gathering of distant relatives — the one you play Titanfall with online, that guy whose reviews you browse online, that girl you haven’t seen since the last convention — all in one place. It’s a family reunion of sorts, and in the case of New York Comic-Con, it’s a big one. But for those of us who are artists, designers, writers, cosplayers, or any other type of creator, a convention is more than a fan space, it’s a networking opportunity for you to share your work. These are your future collaborators, guidance counselors, business partners, and consumers, so approaching a convention from that perspective means the difference between being a fan of someone else’s work, and being on track to add fans of your own.

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