While San Diego Comic-Con has become linked with the city’s economy, it’s worth pointing out that one reason other cities probably feel they have a shot at wresting it from San Diego’s grasp is, there’s very little inside the event that actually reflects the city.
Over the weekend, the Chicano-Con exhibit began putting more of the “San Diego” back into this sphere. The event, a pair of two-day art exhibitions inside Barrio Logan, a neighborhood less than a mile from the convention’s high-rent district that formed its identity in the early 1900s with the infusion of refugees from the Mexican Revolution. Brent E. Beltrán, highlighted this disparity in the San Diego Free Press:
Comic-Con International recently bought a building at 16th and National in Barrio Logan. Yet no official events are scheduled to take place here.
There’s not even a shuttle bus stop yet there will be Comic-Con buses running every twenty minutes down Cesar Chavez Parkway heading towards the freeway. And there will also be countless attendees using this community as a parking lot to escape the outrageous parking fees.
Yet no official activities take place here. No outreach has been done to incorporate a low income, mostly Latino community impacted every year by Comic-Con. And that is unfortunate.
We love comics and the popular arts as well. We’re even known for our art. Yet, Comic-Con ignores us.
There are more events on tap in the area during SDCC weekend, which we’ll highlight in our upcoming convention preview. But this past Saturday, we went to Border X Brewing for the Chicano-Con exhibition, and you can see most of the artwork on display under the cut. Continue reading →
We generally don’t review a lot of plays here at the R, but this looks to be a marked exemption: next month will see the premiere of Allegiance, a musical starring George Takei and Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga, in my town, and I’m planning on being there.
The show will follow the Omura family, who are among the 120,000 Japanese-Americans sent to internment camps during World War II. Takei plays Sam Kimura, who is forced to confront his estrangement from his family in the decades after the war, while Salonga, in flashbacks, plays Sam’s older sister Kim, who finds herself on her own collision course with her family’s stance during their imprisonment.
Earlier this year, Takei used his online popularity to raise $150,000 for the show in an IndieGogo campaign. The show will hit the stage about a year after doing workshop performances in Los Angeles. During the production’s pre-Broadway run in San Diego, an art installation honoring internment camp residents will be on display in the theater.
The show debuts not long after another local production, The Nightingale, was criticized for going with “colorblind casting” in a play set in ancient China, leading to an audience protest during a workshop performance last month.
“Inadvertently, this kind of thing says you continue to be irrelevant,” one attendee said. “Reminds me how invisible [Asians] still are and how we are so often not invited to sit at the table. The play takes place in an Asian country and it is like a knife to the heart.”