East of West #9: The Black Experience Done Right

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Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Nick Dragotta
Colors: Frank Martin
Publisher: Image Comics

People of color are underrepresented and misrepresented in comics (we should all know that by now). However, there are some creators who do diversity right. (Quick shout-out to the creators of ChewSaga and Nowhere Men, to name a few.) This issue of East of West took it a step further and not only had an issue full of black folk, but it gave them depth and realism.

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East of West is a crock-pot that’s brewing an oncoming apocalypse and each issue is an ingredient. Because of this, there isn’t much progression in the story, just more world expansion and history lessons. The newest ingredient is the black Kingdom of New Orleans. This is where Jonathan Hickman does the black experience justice.

Too many black characters in comics are what I like to call “happenstance black”. Their blackness has little or nothing to do with the character’s personality. They are the token black character. Don’t get me wrong, just because a character is black doesn’t mean everything about that character should do with race and racism. But it cannot be ignored either.

The King of New Orleans mentions that the other nations call blacks “oilmen, like it was a slur”. This was a smart way to add an aspect of racial realism. Even the last name of Jonathan Freeman gives the reader more insight into this family and their core values. But these are not simply race-related plot devices just for the sake of it, they blend effortlessly with the story.

East of West shows us that it’s possible to incorporate the black experience into a comic in a genuine way… if you give a damn.

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Breaking Up With “The Walking Dead”

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I feel like I’m breaking up with a longtime boyfriend. I’ve been dating “The Walking Dead” for a few years now. Our first date was at the Compendium One and it was love at first sight. I was head-over-heels. Smitten even! I think it was partly due to having previously been in intense relationships with older men like “The Invisibles”, “Sandman” and “Transmetropolitan”. Albeit beautiful and brilliant, those relationships were filled with mind-fucks, counter-culture, social commentary and layers upon layers of metaphors. So “The Walking Dead” was a welcomed brain break from my “Top Three”. That’s not to say that I was dumbing it down or settling by being with “The Walking Dead”. But that relationship was heavier on the heart, rather than the mind.

I adored his grayscale gore and the excitement I felt whenever we were together. But then, things started to change…  The dates became repetitive and predictable. His friends weren’t interesting anymore or they were dead. It started to seem like all of the reasons why I loved him were slowly fading away.

Instead of thinking fondly of the future we’d have together, I find myself focusing on the good times we had in the past. I used to get excited whenever I saw him. Nowadays, I barely make time for him. A relationship that started with love now exists solely out of habit and comfort. I keep telling myself maybe he’ll change. Maybe the next time I see him, things will be different. He’ll be different. But things went from bad to worse when he brought a tiger to one of our dates.

It’s hard to break up with “The Walking Dead” because I’ve invested to many years into this relationship. But I think it’s time to let go. After the next few series of dates, it will be time to part ways. It’ll be tough. We had great times together, but I have to be the bigger person and know when it’s just not working out anymore. Maybe we’ll grab coffee every few months and I’ll see how he’s doing. I don’t know. We’ll see…

Sunday Funnies: If Characters Acted Like Their Nerdy Fans

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[Via College Humor]

Blog Crush: When Geeks Wed

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I’ve been crushing on When Geeks Wed since its birth back in January of 2012. The title says it all, When Geeks Wed is what happens when two geeks have a nerdtastic wedding. Cassandra features everything from invitations, fashion, food and more! I can’t lie, her blog makes me want to get married every day just so I can have all sorts of geeky weddings.

Warning: When Geeks Wed will have an addicting Pinterest-like effect on you!

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Blog Crush: When Geeks Wed

Why do you blog?

image2Cassandra: Originally it was to brush up on my web design skills for my portfolio but now it’s become a hobby going on two years in January.

Favorite blog-related moment?

C: When a friend of a friend told me I had to check out this awesome site she found online and it was mine!

What do you obsess about?

C: The card game Munchkin. Throwing down the “Duck Of Doom” or “Wandering Monster” card on someone who’s about to win is pure gold (unless I’m on the receiving end then it cuts me deep). ThePacific Rim soundtrack which I listen to on repeat at work. Also, Call of Duty zombies which I don’t know why they don’t make as a stand alone game like Red Dead Redemption.

Who’s your favorite fictional couple? 
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C: The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend (Dr. Mrs. The Monarch) some of my favorite characters in The Venture Brothers (plus they get +10 for having matching outfits).

What video game, comic/book, show and movie would you want to have if you were on a deserted island?

C: Movie: The Harry Potter series so in my delusional state from hunger and heat exhaustion I can vividly imagine myself flying off this deserted island on a broomstick. Also Star Wars because it’s Star Wars.

TV Show: Adventure Time, every time I watch one episode I end up watching at least three.

Comic/Manga:  Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge

Book:  Kickin’ Bot: An Illustrated Guide to Building Combat Robots (with accompanying parts) perfect for killing time and evil robotic island monkeys. My bot also makes Mai Tais because I can’t be on an island and not have a Mai Tai in my hand.

Video Game:  Puzzle Quest

Follow When Geeks Wed! 

 

Blog Crush: Leslie IRL

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girls-gone-geekI’m obsessed with Leslie! Is that weird? Idc idc! I can’t remember when we first “virtually” met, but I’ll assume it was on Twitter because that’s where I live. She had a geeky blog, I had a geeky blog and next thing you know were internet besties.
Even though Leslie is such a lovely person, I have a sneaking suspicion that she has several gangers locked in her basement. That’s the only possible way she can work on all her projects! Seriously, folks.
I’ll make a list just to emphasize her awesomeness:

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Blog Crush: Leslie IRL

Why do you blog? 
I love the geek and blogger community! In some regards, I blog to try to inspire people to be their best self. I love to give people ideas, advice, food for thought, contraverial things to comment on, and motivation to do cool things. I feel like by creating diverse and fun communities like the Geek Girl Pen Pals as well as blogging about my life, my art, and my raison d’etre, I might inspire, enable and empower others to go out there and create awesome. I want to be close to a community that isn’t exactly in my backyard, so I try to make myself a real presence online. I love connecting with people across the globe, including geeky celebrities, and to me, the best way to do that is to blog and maintain an online lifestyle.

Favorite blog-related moment? peach-cropped

Seeing a blog post like Geek Girl Advice: Things I wish I could tell my geeky 13-year old self hit 3,000 views in 1 day really tickled my pickle. And the best part was, I gave all those contributors a little bit of the spotlight and a place to voice their own wisdom. That made me really happy and fuzzy on the inside!

What do you obsessed about? 

Does wine count? Haha! I am obsessed with…. Harry Potter, Pewdiepie, Captain America, Instagramming, LARPing and cosplaying, and blogging! I am always plotting new blog ideas, writing, scouting other blogs for inspiration, and trying to connect with others with my blog and social media. I am such a typical millennial!

If Kirby were to eat you, what power would he get? 

I think he (she?) would get the ability to hug people and turn them into kittens.

What video game, comic/book, show and movie would you want to have if you were on a deserted island? 

Probably Animal Crossing, an Archie comic (hopefully at least a double digest), the Bible, Pretty Little Liars (help me, I am addicted to this show), and Moon so I can feel like I am slowly going crazy and try to build a robot friend to talk to me.

Follow her! 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Funnies: Return to Animal Crossing

I lost my 3DS a few months ago after I got Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I worry about the well-being of my town everyday.

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[Via Dorkly]

 

50 Pieces of Beautifully Strange “Welcome to Night Vale” Fan Art

I first discovered Welcome to Night Vale during one of my many endless scroll sessions on Tumblr. I kept seeing Night Vale fan art, so I downloaded the podcast and well, my life hasn’t been the same since.

If you don’t know…

“WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.”

The writing is quite brilliant and very very strange. There’s a heavy H.P. Lovecraft influence except it’s light on the serious and heavy on the funny (despite the odd and terrifying events that happen in Night Vale).

The Night Vale fan community is filed with some of the most creative people I’ve encountered in any fandom. I originally just wanted to share a few pieces of fan art but somehow ended up with 50… whoops!

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By opsci.tumblr.com_un_welcome_by_cocokat-d6kc9t2 welcome to night vale fan art 3

By cocokatand_now__the_weather_by_coraorvat-d6glmid

“And now the weather” By CoraOrvatbest_furry_pants_by_isthatwhatyoumint-d6eo6k6

“Best Furry Pants” By isthatwhatyoumint
Cecil-and-Carlos-welcome-to-night-vale-35455966-500-500

Cecil & Carlos By Little Ulver
Cecil-and-the-hovering-cat-welcome-to-night-vale-35340024-296-500

Cecil and the hovering cat By Fancy Maple Syrup Cecil-is-very-into-science-these-days-welcome-to-night-vale-35482693-264-500

By Viriaclose-your-eyes-let-my-words-wash-over-you-you-are-safe-now-welcome-to-night-vale-welcome-to-night-vale-35323397-442-500

By Ghostly Spectre night_vale__pluto_by_n_a_s_h_i-d6g4cud

By n-a-s-h-iOld-woman-Josie-and-her-angel-guardians-welcome-to-night-vale-35476712-375-500

Old Woman Josie and Her Angels by Injured Dreams The-man-in-the-tan-jacket-welcome-to-night-vale-35304716-417-500

The Man in the Tan Jacket by Steammmpunkwalking_the_dog___welcome_to_night_vale_by_dontevenknow_anymore-d6e6nsg

By dontevenknow-anymorewelcome to night vale fan art 1

Source welcome to night vale fan art 2 old woman josie

Old Woman Josie By I Draw Nerdy Thingswelcome to night vale fan art 3

By crocker-incorporated
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“The Traveler woos Cactus Judy, Night Vale’s third most beautiful woman.” By gingerhaole welcome to night vale fan art 5

 

By Meadow Rue
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By nekosd43
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“Old Woman Josie and her friendly, helpful angel. Even though we all know angels don’t exist, as the Sheriff’s Secret Police all quietly, yet forcefully, remind us.” By xiggehwelcome to night vale fan art 8

“A Story About You” By devileatscake
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By Meadow Ruewelcome to night vale fan art 10

By artfulhypothesiswelcome to night vale fan art 11

“Dana” By Meadow Rue welcome to night vale fan art 11

The Glow Cloud By the-everlasting-ashwelcome to night vale fan art 12

By mashellebellewelcome to night vale fan art 13

“There is a cat hovering in the men’s bathroom at the radio station here. He seems perfectly happy and healthy, but he’s floating about four feet off the ground, next to the sink. ” By Sekrawelcome to night vale fan art 14

Perfect Carlos By jinxesswelcome to night vale fan art 15

By chilidraws.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 16

By  scholla.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 17

By thepixelcat.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 18

By iisjah.tumblr.com welcome to night vale fan art 19

By yougotvexed.tumblr.com welcome to night vale fan art 20

By kinomatika.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 21

By theviewykingoffools.tumblr.com
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By opsci.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 24

By starlock.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 25

By kinomatika.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 26

By thimblings.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 27

Via thimblings.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 28

By starlock.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 29

By karmabees.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 30

By yougotvexed.tumblr.comwelcome to night vale fan art 31

By Rhoda-the-Echidnawelcome_to_night_vale_by_deangrayson-d6k1u8m

By DeanGraysonwelcome_to_night_vale_by_puffsan-d6g659m

By Puffsanwelcome_to_night_vale_by_simply_psycho-d6jlzjp

By Simply-PsychoWelcome-to-Night-Vale-welcome-to-night-vale-35634714-500-366

By Max Kenndy 24What-dog-park-welcome-to-night-vale-35339933-382-500

What Dog Park? By At The Bearicades of Freedom wtnv____meat_smell__by_purinrinrin-d6eu55f

“It seems that all over Night Vale, books have simply ceased functioning. The scientists are studying one of the broken books to see if they can understand just what is going on here. The exact problem is currently unclear, but some of the words being used include ‘sparks,’ ‘meat smell,’ ‘biting,’ and ‘lethal gas.’ For your own safety, please do not attempt to open a book until we have more information on the nature and cause of these problems.”
– Welcome to Night Vale Episode Three “Station Management” By purinrinrin

night vale fan art carlos cecil

By Sury to the Rescue