All posts by Arturo

Race & Comics Roundup: Archie’s Romance, Milestone’s Return & The Great Ten

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By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

Chris Sims at The Comic Alliance highlighted the cover to Archie #608, which points in the direction of a decidedly different type of crossover between Archie and his gang and Josie & The Pussycats – specifically, the eponymous Mr. Andrews and Valerie, so uh, memorably played by Rosario Dawson in the 2001 Josie live-action film.

As Sims points out via a column by former Milestone Comics editor-in-chief Dwayne McDuffie, this isn’t the first time a member of the Archie creative team has tried to introduce an inter-racial romance to the staid Riverdale scene, only the first successful attempt. In 1992, McDuffie says, Betty & Me writer Matt Wayne wanted to give Betty Cooper a beau of her own to give Archie some competition for her affection (a twist on Betty and Veronica’s never-ending battle for Archie’s heart).

Wayne’s candidate was to be college freshman Dexter Howard, a young black co-worker of Betty’s. As another twist, Dexter wasn’t going to be a “bad guy,” but would instead befriend Archie despite their competing interest in Betty. Unfortunately, McDuffie says, the idea never got off the ground, as Wayne’s editor, Daryl Edelman, had the story soundly rejected by one of Edelman’s superiors:

[Edelman’s superior] hated the stuff, wanting to know why Dexter was so much more accomplished than Archie, “What is he, super-Negro?” (at least, “Negro” is what everyone who told me this story reported him as saying. I have a sneaking suspicion that they were trying to save my feelings). Darryl was very upset and told off his boss, but to no avail. He was ordered to change the story in the cheapest way possible: Dexter was to be re-colored white. Unfortunately, this fooled approximately no one. Archie’s offices were flooded with four or five letters congratulating them on their progressive move of adding that “cool, black guy” to Betty’s cast. Uh oh.

Wayne was subsequently fired after only two issues. Continue reading

Picture This: Chromatic Comics Remixes Your Fandoms

by special correspondent Arturo R. García

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My friends at Fantastic Fangirls turned me on to the Chromatic Comics meme that went around LiveJournal, Dreamwidth and similar blog sites. Simply put: a number of bloggers re-cast various fandoms with all-POC casts. Below are a few notable examples with links attached.

From Bossymarmalade’s Chromatic Marvel, you saw Vanessa Williams as Emma Frost up top. Add to that:

Diego Luna as Gambit
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John Cho as Multiple Man
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From Entwasian’s Chromatic Buffy:

Percy Daggs III as Xander Harris
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Selling The Fear: The ‘All-American Basketball Alliance’

by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García


Sweet River Baines

klong | MySpace Video

Just before MLK Day, a jabrone by the name of Don “Moose” Lewis announced his intention to organize the All-American Basketball Alliance: a new hoops league open only to U.S.-born white people – you know, American natives, but not Native Americans.

As a rule, any “announcement” by self-avowed boxing and pro-wrestling promoters should be taken with not just a grain, but a whole mine’s worth of salt. Nevertheless, even for (former?) hucksters, this stunt is pretty low.

Nothing personal, says Commissioner Moose; it’s just that Those Darn POC have corrupted the game, as he told the Augusta Chronicle:

“There’s nothing hatred about what we’re doing,” he said. “I don’t hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now. Here’s a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like.”

Damn you, Sweet River Baines, what hath you wrought? Also, while Grayson Boucher would technically be eligible to play in the Tea PartyAABA, as he is a “… natural born United States citizen with both parents of Caucasian race,” odds are he wouldn’t be welcome. Why, just look at him – playing alongside those black dudes like they’re people!

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Quotable: More on South Africa and Film

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García
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In reading the discussion about Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandela, it’s interesting to note that South African actors have been protesting the casting of Jennifer Hudson in the title role of a biopic on Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

“This decision must be reversed. It must be stopped now,” Oupa Lebogo, the union’s secretary-general, told The [UK] Times. The story also quoted a friend of Madikizela-Mandela’s, Udo Froese, as saying,: “There’s a lot of good local talent, why not use them? Winnie herself is not involved in this, and in no way has given any sort of green light.”

At a Dec. 5 press conference, actor John Kani and the Creative Workers Union of South Africa called for tighter regulations on foreign projects, and said the issue wasn’t Hudson personally, but a bigger problem:

“Every time there is a movie that tells a South African story, it is done by someone who must be taught the right way of pronouncing Sawubona. Enough it enough.”

He said if local actors were to be included in such films, they had to be given serious roles to play.

ANC Women’s League deputy president Nosipho Dorothy Ntwanambi said as a struggle veteran, she knew and understood why South African stories had to be portrayed by people who lived and knew them.

“One can’t read a book about our history and claim to know our way of living,” she said.

The Associated Press ran a story Monday quoting two more union officials upset with Hudson’s casting.

“It can’t happen that we want to develop our own Hollywood and yet bring in imports,” the union’s president Mabutho Sithole said in The Citizen newspaper.

“This decision must be reversed, it must be stopped now,” union secretary general Oupa Lebogo said in The Times. “If the matter doesn’t come up for discussion, we will push for a moratorium to be placed on the film.”

The Times also noted that both the film’s source material (the book Winnie Mandela: My Life) and director (Darrell J. Roodt) are local.

Another South African publication, the Daily Maverick, is concerned less about Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandela in Invictus – which, the Huffington Post says, features an almost completely South African cast – than , but about how it holds up as a rugby film:

Can Graham Lindemann really demonstrate the awesomeness of Kobus’s arrival at a ruck? Can Rolf Fitschen throw a lineout ball as straight as Naka?

The answer, of course, is no. And because the answer is no, there’s likely to be much sniggering when the film gets released here this month. In fact, the sniggering has been gathering momentum for a while already – honestly, what was your first reaction when you heard that Matt Damon was cast as Francois Pienaar? Did you tell your mates that the guy was born for the role?

The Racialicious Roundtable For ‘Flash Forward’ 1.10

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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Can I just tell you all how much I hate “press conference” scenes on film or television? And the one in “A561984″ was one of the worst yet. I don’t know where they wrote that bunch of goons to get their training from, but with all their RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE crap, we never got to hear:

* Exactly how Lloyd and the Hobbit came to think they caused the GBO
* What the test yielded apart from the blackout
* Where they got their funding for their SCIENCE!
* Who the hell is paying for all the damages their little stunt caused

Instead, these idiots gave the boys a chance to get away – and what kind of lame-ass security guard gets jacked by a *reporter*? Where was this thing held, a Sarah Palin signing? What a horrible way to kick off the show.
Diana: It was a bit lame. And those were obviously amateur rent-a-cops. I was kind of with the Hobbit on this one. They should have had more info on if they actually caused it before making it that public. They could have gone to the feds first. But that makes too much sense.
Carmen: Yeah especially after Lloyd and Charlie (sorry, I’m a Lostie) tried to act all cool during that Texas Hold’em showdown… this press conference showed them to be the dorks that they are.
Andrea: But the Hobbit/Charlie/Dan Brown-Sounding Philosophy Dude did go to Stan and tried that whole “I Got Something You Might Be Interested In” bit. And Stan bit a bit…though Janis saw through dude’s ruse. To eyerolling effect. On that I give Janis daps.
jen*: The whole confession/press conference was ridic. I understand Lloyd’s guilt, but what scientist tells everybody his experiment caused chaos when he has no proof? Just coincidence. How could they even have held a press conference without going to the FBI or something first? Continue reading

‘Jersey Shore': Believe The Hype

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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Three weeks in, Jersey Shore has played out exactly as you expected: the gang of eight Italian-Americans gathers at the hot tub to sip some wine and reflect upon their heritage and culture, including a unanimous vote to use their newfound platform to protest the depiction of the Italian justice system during the Amanda Knox case.

Just kidding.

In terms of presentation, there’s little separating Jersey from MTV’s other “reality” offerings: the cast members are, at any given moment, clueless, conniving, crass, or crunk. Last week’s episode spent almost 10 minutes following Nicole (aka “Shnooki” or “The Princess of Poughkeepsie”) as she debated leaving the house after one night because she embarrassed herself by drunkenly making out with numerous housemates. And not surprisingly, almost all of the roommates complained about having to work at a nearby t-shirt shop until (gasp!) 9pm, despite it being a condition of their living in the usual gauche bachelor/ette pad. The musical score hammers the “appropriate” mood into the viewer’s head while we watch each of these people act out and lash out in a manner befitting sex-crazed buffoons. Continue reading

The Racialicious Bye Week Roundtable For ‘Flash Forward’

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Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

What, you thought these guys taking a week off was going to stop us?

First off, we’re happy to welcome a new addition to Team Snarklight Express: the boss of bosses at New Demographic herself, Carmen Van Kerckhove!

Carmen: Hey there! Thought it was about time I started pulling my weight. And if that means taking on the burden of watching John Cho every week, so be it.
Andrea: Hey Carmen! Welcome to the ‘Table. Soooo…now that you’re here, can we officially make John Cho the new Patron Hottie of the R? :-)
Mahsino: I agree, ’tis a heavy burden having to watch all that hotness surrounded by wooden acting.
Diana: Welcome to the snark fest, Carmen! Ditto, Andrea, on Cho as the Racialicious Patron of Hotness.
jen*: Welcome, Carmen! (two hands up for Cho-licious moments at The R)

To prep everyone for the return of the show this week, we sat around and tossed some ideas back and forth, mostly from these clips we found on a FF site … uh, Andrea, where did we find this, again?
Andrea: The site is in Polish. I recognized the language on the site before I saw the extension. Eight years of going to Catholic mass where the misalettes were in Polish and English.

Carmen: I sure hope that Mark and Demitri just happened to wander onto the set of a TVB costume drama or something, cause believe it or not, people in my hometown of Hong Kong don’t usually walk around dressed like this:

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The Racialicious Roundtable For ‘Flash Forward’ 1.9

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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By now, dear reader(s), you’ve probably heard that ABC has given the turkeys at Flash Forward an extra-long Turkey Day hiatus in order to give the writing a punch-up. Of course, if you read this space, you know we could solve the problem for the creative staff in four words: MORE CHO, LESS FIENNES. And it’s not just us who are off the Bedford bandwagon. As AfterEllen notes:

But honestly, Joseph Fiennes gets annoying after awhile, with his one-note performance (the one note being angst) as Mark Benford. How can someone be as grim as he with a wife like this?

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Still, perhaps we’ve all been too hard on Captain Non-Charisma; as the Roundtable’s own Andrea points out, one of the men behind the scenes of Flash Forward is Brannon Braga, who helmed Voyager and Enterprise, the two Star Trek properties that don’t, ah, get mentioned as much as their sister series.

Ok, back on a regular sched now. Hope everybody’s doing well and avoided the Twi-hordes
Mahsino: I just watched the original Twilight a couple weeks ago. To put it in perspective, it’s somewhere between Heroes and Dollhouse: bad, but entertaining enough that you can’t bring yourself look away. It’s a decent clean-the-house and fold laundry movie.
Diana: I was sucked in, but survived. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a theater with so many women, even compared to when Sex and The City came out. But for hangin’ with my girls, I probably would have waited to see it on Netflix.
jen*: Successfully avoided. I’m more of an Angel fan.
Andrea: Here’s me, not giving a f-ck about Twilight and the latest vampire trend in general. I work in a commercial building that containing a shopping mall; I’m more worried about the Black Friday/Christmas hordes.

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