Q Is For Queer Speculative Fiction

Originally published on The Future Fire

As a writer, storyteller, and a queer person of color, it goes without saying that diversity and inclusion is very important to me.

Anyone who’s known me for five seconds is aware of the fact that I’m a rabid comic book fan. It’s modern day mythology and as a writer and an artist, this medium especially appeals to me for obvious reasons. Watching beautiful muscular men is a pastime that I can live with.

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Logan: The End of Ol’ White Men

The “Whitelash” theory of Trump’s super-embarrassing slide into the presidency (well, we never claimed the U.S. wasn’t anti-intellectual, did we?) has the still-ascendant, but demographically shrinking and culturally stagnating white/cis-het/male contingent (helped substantially by their female counterparts) striking back at the diversity of Obama’s America by electing a crypto-white-supremacist in response to his racist and xenophobic dog whistles. Although not the only compelling narrative of the last year and a half, Trump’s Whitelash has enough truth to it to make it into at least a Ronald-Takaki-authored history book, if not a textbook from Texas.

Meanwhile, pop culture may be lashing in the opposite direction — and, in fact, contributing to the panic. Whereas the last Academy Awards shows of Obama’s presidency featured a field of winners that rivaled a wedding-dress-clad polar bear fainting on an iceberg for whiteness, it is President Trump’s first Oscars that saw the Academy — now led by a black woman — crowning its first African-American-made Best Picture. The last season of tv was the most diverse in history, and we don’t need numbers or stats to know this. And even the debate around diversity failures points to how far we’ve come, and how aware of the changing nature of American culture the mainstream has become.

So it’s not much of a stretch to see Logan, clearly the end of a franchise, as the gentle, mournful and mourning, Hollywood-sanctioned version of conservative white panic.

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Sweet 16: Top Films of 2016

For the better part of a decade, this has become an annual tradition for yours truly.

From January to December I compile a list of the best, artistic and most progressive films, television shows, and music albums. One of the reasons I do this is to provide resources to readers who are looking for cerebral, fun, and progressive media. It does exist as my lists have continued to prove. Don’t say I never gave you anything. You’re welcome.

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The Inconvenient Truth In Advertising

So recently Rose McGowan made headlines expressing outrage over the X-Men: Apocalypse billboard ad that showcases Ivan Ooze, I mean Apocalypse, choking Mystique, claiming that it promotes violence against women.

Fox has since issued an apology for the billboard. Which I think was the right call for the studio. Another right call would also be for Fox to apologize for the fustercluck that is X-Men: Apocalypse itself but I digress.

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Review: X-Men Apocalypse

X-Men Apocalypse.

I swore I wouldn’t write a review for the film. Primarily because any review I penned would pale in comparison to the excellent piece penned by my buddy and fellow N.O.C. colleague, Valerie Complex.

Seriously if you haven’t read it, go do so now. Val snatched so many wigs and edges, you would’ve thought Director Bryan Singer and Fox were members of the Charles Xavier Cosplay Appreciation Society.

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X-Men Apocalypse: Fox Wins But People of Color Lose

Don’t expect this movie to rely heavily on the source material. Director Bryan Singer presents a film that’s a hodge-podge of various stories made up by people who know nothing about the X-Men. Aside from Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Apocalypse (Oscar Issac, doing well with whatever the hell he is given) being mildly entertaining, they can’t save the film from imploding. Everyone else is either used as filler or bores you to death with their on-screen presence. Choppy action scenes are put in place to mask the uninteresting, underdeveloped characters, cheesy dialogue, Playstation 2-quality special effects, and makeup that looks like it was bought from the bargain bin at Chapel Hill Beauty Supply. The worst part is the newcomers don’t get their chance to shine like the trailer would have you believe. Particularly the characters of color.

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Five Potential Superhero Roles For Jennifer Lopez

Although American Idol is coming to a close, host, singer, actress, and entertainment icon Jennifer Lopez isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Last year she co-starred with Viola Davis in the critically acclaimed thriller, Lila & Eve. Currently she can also be seen on the NBC police drama, Shades of Blue.

It was around this time last year when Lopez made it known that she’d be interested in landing a superhero role.

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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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Diversify Cast Regulars on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Warning:  spoilers for season two of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., including the season finale, are included.

In my earlier post about Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the agonizingly long list of characters of color who have been either killed off, turned evil or left physically mutilated illustrated the series’ awkward reliance on negative racially-coded tropes.  Now that the season is over, let’s finish that list, shall we?

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