Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture http://www.racialicious.com Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:00:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Announcing: The Racialicious Summer Vacation http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/31/announcing-the-racialicious-summer-vacation/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/31/announcing-the-racialicious-summer-vacation/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:00:36 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33190 This year, we’re going to try something different for the month of August: we’re going to take the month off. Fret not, the site’s not going anywhere bad. But, we think — especially coming off of the vortex that was San Diego Comic-Con — this is a good time for our team to step back, […]

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This year, we’re going to try something different for the month of August: we’re going to take the month off.

Fret not, the site’s not going anywhere bad. But, we think — especially coming off of the vortex that was San Diego Comic-Con — this is a good time for our team to step back, recharge and retool a bit. So we’re going to hit the beach, grab some mojitos, help Arturo celebrate his birthday this Saturday (send well-wishes to him here) and we’ll catch you on the flip side — specifically, Tuesday Sept. 2, with new content and ready to roll hard going into 2015. See you soon!

[Top image by James Jardine via Flickr Creative Commons]

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The SDCC Files: The Cosplay Gallery http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/30/the-sdcc-files-the-cosplay-gallery/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/30/the-sdcc-files-the-cosplay-gallery/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:00:35 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33168   by Kendra James As I wrote for the The Daily Beast the best part of Comic-Con is always the ridiculously talented cosplayers wandering the halls. As a cosplayer myself, I know how challenging (and fun)  designing, finding, and creating costumes for cons can be.  With that in mind I wanted to showcase some of the costumed […]

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Rocket Raccoon– who was actually a real live five year old Latino boy underneath the mask.

by Kendra James

As I wrote for the The Daily Beast the best part of Comic-Con is always the ridiculously talented cosplayers wandering the halls. As a cosplayer myself, I know how challenging (and fun)  designing, finding, and creating costumes for cons can be.  With that in mind I wanted to showcase some of the costumed heroes, heroines and other beloved characters of colour Art and I spotted during this year’s con.

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Static Shock

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The tiniest Clark Kent

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Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan)

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Lt. Uhura

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Oberyn Martell

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Zuko and Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender

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Maleficent and Aurora

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The Black Widow

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(Siblings) Thor, Black Widow, and Captain America

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Buzz Lightyear  (who had fully automated wings)

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Captain America and The Winter Soldier (they each made their own costumes independently!)

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Princess Leia

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Bert from Mary Poppins

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Captain America and Patriot

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Super Family

Margaery Tyrell (myself) and Sansa Stark

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The SDCC Files: The Black Panel http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/29/the-sdcc-files-the-black-panel/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/29/the-sdcc-files-the-black-panel/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:00:08 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33160 [View the story "SDCC 2014: The Black Panel" on Storify]

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The SDCC Files: Racebending presents ‘Superheroines! Power, Responsibility and Representation’ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/29/the-sdcc-files-racebending-presents-superheroines-power-responsibility-and-representation/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/29/the-sdcc-files-racebending-presents-superheroines-power-responsibility-and-representation/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:00:04 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33162 [View the story "SDCC 2014: Racebending presents 'Superheroines! Power, Responsibility and Representation'" on Storify]

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The SDCC Files: The Battle For Multicultural Heroes http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-the-battle-for-multicultural-heroes/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-the-battle-for-multicultural-heroes/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:00:18 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33157 [View the story "The Battle For Multicultural Heroes" on Storify]

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The SDCC Files: The Witty Women of Steampunk http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-the-witty-women-of-steampunk/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-the-witty-women-of-steampunk/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:00:51 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33154 [View the story "The Witty Women of Steampunk" on Storify] Top image from Anina Bennett’s “Boilerplate.”

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Top image from Anina Bennett’s “Boilerplate.”

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The SDCC Files: Milestone @ 21 http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-milestone-21/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-milestone-21/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:00:06 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33151 [View the story "Milestone @ 21" on Storify]

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The SDCC Files: Breaking Barriers: Transgender Trends in Popular Culture http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-breaking-barriers-transgender-trends-in-popular-culture/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/28/the-sdcc-files-breaking-barriers-transgender-trends-in-popular-culture/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:00:11 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33148 [View the story "Breaking Barriers: Transgender Trends in Popular Culture" on Storify] Top image from Transposes, by Dylan Edwards

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Top image from Transposes, by Dylan Edwards

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The SDCC Files: MD Marie http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/26/the-sdcc-files-md-marie/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/26/the-sdcc-files-md-marie/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 22:00:18 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33143 MD Marie We first noticed science-fiction author MD Marie and her steampunk style when she discussed “The Saints of Winter Valley,” her multi-cultural steampunk story featuring four women of color, during Friday’s Black Panel. Naturally, we hopped over to her booth and got more details. Where You Can Find Her: Booth 1623 Where You Can […]

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MD Marie

We first noticed science-fiction author MD Marie and her steampunk style when she discussed “The Saints of Winter Valley,” her multi-cultural steampunk story featuring four women of color, during Friday’s Black Panel. Naturally, we hopped over to her booth and got more details.

Where You Can Find Her: Booth 1623
Where You Can Find Her Online: Saints Of Winter Valley Twitter feed and Facebook page.
What’s The Story?: “It is steampunk, even though it’s futuristic,” Marie says about Saints, which is set in the year 2118. “The story is post-global warming, so people have reverted back to a simpler, but extravagant time, because resources are scant. Most of the planet is underwater because of global warming. The United States is actually divided into two separate countries.”
On the future of multicultural steampunk: “I see it going very far. It’s kind of touch-and-go with the general audience, but in the steampunk genre, it’s very popular. My characters, my story, are very popular. I see it getting stronger, and going very far. I just need everybody to catch up with us.”

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The SDCC Files: Keith Knight and C. Spike Trotman http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/24/the-sdcc-files-keith-knight-and-c-spike-trotman/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/24/the-sdcc-files-keith-knight-and-c-spike-trotman/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:33:00 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33133 As part of our plan to boost peoples’ signals during San Diego Comic-Con, we plan to run at least one or two mini-profiles a day, starting with a look at two popular cartoonists. Keith Knight Where You Can Find Him: Booth K-15 in the Small Press section. Where You Can Find Him Online: His personal […]

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As part of our plan to boost peoples’ signals during San Diego Comic-Con, we plan to run at least one or two mini-profiles a day, starting with a look at two popular cartoonists.

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Keith Knight

Where You Can Find Him: Booth K-15 in the Small Press section.
Where You Can Find Him Online: His personal site; his Patreon site.
What’s The Story?: Knight, a longtime SDCC exhibitor — his first con was in 1993 — who has hosted panels at the event in past years, is here promoting Knight Takes Queen, the second collection of stories from his daily Knight Life strip.

“This was a long time coming,” Knight said of the collection. “I’ve got probably 1,000 strips that I can put into books. I’m psyched to get it out, because people have been asking for it. It basically takes it through the time when my wife was pregnant with my first child until just after his birth.”

How has the convention landscape changed during the years he’s taken part in the con?: “It’s certainly is a big change from when I started coming in ’93. In ’93 it was just all 53-year-old white men. But it really started to diversify thoughout the 2000s, and hit this kind of crazy crescendo. Instead of it becoming sort of a weird side thing, and now it’s really mainstream. Honestly, the crowd can be more diverse than the comics itself, which is kind of interesting. But attempts are being made; Captain America’s black again, and Thor’s gonna be a woman. What’s interesting to me is, this is the first time I’ve seen a lot of discussion of sexual harassment of women in cosplay outfits or just being here at Comic-Con was brought up. I’m glad that kind of stuff is on the table, because it’s all been simmering under the surface.”

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C. Spike Trotman

Where You Can Find Her: Booth 1330 with Black Label Comics
Where You Can Find Her Online: Iron Circus Comics website.
What’s The Story?: Trotman is promoting The Sleep Of Reason, a 26-story horror anthology featuring 34 different creators she says will have “no predictable endings” and none of the usual kinds of “scary” antagonists.

“I kind of got tired of things that feature supernatural creatures masquerading as horror,” she explains. “I personally don’t find things featuring zombies, werewolves, and vampires scary anymore because everybody already knows the rules. If a zombie shows up in a story, you know what you have to do to get rid of it. If a werewolf shows up, you know the rules it’s operating under. To me, the essence of fear is not understanding and being helpless in a situation. That’s why I don’t have things like zombies and vampires in The Sleep of Reason, because if I did have them, you would know how to take care of them.”

On the expanding audience for anthologies: “I think there has kind of been a mushrooms after the rain effect when it comes to anthologies. A lot of young creators, I’ve found, are putting together anthologies amongst themselves to kind of get their work out there, because the strength of the anthology, in my opinion, is [that] people will buy it for a creator they know is in there and they already like. But as a result, they’re exposed to maybe 10 or 15 other creators that they had no idea existed, and have great potential of becoming a fan of those creators. And I think people understand that, especially on the creators’ side, they understand that. So when they put together these projects, they’re kind of drawing from one another’s audiences and readerships with the hope that there can be kind of a swapping of fans — or at least growing their own fanbase by tapping into another person’s fanbase.”

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The SDCC Files: Creators Of Color To Watch At The Con http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/24/the-sdcc-files-creators-of-color-to-watch-at-the-con/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/24/the-sdcc-files-creators-of-color-to-watch-at-the-con/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:00:44 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33123 By Arturo R. García As a supplement to our two-part San Diego Comic-Con preview, enjoy this look at some of the creators of color who’ll be at the convention — some in panels, some on the floor, but all should be on your radar after the weekend. Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear Where You Can […]

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By Arturo R. García

As a supplement to our two-part San Diego Comic-Con preview, enjoy this look at some of the creators of color who’ll be at the convention — some in panels, some on the floor, but all should be on your radar after the weekend.

Erika Alexander and Tony Puryear

Where You Can Find Them: The Writer’s Journey, Breaking into Comics and Hollywood Scriptwriting at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Room 32AB. Alexander will be part of Michael Davis’ Black Panel at 10 a.m. on Friday in Room 5AB. Both Alexander and Puryear will be signing for Dark Horse Comics at Booth 2615 on Friday from 3 to 4 p.m.
Where You Can Find Them Online: Concrete Park website and Twitter feed.
What’s The Story?: Racializens probably don’t need an introduction to Alexander, a TV veteran (The Cosby Show, Living Single) who also shared the story behind her decidedly more diverse Mad Men idea, Mad Men: Uptown Saturday Night, with us last April. Meanwhile, Puryear is the screenwriter behind the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Eraser and is coming off an appearance in the documentary Brave New Souls: Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers of the 21st Century. The duo is at the con this year promoting Concrete Road, their dystopian sci-fi story. The first arc was selected to be part of last year’s edition of the Best American Comics anthology, with a new Park mini-series debuting on Oct. 5, and a hardcover collecting their featured work in Dark Horse Presents scheduled for an October release.

Cathy Camper

Where You Can Find Her: Technically, you can’t; Camper will not be at the convention in person. But her publisher, Chronicle Books, will be handing out advanced readers’ copies of Lowriders In Space, her collaboration with artist Raul III and editor Ginee Seo, at booth 1506. The 112-page graphic novel will be formally released on Nov. 4.
Where You Can Find Her Online: Lowriders In Space Facebook page
In Her Words: “I wrote Lowriders in Space because as an Arab-American, I was fed up with the inability of mainstream comics and books to represent the diversity of kids I serve today as a kid’s librarian, kids who like me, don’t see themselves in books,” Camper told Racialicious via email. “Raul III told me, ‘This is the book I wanted to read as a child,’ and he was passionate to create it for the same reasons I was.”

Dani Dixon

Where You Can Find Her: Insights for Independent Creators at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Room 32AB.
Where You Can Find Her Online: Her personal site; her Twitter feed.
What’s the story?: Dixon has created two comics series: 13 (about a world where every 13-year-old child has superpowers — but only for one year) and the Midwestern manga story M.I.S.//ing, through her own publishing house, Tumble Creek Press.

Ulises Farinas

Where You Can Find Him: Signing autographs for IDW Publishing at Booth 2643 Thursday at noon.
Where You Can Find Him Online: His personal site; Farinas is also a contributor for The Idol Box, focusing on race and pop culture
What’s the story?: Farinas is the artist for IDW’s Judge Dredd: Mega-City 2, in which the antihero is reassigned to mete out justice in a metropolis that spans the entire U.S. West Coast. Farinas’ ultra-detailed style won him critical praise from both IGN (“the absolute best thing about this comic is the artwork”) and Comic Book Therapy (“Farinas’ style fits this madcap story perfectly”). Farinas’ work has also been featured in Comics Alliance, Complex, the New York Times and Wired.

Jonathan Gayles

Where You Can Find Him: Screening of White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities In Comic-Books, Friday at 7:40 p.m. in Hall 2 at the Marriott Marquis & Marina, 333 W Harbor Dr. (down the street from the convention, literally).
Where You Can Find Him Online: and Facebook page; his Twitter feed.
What’s the story?: Gayles’ examination of the comics industry’s depiction of Black men, ranging from Black Panther to Luke Cage to the Milestone Universe, has made its way through the festival circuit since premiering four years ago, but this will be its first screening at SDCC.

Sloane Leong

Where You Can Find Her: Color Design in Comics at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Room 32AB and Image Comics’ “I is for Innovation” panel on Sunday at 2 p.m., Room 7AB
Where You Can Find Her Online: Her personal site; her Twitter feed.
What’s the story?: Leong enters the convention on the heels of the unveiling of From Under Mountains, a fantasy series scheduled to be released next year, featuring her art alongside writing by co-creators Marian Churchland and Claire Gibson. The story is set in the fictional kingdom of Akhara, and will feature a cast of characters almost entirely comprised of people of color.

“For one it feels like a strange betrayal not to include people like myself in the stories I’m telling and it also feels irresponsible not to challenge our culture’s status quo of all white everything,” Leong told Comics Alliance. “A lot of artists I feel don’t want to broach this issue in their work because they feel their work will be ‘othered’ and ignored and I feel like that too, but at the same time I feel encouraged by that. Someone could make amazing work and still not say anything of any consequence about the world they live and thats fine but for me that’s not really an option.”

Ajuan Mance

Where You Can Find Her: Currently scheduling a signing; see her Twitter feed for more information. Also, look for the afropick/barcode 8-Rock logo at the free tables in the Sails Pavillion.
Where You Can Find Her Online: Her personal site.
What’s the story?: Mance is currently promoting 1001 Black Men, an online sketchbook chronicling her encounters with Black men around the Bay Area, where she works. The gentleman pictured here, for instance, is No. 741:

I passed this guy a few weeks ago, at the San Francisco Public Library. I’d gone over to pick up the three pieces of art I’d shown as part of The Black Woman is God exhibit, curated by Karen Seneferu. It was the second incarnation of an exhibit that was at the African American Art and Culture Complex last summer. Like me he was heading toward the African American Center at the library and I watched with a little bit of envy as he disappeared into the stacks near the exhibit area.

Mance is also a zine creator, with her works including A Blues for Black Santa, Black Satyr, and The Little Book of Big Black Bears.

Eric Dean Seaton

Where You Can Find Him: Table P-13 in the Small Press Pavillion
Where You Can Find Him Online: Legend of the Mantamaji website and Facebook page; his Twitter feed.
What’s The Story?: Seaton, a veteran television director — he’s helmed 160 episodes of more than 32 different series — is promoting Legend of the Mantamaji, an urban fantasy set to be released this October. The story centers on attorney Elijah Alexander, who comes to find out he’s the last of the Mantamaji, a group of protectors with roots dating back 3,000 years. It’s also notable that the book will feature lettering by Deron Bennett, who was nominated for an Eisner Award two years ago for his work on titles like Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand and Helldorado, among others.

Strawberry Scented Burnout

Where You Can Find Them: See below
Where You Can Find Them Online: SSB website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. Individual Twitter feeds listed here.
What’s The Story?: As CEO Francis Bautista explains in the video above, the project started as a webcomic and has evolved into the foundation of a pop-culture site that covers everything from relationships to mixed martial arts to video games.

“This comic, I really wanna say that it’s catered to kids that are starting college, kids that have gone through college and people that are, sad to say, my age,” Bautista says. “Early thirties, you know.”

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The Racialicious Preview for San Diego Comic-Con, Part II: Saturday & Sunday http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/23/the-racialicious-preview-for-san-diego-comic-con-part-ii-saturday-sunday/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/23/the-racialicious-preview-for-san-diego-comic-con-part-ii-saturday-sunday/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:00:09 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33109 By Arturo R. García Thanks to Kendra, as ever, for covering Part I of the weekend. As usual, you can find our panel coverage on Twitter through her account, the R official feed and my own personal account. Just like last year, we’ll be compiling our individual panels on Storify and posting them next week. […]

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By Arturo R. García

Thanks to Kendra, as ever, for covering Part I of the weekend. As usual, you can find our panel coverage on Twitter through her account, the R official feed and my own personal account.

Just like last year, we’ll be compiling our individual panels on Storify and posting them next week. For now, though, let’s look at the second half of the con!

SATURDAY

Diversity in Genre Lit (10 a.m., Room 7AB)

Gene Luen Yang figures to have maybe the most momentum going into this discussion of creating diverse worlds in their work, since he’s coming off the release of The Shadow Hero, his new comic with illustrator Sonny Liew and letterer Janice Chiang. Joining him on the panel are Josephine Angelini (Trial by Fire), Adele Griffin (The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone), Lydia Kang (Control), Sherri L. Smith (Orleans) and the producer of the dearly-departed Young Justice animated series, Greg Weisman (Spirits of Ash and Foam: A Rain of the Ghosts Novel).

Avatar the Last Airbender: Legend and Legacy (10:30 a.m, Room 24ABC)

Well this could be awkward: Yang, who has written the comic-book adaptation of the popular animated series, is also booked for this get-together for fans.

Fantastic Females: Heroines in Paranormal Fantasy (10:30 a.m., Room 8)

While Marjorie Liu has made a name for herself for her work for Marvel Comics, she’s also a best-selling fantasy author. Her latest work, Labyrinth of Stars, was published earlier this year. In this panel, she’s joined by Deborah Harkness (the All Souls trilogy), S.J. Harper, (Reckoning), Tonya Hurley (the Blessed series), and the duo known as Christina Lauren (Reckoning, the Wild Seasons series).

Spotlight on Bryan Lee O’Malley (12 p.m., Room 28DE)

The creator of the Scott Pilgrim comics series previews his latest work, Seconds, a stand-alone graphic novel about a girl who gets more than one magical second chance, and the consequences of that kind of luck.

Kodansha Comics (12:30 p.m., Room 8)

Fans of Attack on Titan — the manga powerhouse that has spawned not only separate manga adaptations but a video game and a movie set for release next summer — will want to hone in on this one.

Comics Arts Conference Session #12: Poster Session (2 p.m., Room 26AB)

There’s quite a number of presentations scheduled for this 90-minute session, but here’s two that caught our eye:

  • Allen Thomas (University of Central Arkansas) and Mara Whiteside (University of Central Arkansas) examine the relationship between readers and minority comic book characters, namely the connection a reader feels to a particular character, and discuss the future direction of comic books in regards to minority representation.
  • J. Scott McKinnon (Henderson State University) identifies the factors that contribute to ethnic minority characters either succeeding or failing, examining online discussions, reviews, and published articles.
  • Jake Talley (San Diego State University) compares the female and minority populations in the Marvel and DC universes at various points in their histories to illustrate how their race and gender makeups have evolved over time, and compares the Big Two with younger publishers to see if the lack of decades of continuity produces a more representative character population.

30 Years of Usagi Yojimbo! (3 p.m., Room 28DE)

Everybody’s favorite samurai rabbit is back after a two-year hiatus, and creator Stan Sakai is back to shed some light on Senso, the upcoming six-issue miniseries that promises to serve as the character’s personal Dark Knight Returns.


What’s Opera Doc by MistyIsland1

Spotlight on Willie Ito (3 p.m., Room 9)

The San Francisco native went from spending part of his childhood in a Japanese internment camp during World War II to a 60-year career as an animator that saw him work on everything from Lady and the Tramp to The Flintstones to the seminal Bugs Bunny animated story What’s Opera, Doc?

Drawing in a [+SM]Art Way: A Hands-on Workshop (5 p.m., Room 30CDE)

What does it say about the comics industry when maybe the most creative title of the whole weekend is from an academic panel? In this panel, Dr. Wei Xu will expand on his work in Drawing in the Digital Age, in which the mathematician and artist describes what he calls the “ABC Method” of working in both 2D and 3D art.

Best and Worst Manga of 2014 (7 p.m., Room 23)

The great Deb Aoki and David Brothers share their cheers and jeers in this panel, along with their picks for underrated books you should pick up.

Gays in Comics XXVII: Prism Comics Mixer and Auction (7 p.m., Room 6A)

In a year where marriage equality has picked up momentum across several states in the U.S., this year’s benefit event for the LGBT advocacy group Prism Comics should have an extra-celebratory air.

SUNDAY

Teen Titans Go! Video Presentation and Q&A (11:45 a.m., Room 6BCF)

Okay, so the panel itself looks like it’ll be the usual preview for the upcoming season of the newest incarnation of the DC Entertainment comics series. But the highlight might end up being the appearance of Puffy AmiYumi, the Japanese pop duo behind the ultra-catchy theme song.

Comics Arts Conference Session #14: Strips and Pin-Ups, Race and Politics (12 p.m., Room 26AB)

Only three presentations scheduled for this session, and two of them look intriguing:

  • Melissa Loucks (University of Florida) reminds us of the work comic strips do toward thwarting the distortions and suppressions of the dominant civil rights narrative, looking at the work of Oliver Harrington, George Herriman, and Jackie Ormes.
  • Dwain C. Pruitt (University of Louisville) considers the roles that Matt Baker’s race and sexual orientation may have played in his work and in his most celebrated contribution, the “Baker Girl,” asserting that Baker’s work was shaped by the unique African-American expressive and visual culture of 1930s-1950s Harlem.

Comics Arts Conference Session #15: Comics of Future/Past: Constructing Race, Space and Identity Through the Visualization of the EthnoSurreal (1:30 p.m., Room 26AB)

And speaking of intriguing, check out the description for these three presentation:

Recently, Afrofuturism has been making a global resurgence. Creators in all media forms have been producing speculative narratives that challenge the status quo, remix historical perceptions, and situate the black body as subject. John Jennings (University at Buffalo, SUNY), Stanford Carpenter (Institute for Comics Studies), Regina Bradley (Kennesaw State University), and Jeremy Love (Bayou) ask if the term Afrofuturism still remains the proper designation for invoking ideas of race and cultural production, examining the new notion of the “EthnoSurreal” and how it is comprised of the EthnoGothic and EthnoFuturism. This panel will also tackle the articulation of how these designations are defined and how they can possibly challenge and reimagine ideas around socially constructed ideas regarding racial identity, its visualization, and its consumption through the comics medium.

Superheroines! Power, Responsibility, and Representation (1:30 p.m., Room 23ABC)

Our colleagues at Racebending host this all-female discussion centering on “women in the superhero world.” Marjorie Liu will be on this panel, as will Batman and Earth 2 writer Marguerite Bennett, writer and illustrator Joanna Estep (Bold Riley), cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks, clinical psychologist and podcaster Dr. Andrea Letamendi and artist and animator Jules Rivera.

Fund My Comic (2 p.m., Room 29A)

DC comics mainstay Jamal Igle will be part of this how-to talk on crowdfunding and self-publishing, following his success fundraising on Kickstarter for Molly Danger.

The Battle for Multicultural Heroes (4 p.m., Room 28DE)

Letamendi returns to join panelists Linda Le and Andre Meadows along with host Tony Kim in the second edition of the panel. Interesting to note last year that, while the discussion did a good job covering what you’d call Race 101, none of the panelists expressed any familiarity with Racebending or sites that cover social justice issues in general, aside from Angry Asian Man. This year, Kim said he attempted to contact Racebending, to no avail.

[Top image by Christopher Brown via Flickr Creative Commons]

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The Racialicious Preview for San Diego Comic-Con, Part I: Thursday & Friday http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/22/drafting-for-10am-the-racialicious-preview-for-san-diego-comic-con-part-i-thursday-friday/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/22/drafting-for-10am-the-racialicious-preview-for-san-diego-comic-con-part-i-thursday-friday/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:30:16 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33099 It’s that time of year again! Arturo and I are headed out to Nerd Summer Camp –also known as San Diego Comic Con– on behalf of the R. From July 24-27 we’ll be live-tweeting panels, writing recaps, interviewing creators, and getting up to all sorts of general shenanigans. You may remember that Art posted last […]

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It’s that time of year again! Arturo and I are headed out to Nerd Summer Camp –also known as San Diego Comic Con– on behalf of the R. From July 24-27 we’ll be live-tweeting panels, writing recaps, interviewing creators, and getting up to all sorts of general shenanigans. You may remember that Art posted last week, asking for creators of colour to get in touch. That still applies– we want to hear from you and provide as much signal boosting as possible.

In the meantime, we’ve got our panel recommendations for Thursday and Friday listed below.  You’ll be able to find panel coverage and more from the con on twitter this week via @Racialicious, @aboynamedart, and @wriglied.

THURSDAY

Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature (11am; Room 5AB)

With both Marie Lu and Jim Butcher, this panel is a bit of a catch 22. You can go and here Lu (who is Chinese-American) talk about her great YA Legends series, but you’re also going to have to hear Butcher talk about the Dresden Files which –with his white-washing of Chicago and choie of naming a character ‘Injun Joe’– hasn’t always gone so well. The panel also features Dr. David Brin (Hugo, Locus and Nebula Award-winning author of the Uplift trilogy), Rachel Caine(NY Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series), Jason Hough (NY Times bestselling author of The Darwin Elevator series), and Jonathan Maberry (NY Times bestselling author of the Joe Ledger series) discuss writing science fiction and fantasy novels and their adaptation to TV and movies.

Masters of the Web: Comic Book Movies (11:30am, Room 24ABC)

We love Manu Bennett, who just got done with a stint on the CW’s Arrow, which is our sole reason for reccing this panel on upcoming major comic book movies. Also features: John Campea(AMC Movie Talk), Jeremy Jahns (YouTube film critic), Tiffany Smith (DC All Access),Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis (Schmoes Know), and Jon Schnepp (AMC Movie Talk).

Dreamworks Animation (11:30am, Hall H)

Dreamworks hasn’t announced any details about their huge Hall H panel, but I’m hoping they serve up a few more details or some more footage for their new animated feature starring Rhianna:

This may not be worth waiting in the Hall H line, but definitely keep an ear to the internet that afternoon.

Female Heroes, Then and Now (1:00pm, Room 32AB)

The number of panels focusing on sexism, gender, and sexuality this year is promising. One of the first here doesn’t seem to be particularly diverse, but does promise an indepth discussion on sexism, science fiction, comics, and geek culture with Heartbreakers creators Anina Bennett andPaul Guinan, along with friends Jimmy Palmiotti (Painkiller Jane), Kiala Kazebee(Vaginal Fantasy), Allison Baker (Monkeybrain Comics), and Claire Hummel (Bioshock: Infinite).

Comedy Central: Key & Peele and Introducing Moonbeam City! (1:30pm, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront)

Key & Peele at Comic-Con! Stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peelebe will  the upcoming season of their show (of the same name) on Comedy Central, their new animated show Moonbeam City and their unique point of view, born from “their shared background and experiences growing up biracial in a not quite post-racial world”.

Beyond Clichés: Creating Awesome Female Characters for Film, TV, Comics, Video Games, and Novels (2pm, Room 28DE)

A necessary panel, because clearly creating female characters is hard. This panel promises discussion on the future of female character creation for film, TV, comics, video games, and novels and examine the traps of common tropes, clichés, and stereotypes, while discussing how content creators can create wonderful, relatable, and realistic female characters with moderator Michele Brittany (West Coast Bleeding Cool News correspondent), Neo Edmund (Red Riding-Werewolf Huntress, Kaijudo Rise of the Duel Masters), Charlotte Fullerton (My Little Pony, Ben 10 Omniverse), Clare Kramer(Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Geek Nation), Marv Wolfman (Teen Titans, creator of countless comic book characters), Andrew Robinson (Kaijudo Rise of the Duel Masters, Rescue Bots), and Mairghread Scott (Transformers Prime, Rescue Bots).

 

The Art of Big Hero Six (2pm, Room 7AB)

 

Big Hero Six marks the first animated feature from the melded Disney/Marvel conglomerate. Based on a Marvel comic that debuted in 1998, the film is a cute looking, if slightly white-washed, classic tale of a boy and his robot in the fictional city of San Fransokyo. The panel features Walt Disney Animation Studios presents director Don Hall, producer Roy Conli, production designer Paul Felix and character designer Shiyoon Kim who will share the visual development of Big Hero 6.

Greendale Forever: TV Guide Magazine’s Tribute to Community (2:15pm, Ballroom 20)

I feel as if I’m one of the few people who have no need for a sixth season of this show, and definitely not on Yahoo, but here we are. If you still care about what’s happening at Greendale, this panel is probably for you– even if site favourites Troy and Abed are noticeably absent.

Instead we get Community creator Dan Harmon, executive producer Chris McKenna, and cast members Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash and Dino Stamatopoulos.

The Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con: Positive Portrayals of Women in Pop Culture (3pm, Room 7AB)

So many panels on female characters and women, so few panels on race and diversity. (Oops, did I say that?) This panel discusses powerful women in pop culture and features Action Flick Chick Katrina Hill (Action Movie Freak) has assembled a team of women and men dangerous in their own right: Lesley Aletter (professional stuntwoman), Jenna Busch (Legion of Leia founder), Adrienne Curry (host/model/Tolkien enthusiast), Jane Espenson(Husbands), Alan Sizzler Kistler (TheMarySue.com), Bryan Q. Miller ( Batgirl), and Jennifer K. Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazon).

The Writer’s Journey: Breaking into Comic Book and Hollywood Scriptwriting (3pm, Room 32AB)

I highlight these “how-to” panels not for their merits of diversity (but let’s give a major shoutout to panelist and Friend of the Blog, Erika Alexander) but because they do provide good practical and realistic advice from professional writers about getting into the industry. Thursday’s features Brandon M. Easton (ThunderCats [2011], Transformers: Rescue Bots), Geoffrey Thorne (TNT’s Leverage, Ben 10), Jonathan Callan(Ben 10, Generator Rex), animation showrunner Charlotte Fullerton (Ben 10: Omniverse), veteran screenwriter Tony Puryear (the Schwarzenegger film Eraser), and actress/writer Erika Alexander (Maxine Shaw from Living Single and co-creator/co-writer of Concrete Park, a graphic novel from Dark Horse) dishing all the inside dirt.

Breaking Barriers: Transgender Trends in Popular Culture (5pm, room 28DE)

Our first LGBTQ panel of the year includes Tara Madison Avery (Dirtheads, Gooch, Prism Comics) present panelistsDylan Edwards (Transposes), Melanie Gillman (As the Crow Flies), J. D. Saxon (Mahou Shounen Fight!), Elizabeth Lain (F*** the Limits!: The 30-Day Art Project, This Is Where),Ashley Love (Trans Forming Media, journalist, transsexual advocate), and Comic-Con special guest, famed comics historian Michelle Nolan (Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics). They’ll be discussing everything from coming out and transition to navigating gender politics in a world still struggling to understand, cartoonists, writers, and filmmakers are investing their work with unique personal experiences as their characters learn to live and love in new and unexpected ways.

LGBT Geek Year in Review (6pm, Room 28DE)

It’s a shame that so many of the panels I find the most interesting are so late in the day! I’m hoping I have the energy to get to this year in review panel with LGBT activist and columnist P. Kristen Enos (Active Voice, Creatures of Grace) leads a discussion with Diane Anderson-Minshall (The Advocate), Trish Bendix (AfterEllen.com), Matt Kane (GLAAD), and Sean Z. Maker (Bent-Con).

Showtime: Penny Dreadful (6pm, Ballroom 20)

I’m not gonna lie– the idea of Aisha Tyler moderating the Penny Dreadful panel threw me for a loop. It’s a left field decision that I love, even if I don’t quite understand it. Anyway, it’s enough to get the show’s panel on our list despite it’s rather white cast. (However, the show itself is masterfully done and Eva Green is upsettingly good, if you’re looking for a quick watch this August). Tyler will moderate show stars Josh Hartnett(Ethan Chandler), Reeve Carney (Dorian Gray), and Harry Treadaway (Victor Frankenstein

Hip-Hop & Comics: Cultures Combining (7pm, Room 23ABC)

I’ve been to this panel twice at NYCC, so won’t be attending again but do fully encourage that you go see Patrick Reed’s hip-hop panel. Guests haven’t been announced yet, but in the past he’s had names like Jean Grae and Run of Run DMC joining him on stage, so it’s likely to be worth checking out.

 

FRIDAY

Gender in Comics (10am, Room 4)

This panel focuses as much on gender within the books as the business side of the industry. Panelists include comics editor Janelle Asselin, ComicsAlliance.com senior editor Andy Khouri, BOOM! Studios editor Dafna Pleban, comics writer James Tynion IV (The Woods), Image comics director of trade book sales Jennifer de Guzman, and WIRED writer Laura Hudson and IDW publishing editor Sarah Gaydos.

The Black Panel (10am, Room 5AB)

So this would pretty much be the panel of the con to be at. Arturo covers the panel every year, and this year we’ll be tag teaming for a supersized panel with Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow, MAD TV), Ne-Yo (actor, artist, writer, singer, etc.), J. August Richards (Angel, Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Kevin Grevioux (I, Frankenstein; Underworld), Cree Summer (Batman Beyond, Rugrats, A Different World), and Erika Alexander (Living Single, Concrete Park). The Black Panel is produced by Tatiana El Khouri and hosted by its founder, Michael Davis.

 

Writing for TV: From First Draft to Getting Staffed (10:30am, 24ABC)

I attended this howto panel last year and found it well run, informative, and extremely entertaining. Karen Horne is the VP of NBC programming talent development and inclusion, and she’s joined by Spiro Skentzos (Grimm), Keto Shimizu (Arrow), David Schulner (Emerald City), and David Slack (Person of Interest) to talk about breaking into TV writing with a large Q&A session at the end.

Nickelodeon: Legend of Korra: Book 3 (11:15am, Ballroom 20)

I’ve never seen an episode of Avatar or Korra, but people tell me it’s a thing I should be watching. Join Executive producer and creator team Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Janet Varney(Korra), David Faustino (Mako), P. J. Byrne (Bolin), Seychelle Gabriel (Asami), John Michael Higgins (Varrick) and Mindy Sterling (Lin Beifong) for this panel which includes an exclusive sneak peek screening of a new episode for Book 3, “Change.” Moderated by Megan Casey (VP of current series for Nickelodeon).

Milestone @ 21 (11:30am, Room 5AB)

Come for the Black Panel, stay for Milestone! They’re in the same room, back to back, so you’ve really got no excuse not to come. The Milestone @ 21 panel is produced by Reggie Hudlin (Django Unchained, Django/Zorro) and hosted by Phil LaMarr (Static Shock, Mad TV) and features Denys Cowan, (Django Unchained, Green Arrow), Derek Dingle (Black Enterprise magazine), and Michael Davis (The Hidden Beach).

Game of Thrones Panel and Q&A (1:40pm, Hall H)

Not to drop any spoilers for the non-book initiated, but the following seasons should introduce the rest of the the now-deceased Oberyn Martell’s family. I’m hoping, if not absolutely expecting, that Friday’s panel might bring some Dornish casting announcements  of a POC variety. If not, you’ll still get a full panel of GoT stars, including Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Natalie Dormer as Margaery Baratheon, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Rose Leslie as Ygritte, Rory McCann as Sandor Clegane (“The Hound”), Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, and Maisie Williams as Arya Stark.

 

The Witty Women of Steampunk (2:30pm, 24ABC)

Friend of the Blog Ay-leen the Peacemaker (editor for BeyondVictoriana.com and Tor Books) joins Anina Bennett (Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel), Claire Hummel (Bioshock: Infinite), Robin Blackburn (The League of S.T.E.A.M.), Sarah Hunter (Steampunk model/performer),Sheyne Fleischer ( The League of S.T.E.A.M.), and moderator Dina Kampmeyer (Lady Steam Designs) to discuss a steampunk reimagining a history that never was. They’ll explore multiculturalism, science, sexuality, class politics, and much more.

Big Ideas for Movies: Crossing Borders with Mexican Animation (3pm, Room 23ABC)

If I’m reading correctly, this is a pretty packed panel. The creators and talent behind the new 3D animated film El Americano 3D are teaming up to bring the new face of Mexican animation to Comic Con. The panel features Mexican filmmaker Ricardo Arnaiz and his producing partnersEdward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica), Phil Roman (The Simpsons), Verónica Arceo,Alex Flores, Gerry Cardoso, and Michael D. Olmos. Also joining them include the voice talent,Rico Rodriguez(Modern Family), Raul Garcia (Aladdin), Mike Kunkel (Tarzan), and Richard Pursel(SpongeBob Squarepants) and the voices of Gabriel Iglesias (The Fluffy Movie), Cheech Marin (Cheech and Chong), Kate del Castillo (Under the Same Moon), Erik Estrada (CHIPs), and Lisa Kudrow (Friends), among many others.

Top image by Ben Templesmith via Flickr Creative Commons

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The Disney Triple Crown: Why Ming-Na Wen Needs To Be In Star Wars http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/22/the-disney-triple-crown-why-ming-na-wen-needs-to-be-in-star-wars/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/22/the-disney-triple-crown-why-ming-na-wen-needs-to-be-in-star-wars/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:00:00 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33091 By Guest Contributor Keith Chow, cross-posted from The Nerds Of Color Earlier this week, Lucasfilm announced the addition of two more actors to the cast of Star Wars Episode VII. We do not yet know who the two relatively unknown actors — Pip Anderson, who’s British, and Crystal Clarke, who’s African American — will play in the movie, […]

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By Guest Contributor Keith Chow, cross-posted from The Nerds Of Color

Earlier this week, Lucasfilm announced the addition of two more actors to the cast of Star Wars Episode VII. We do not yet know who the two relatively unknown actors — Pip Anderson, who’s British, and Crystal Clarke, who’s African American — will play in the movie, but I’m guessing their roles must be substantial enough to warrant a press release about their casting. If their characters are indeed prominent, Clarke will join John Boyega and Lupita Nyong’o in making this “the blackest Star Wars ever.”

Still, every time breaking Star Wars casting news comes across my feed, there’s always one name that I hope to see in the headlines:Ming-Na Wen.

Talk about nerd cred, other than Ming-Na, Joy Luck Club also starred Tamlyn Tomita (Karate Kid II), Lauren Tom (Futurama), and Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: TNG).

For those not in the know, Ming-Na is one of the most prominent Asian American actresses in Hollywood today. Though she has been acting since the mid-80s, her career took off in 1993 when she was cast in the lead role of June in Wayne Wang’s adaptation of the Amy Tan novel, The Joy Luck Club.

Wen also spent over five seasons as part of the main cast of ER as Dr. Chen when the show was at the height of its powers on NBC. In addition to these mainstream roles, her geek cred runs deep as well.

She followed her star-making turn in Joy Luck Club by playing Chun Li in 1994′s live-action adaptation of Street Fighter. In 2001, Wen voiced Dr. Aki Ross, the lead character in the big screen CG-animated Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. And on television, Ming-Na provided the voice of Detective Yin on the Kids’ WB animated The Batman series and starred for two seasons on SyFy’s Stargate Universe. She even had a small role in the 2009 superhero flick Push — alongside future Captain America, and until recently, fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Chris Evans.

Despite this long and impressive filmography, the two roles that have led to Ming-Na’s icon status among us Nerds of Color — and the rest of the world, for that matter — are as a Disney Princess and as a Marvel superhero.

Her turn as the legendary Chinese heroine Fa Mulan in 1998 was a big deal. Not only is Mulan the only animated Disney film set in China, its voice cast of predominantly Asian American actors is still pretty impressive 16 years later 1. Though Mulan has never been depicted as a princess in any Chinese telling of the legend, Disney nevertheless inducted the character into their heavily branded — and super popular — Disney Princesses line, making her one of the very few non-white Princesses to be “coronated,” and therefore one of the very few Asian dolls in the toy aisle.

Last year, Ming-Na officially joined the ranks of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — Disney’s other mega-franchise — when she was cast as Agent May on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And while I admit that I haven’t been the show’s biggest fan2, it was never because of any issue with the character of Melinda May. (My main problems withS.H.I.E.L.D. were always its Whedon-y bits).

In fact, she was one of the few bright spots on the show for me (this mini-Joy Luck Club reunion, for starters) and her relationship with Coulson is actually interesting. Hopefully, the showrunners give her more to do in Season Two than stand around and glower.

Though, admittedly, she’s REALLY good at standing around and glowering.

While she was promoting the premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ming-Na revealed that there was yet one more Disney franchise she wanted to be a part of: Star Wars.

Though her interview with Access Hollywood made all the rounds back in October, those of us who had been following her career since Joy Luck Club already knew about her preference for that galaxy far, far away. I think it was in a feature in the now defunct A Magazine where I first learned about her Star Wars fandom and her desire to be in one of the films.

Not sure if this was the issue, but I’m pretty sure the issue came out around the time the prequels were being shot. Unfortunately, the magazine existed before the internet and not even Google can track down the article. But trust me, Ming-Na’s Star Wars fandom runs deep, and in the mid-90s, she was all about being in a Star Wars movie. Up to that point, I had no idea that the actress from Joy Luck Club was a fangirl!

Despite the pleas to be in one, George Lucas wasn’t swayed enough to cast her in any of his movies. I guess in Lucas’ Star Wars universe, the only Asians we ever get to see are:

One of Jabba’s dancers in the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi

… Uh, Lando’s co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon, Nien Nunb …

… And the Nemoidians in Episodes I-III.

Also, Amidala in all kinds of Orientalist costumes and makeup.

That’s it. That’s the list.

The one time Lucas actually did cast a real live Asian for a role, he cast Bai Ling instead3 of Ming-Na (and subsequently sent that scene to the cutting room floor).

Also, peep the diversity in that deleted scene. By cutting it, all the black and brown people in Star Wars was reduced by 95%!

When Episode III came and went in 2005, no one expected there to be more Star Wars films, and Ming-Na’s dream to be in one went the way of the Jedi after Order 66. But now that Disney has swooped in to resuscitate the franchise, it is the perfect opportunity to let Mulan wield a lightsaber!

Even if she isn’t cast in J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII — or Rian Johnson’s Episodes VIII and IX, for that matter — Disney has already announced that they will be doing standalone Star Wars movies outside the main sequel trilogy. With a new Star Wars movie coming out every year from now to eternity, why not throw a bone to one of the Magic Kingdom’s most loyal subjects?

Not only would it be a dream fulfilled for one of nerdom’s own, but it would be an historic occasion. To win the Disney triple crown of being an official  Disney Princess, a Marvel superhero, and a Jedi? Hell, that’s gotta be bigger than the EGOT!

So just like the time I called on Marvel to cast an Asian Americanactor to play Iron Fist, I am once again calling on Disney to do the right thing and cast Ming-Na Wen in a Star Wars movie!

  1. Still not sure how or why Donny Osmond provided Shang’s singing voice, though. Either way, here’s hoping Disney doesn’t neglect to cast Asian American actors to voice the characters in the upcoming Big Hero 6 movie. 
  2. I will say, though, that the post-Winter Soldier episodes did eventually get better. 
  3. Is she even real life? 

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Quoted: Police And Medical Teams During Eric Garner’s Last Moments http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/21/quoted-police-and-medical-teams-during-eric-garners-last-moments/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/21/quoted-police-and-medical-teams-during-eric-garners-last-moments/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:00:20 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33093 At one point, another officer is seen taking a cell phone and a pack of cigarettes from the 43-year-old Garner’s pants. Even after the arrival of an EMT four minutes into the video, no medical aid is provided to Garner. He’s instead just loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled off. Cops say he was pronounced […]

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At one point, another officer is seen taking a cell phone and a pack of cigarettes from the 43-year-old Garner’s pants.

Even after the arrival of an EMT four minutes into the video, no medical aid is provided to Garner. He’s instead just loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled off.

Cops say he was pronounced dead a short time later after arriving at a Staten Island hospital.

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, caught on another video putting Garner in a chokehold, is shown standing a few feet away and chatting amiably with a uniformed colleague.

Near the end of the clip, he gives a satiric wave to the person shooting the second video.

Pantaleo, an eight-year veteran, was placed on modified duty Saturday as cops and the Staten Island district attorney investigated the case.

Pantaleo was stripped of his gun and his shield and assigned to work desk duty. The police union immediately denounced the move as “knee-jerk” and “completely unwarranted.”

New York Daily News

Image by Marcos Vasconcelos via Flickr Creative Commons

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Flapping In The Breeze: The New Captain America Faces Challenges From Within http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/17/flapping-in-the-breeze-the-new-captain-america-faces-challenges-from-within/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/17/flapping-in-the-breeze-the-new-captain-america-faces-challenges-from-within/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 14:00:40 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33079 By Arturo R. García The Falcon is going to be the new Captain America! Great! But then what? Oh, you expected this to stick? History says otherwise. But there’s a potential problem ahead. SPOILERS under the cut It’s not surprising that Marvel would use the stage of the Colbert Report to announce that Sam Wilson […]

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By Arturo R. García

The Falcon is going to be the new Captain America! Great! But then what?

Oh, you expected this to stick? History says otherwise. But there’s a potential problem ahead.

SPOILERS under the cut

Teaser image featuring (l-r): Havok, the character formerly known as Thor, Sam Wilson as Captain America, the Hulk, and Steve Rogers.

It’s not surprising that Marvel would use the stage of the Colbert Report to announce that Sam Wilson would be the protagonist in a new Cap comic starting this November. As Newsarama pointed out, the company had been suggesting the change was in the works, stemming from a story in which the Captain of record, Steve Rogers, lost the Super-Soldier syrum keeping him youthful.

So in going on the Report, Marvel was banking that his audience — which, one would suggest, includes people who aren’t following the book but are pro-diversity as a matter of habit — would take it as a positive surprise. The announcement could have been handled differently on another show: Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, for example, would have been able to better explain the significance of the move, but she might also have pointed out that the company also acted like Rogers’ “death” just seven years ago was going to stick, or that Marvel has already seen a Black Captain America in Isaiah Bradley from the Truth: Red, White & Black miniseries. Thus, avoiding actual journalists and announcing Wilson’s new role in the safe embrace of Colbert’s “truthiness” was the smartest play.

The company used the similarly friendly confines of The View to announce that an unidentified cis-woman character would be written to take up the mantle of Thor, giving Marvel Entertainment, Inc. a pair of feel-good stories for its comics division, and a chance to see “fans” at ComicsAlliance’s Facebook page reacting to the news of this latest Black Cap as gracefully as the townspeople in Blazing Saddles:

(l-r) Chris Evans as Captain America and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in a still from “Avengers: Age Of Ultron.” Image via comicbookmovie.com

Of course, when it comes to Marvel, the movie tail wags the comics dog; in between the announcements regarding Wilson and the new Thor, the first still photos from Age of Ultron were released, featuring Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth reprising their respective roles from Joss Whedon’s first go-round.

So unless we start seeing pictures of Anthony Mackie rocking the shield in the third Cap movie, or, say, Katee Sackhoff wielding Mjolnir, the best way to approach these new adventures is as a bridge between now and the release of Age of Ultron next summer. Or did readers of The Superior Spider-Man go into the second Spider-Man movie expecting Andrew Garfield to recite dialogue written for Alfred Molina?

But let’s consider this image of some of the heroes featured in Marvel’s “Avengers NOW” branding:

Image via Entertainment Weekly.

You can see Marvel at least trying to liven up its primary team lineup for the next few months. These “Avengers Of The Next Financial Quarter” look like they will include the Inhuman queen Medusa, the Winter Soldier, a new Deathlok (benefitting, perhaps, from Agents of SHIELD) and the reimagined Captain and Thor, among others. It’s certainly a more inviting sell than Steven Moffat’s attitude regarding the casting in Doctor Who.

It’s less encouraging, however, to discover that the writer entrusted with telling Wilson’s new stories as Captain America is Rick Remender. You might remember Remender from his rather ham-handed approach to race in the pages of Uncanny Avengers last year, and for some of his responses to critiques of that work:

Only in comics, apparently, does telling people to “drown themselves” in urine qualify someone for a promotion. But Remender also found himself in hot water with fans less than a month ago, in a scene involving Wilson that had some Falcon supporters briefly calling for him to be fired.

In Captain America #22, we see a flashback in which Wilson entertains a visit from Jet Black, the reformed daughter of supervillain Arnim Zola. Because she was raised in an alternate dimension, Jet aged more rapidly than a woman from “our” Earth. Since her previous depiction led some readers to speculate that she was still a teenager, Remender writes a line for her where she can announce that she’s at least 23 years old:

You will also note that Wilson is seen begging off from drinking more, only for Jet to encourage him to keep drinking before making an advance toward him:

The “punchline” is the strong indication that Wilson and Jet have already slept together by the time he can remember what happened:

Who knows if they actually had sex and then put their underwear back on, of course. But it’s okay, because even if Jet was evil once, she TOTES wanted him:

Remender was accused of effectively writing Wilson into committing sexual assault against a minor before the furor was corrected on Tumblr. But even allowing for Jet stating otherwise, the scene comes off really awkwardly; the thought of waking up not knowing if you’ve had sex with someone isn’t something a lot of people can brush off with a make-up kiss.

The scene stirred up memories of a 2009 issue of Amazing Spider-Man in which writer Fred Van Lente suggested rather heavily that one of Spidey’s rogues, The Chameleon, had sex with Peter Parker’s roommate while disguised as Parker, which can — under British law, at least — be considered rape. After first telling a fan that he believed rape “requires force or the threat of force,” Van Lente quickly back-tracked, saying the two characters only made out. So, even if Remender has a reveal planned saying Jet and Falcon never had sex at all, his attempt to kickstart a relationship between them lacked nuance, to say the least.

Sam Wilson as Captain America. Image via Comic Book Resources.

And so this is the writer — tone-deaf on race, seemingly behind the times on matters of sex and consent — who has been entrusted with telling the story of the latest Black Captain America, however long they’re scheduled to run. Besides the fact that stories starring interim superheroes can be enjoyable in their own right (Dick Grayson’s tenures as Batman, Superior Spider-Man and the adventures of Beta Ray Bill come to mind), Marvel has to know that having Sam Wilson carry a mantle so deeply associated with depictions of patriotism opens up the door to the kind of tales that can go beyond the realm of heroics and explore some of those associations.

How would Wilson react to Marvel-Americans who don’t want a Black man as Captain America? How would this change the dynamic between himself and his Black teammates in the underrated Mighty Avengers book? Would Sam see an opportunity to use the platform to make broader statements about race? Would he take it? As we’ve said before, Remender’s work flows best when he sticks to straight-ahead superheroics, and that shouldn’t change in this new book.

But after creating a chance to do more — not to mention the chance to hire a POC writer for a high-profile book — Marvel is sending the signal that this is just a placeholder. So, as high as Sam Wilson might fly in his latest role, it’s not hard to shake the feeling that we’ll be left with plenty of sky left to cover.

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White Guy’s Burden: The Racialicious Review of 24: Redemption [The Throwback] http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/17/white-guys-burden-the-racialicious-review-of-24-redemption-the-throwback/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/17/white-guys-burden-the-racialicious-review-of-24-redemption-the-throwback/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:00:47 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33051 In honor — or disbelief — of the fact that apparently people still watched “24″ this year, let’s remember Arturo’s struggle to grasp how this show can still have any fans after the turgid intercalary chapter in 2008 that saw Jack Bauer go to Africa. By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García … No, really, people […]

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In honor — or disbelief — of the fact that apparently people still watched “24″ this year, let’s remember Arturo’s struggle to grasp how this show can still have any fans after the turgid intercalary chapter in 2008 that saw Jack Bauer go to Africa.

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

… No, really, people watch this show every week? No wonder the Bush presidency lasted two terms.

24: Redemption is both set-up and appetizer for the show’s incomprehensible fanbase, setting the table three years after the surely cataclysmic sixth season, which left Super Agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) on the lam and out of a job, what with his beloved Counter Terrorism Unit being disbanded.

As we begin this two-hour slice of Jack’s traumatic life, the former Republican role model is moonlighting in the fictional African country of Singala, helping out an old special ops buddy (Robert Carlyle) building a school/living shelter somewhere near the country’s border. Where these kids’ parents are, why this school is not co-ed, or staffed by anybody who’s not white, is never explained. The only other person at the camp is a slimy, United Nations worker. Of course the UN guy is French, and verbally fahrts in Jack’s general direction.

But never mind the kids or their harsh socio-political realities, Jack is emotional, man!

He’s depressed about how Season 6 went down, and beset upon by an Annoying Liberal U.S. Bureaucrat (Gil Bellows) serving a subpoena for Jack to testify to Congress regarding “human rights violations.” If we’re talking about the rest of this series, can we move to upgrade the charges to Crimes Against Humanity?

(By the way, we know Bellows is playing a Liberal because he wears dorky glasses and complains about the heat. An Annoying Republican Bureaucrat would have hiked his way across the jungle, carrying the subpoena like Christopher Walken did the watch in Pulp Fiction.)

Jack’s mellow gets harshed even further by a seemingly out-of-nowhere coup organized by the People’s Freedom Army, led by the evil Gen. Benjamin Juma (an under-used Tony Todd) and his #1, Col. Ike Dubaku (Hakeem Kae-Kazim). You know they’re important characters because they’re not featured in a single publicity still Fox released for the movie. Though Juma and Dubaku decry the Singalan government as working for their “white masters” in the U.S., we learn the PFA is in fact being funded by evil American Jonas Hodge (Jon Voight).

In shepherding the schoolchildren to the rapidly-closing U.S. Embassy, Jack has what you could call an off day: 10 kills in just under two hours, as they make their way to asylum before the embassy is evacuated under orders of lame-duck President Noah Daniels (Powers Boothe). The fall of Singala, and Jack’s and the kids’ final march to safety, plays out alongside the inauguration of Daniels’ successor, the “idealistic” Allison Taylor. In order to get the kids on the last helicopter to safety, Jack is forced to forego his “What, me, accountable?” philosophy and turn himself in for testimony.

On the “real world” side of things, the program featured a commercial for Malaria No More and referred viewers to a documentary on child soldiers on its official website. And it’s encouraging, I suppose, that writer Howard Gordon didn’t attempt to give Redemption a “feel-good” ending: you know, Jack killing Juma and Dubaku with both arms tied behind his back (don’t laugh; he killed Dubaku’s brother in that condition) and making Africa safe for Hot Topic and horrible NBA expansion teams. And Juma and Dubaku might get to become true Big Bads along with Hodge when the show resumes in January. But if that’s the best thing to come out of this two-hour informercial for Real Americanism, then … like I said earlier, people watch this every week?

Take me back, Tim Kring, all is forgiven!

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Activist Jose Antonio Vargas Enters The ‘Unaccompanied Minors’ Fray http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/16/activist-jose-antonio-vargas-enters-the-unaccompanied-minors-fray/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/16/activist-jose-antonio-vargas-enters-the-unaccompanied-minors-fray/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 12:00:45 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33075 By Arturo R. García Former journalist and immigrant rights advocate Jose Antonio Vargas was arrested and released within the course of a day by Border Patrol officials in McAllen, Texas, where he has gone in support of the thousands of young undocumented immigrants who have made their way to the U.S. from Central America. “I […]

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By Arturo R. García

Former journalist and immigrant rights advocate Jose Antonio Vargas was arrested and released within the course of a day by Border Patrol officials in McAllen, Texas, where he has gone in support of the thousands of young undocumented immigrants who have made their way to the U.S. from Central America.

“I was released today because I am a low priority and not considered a threat,” Vargas told the New York Times after being released. “I would argue that the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country are not a threat either.”

Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winner who revealed in 2011 that he was also living in the country without documentation, was arrested for failing to have a U.S. visa while attempting to board a flight from McAllen to Houston. He posted this picture shortly before being arrested:

The brief detention came a day after Vargas said in a CNN interview he did not expect to be treated differently from other immigrants because of his activist status.

“Why the double standard?” Vargas said. “When I outed myself three years ago, my goal is to say I’m one of the 11 million [undocumented] people. I’m not asking for special treatment, I’m not asking for there to be any double standard. The government is doing that.”

Vargas, who recently released the semi-autobiographical film Documented through CNN films, also released a statement via Define American, his advocacy group:

Our daily lives are filled with fear in simple acts such as getting on an airplane to go home to our family. With Congress failing to act on immigration reform, and President Obama weighing his options on executive action, the critical question remains: how do we define American?

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Coming Attractions: This Is A Stereotype Sets Out To Combat Myths About Native Communities http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/15/coming-attractions-this-is-a-stereotype-sets-out-to-combat-myths-about-native-communities/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/15/coming-attractions-this-is-a-stereotype-sets-out-to-combat-myths-about-native-communities/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:00:55 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33066 By Arturo R. García In the midst of not only the fight to change the Washington D.C. pro football team’s name but the San Francisco Giants’ embarrassing display during “Native American Heritage Night,” This is a Stereotype couldn’t come along at a better time. Billing itself as “a free and alternative narrative to addressing possible […]

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By Arturo R. García

In the midst of not only the fight to change the Washington D.C. pro football team’s name but the San Francisco Giants’ embarrassing display during “Native American Heritage Night,” This is a Stereotype couldn’t come along at a better time.

Billing itself as “a free and alternative narrative to addressing possible causes and effects of Native American stereotypes,” the project was inspired by Stereotype: Misconceptions of the Native American, an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) in New Mexico last year by artist Cannupa Hanska Luger and furthered through the work of filmmakers Dylan McLaughlin and Ginger Dunnill. The film successfully raised just over $10,000 on Kickstarter this past August.

“It’s all about getting our voices and getting our faces and our images and our designs out there to challenge those stereotypes,” Native Appropriations’ Adrienne Keene says in the teaser above. “We’ve been so invisible for so long, and now we have a new opportunity through social media.”

Last month, the creative team posted that, in addition to conducting interviews for the feature, it had reviewed footage from communities including the “Nambé, White Mountain Apache, Ojibwa, Inupiaq, Shoalwater Bay, Yakima, Kiowa, Ohkay Owingeh, Coeur D’Alene, Lower Sioux,” among many others.

MoCNA is scheduled to host the film’s first screenings on Aug. 23 and 24. Two more teasers can be seen below.

[Top image via "This is a Stereotype" Facebook page]

[h/t Native Appropriations]

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More Than a New Starbucks: On Gentrification and Domestic Violence http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/14/more-than-a-new-starbucks-on-gentrification-and-domestic-violence/ http://www.racialicious.com/2014/07/14/more-than-a-new-starbucks-on-gentrification-and-domestic-violence/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.racialicious.com/?p=33021   We’ve had many conversations about gentrification on Racialicious, mostly focusing on the race and class drivers. However, there are a multitude of ways to think about the impacts of gentrification and the long term results of a gentrification project aren’t always simple to quantify by our usual measures. We can point to displacement or […]

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We’ve had many conversations about gentrification on Racialicious, mostly focusing on the race and class drivers.

However, there are a multitude of ways to think about the impacts of gentrification and the long term results of a gentrification project aren’t always simple to quantify by our usual measures. We can point to displacement or economic growth, but what about unintended consequences?

A cold knot of dread took root in my stomach as I read a recent headline from the DCist: “D.C. Sees Increase In Homicides Connected To Domestic Violence.”

D.C. has seen a troubling increase this year in the number of homicides that appear to be connected to domestic violence, an issue Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier addressed in an interview yesterday.

“If you’re in an abusive relationship, the biggest problem is that people don’t think it will turn fatal,” she said on WTOP. “We’re seeing more than a double increase in domestic violence murders, not just of women … but children, as well.”

In analyzing the rise in both calls to police and actual homicides, the writer includes this very interesting side note:

Survivor access to long-term affordable housing is also key. Last year, local providers were unable to fulfill 52 service requests from victims, a 24 percent decrease from 2012. The vast majority of these requests — 77 percent — were for housing.

“Many victims are forced to stay because they don’t have access to housing,” Cottman said. “Either be homeless, or stay and be victimized.”

The knot in my stomach grew worse, so I tweeted the article. My friend Zeynep responded “Abused women can’t afford to move out.”

That was true, but I couldn’t figure out why the article caused such a strong reaction.

Then I remembered: that was me, almost 10 years ago.

In another life (certainly a far cry from the life I have now), I dated a man who I would still hesitate to call abusive. He never raised a hand to me in anger, though he would destroy other things around me – walls, rear view mirrors, storage boxes. He was jealous and bullying, flying into rages prompted by the slightest infraction. Looking back, I am surprised to think of how long I stayed – but that’s always the rub isn’t it? Getting into these kinds of relationships is easy – it is the leaving that is difficult. And to leave requires not only a will, but also a way.

For me, the writing was on the wall about the way this relationship was going. The ex had informed me that he and our roommate had decided to find a cheaper place in Virginia to live in. At the time, I had no car, no driver’s license, and had spent my entire life in D.C. and Maryland. Virginia might as well have been the West Coast. I was not given a say in this – the idea was that I would come along once I knew what the plan was.

This was the beginning of the end as I suddenly felt desperate and squeezed. Did I really want to be in a more isolated area, away from friends and family? Away from my current jobs (at that time, I held down two)? And school? I felt trapped and confessed to the property manager that my roommates wanted to move but I wanted to stay. However, on my income alone, I couldn’t afford my own place.

Calmly, she asked me a few questions about my income and let me know that there was a program called MPDU (Moderately Priced Dwelling Units) that was essentially a discount on rent. The program was designed to ensure the Montgomery County workforce could afford to live near where they worked. There was a minimum income requirement back then of $28,000 a year, but you could not make more than $38,000 per year. The idea was that upward mobility was still in play – they fully expected most households to earn out of the program within a few years.

I forked over $1500 to the rental office – in exchange, I purchased my first bit of freedom for $715 dollars a month. As I’ve gotten older, I realized the kind hearted woman bent some rules for me – I should have probably been put on a waiting list, and I never took any of the classes referenced on the MPDU site. Later, she told me I had the cheapest rent in the entire building. But she did it – she found a place for me to stay that I could afford on my own.

For a month, I secretly moved clothing and items from one apartment to the other – after 60 days, I was settled into my new efficiency.

I had 500 square feet, a balcony that stood in for a window, and a kitchen small enough to that careless hand placement meant carrying electric charge from the fridge to the sink. After paying rent, I had about $60 to last me until the next payday.

But those were just details. In my small apartment overlooking Silver Spring, I was free – and ready to start a new life.

Some people would argue that these types of situations should not factor into city planning – economic progress tends to benefit most of the community and while displacement is unfortunate it is a known part of a neighborhood’s cycle. Rising housing costs are considered the price we pay for improved services, less crime, and more amenities. If some people can no longer afford to live in the city, the argument goes, there are other places to live that are cheaper. These arguments have some validity – but designing for a city is about so much more than maximizing space.

DC is in the fourteenth year of a new cycle of revitalization. This is part of a continuing conversation about identity – what economic drivers need to be put in place, what distinguishes the city from other cities, what makes DC a great place to live. DC in particular tends to frame change in a series of initiatives and public conversations: we are becoming a bikeable city, a green city, a digital city. There are conversations and action plans, committees and closed list-servs.

Right now, there are people trying to work or go to school or raise a family or possibly all three at the same time, trapped in a relationship that teeters on the verge of violence.

So where is the conversation around the needs of these residents, who are already in the city?

(Image Credit – Alex Barth, via Flickr)

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