gailsimone:

greg-pak:

Gene Yang is one of my heroes. Read this, y’all.
weneeddiversebooks:

Read This: Gene Luen Yang’s rousing comics speech at the 2014 National Book Festival gala
From the Washington Post, article here.
GENE LUEN YANG, Library of Congress, Jefferson Building:
Good evening. Thank you, Library of Congress and National Book Festival, for inviting me to share the stage with such esteemed authors, and to speak with all of you. I am deeply grateful for this honor.
I’m a comic-book guy, so tonight I’d like to talk about another comic book guy. Dwayne McDuffie was one of my favorite writers. When I was growing up, he was one of the few African-Americans working in American comics. Dwayne worked primarily within the superhero genre. He got his start at Marvel Comics but eventually worked for almost every comic book publisher out there. He even branched out into television and wrote for popular cartoon series like “Justice League” and “Ben 10.”
Dwayne McDuffie
Dwayne McDuffie is no longer with us, unfortunately. He passed away in 2011, at the age of 49. But within comics, his influence is still deeply felt.
I was lucky enough to have met him once. About a year before his death, we were on a panel together at Comic-Con. I had the opportunity to shake his hand and tell him how much his work meant to me.
In a column Dwayne wrote in 1999, he talked about his love of the Black Panther, a Marvel Comics character. The Black Panther’s secret alias is T’Challa, the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. He has super senses, super strength, and super agility. He’s an Avenger, though he hasn’t yet made it into the movies.
The Black Panther wasn’t created by African American cartoonists. He was created in July of 1966 by two Jewish Americans, Stan Lee (who was born Stanley Lieber) and Jack Kirby (who was born Jacob Kurtzberg).
By modern standards, the Black Panther is not a flawless example of a black superhero. In their first draft of the character, Lee and Kirby called him “the Coal Tiger” and gave him a goofy yellow and black costume. Even in his final form, his superhero alias includes the word “Black.” This is true of many early African and African American superheroes, as if what makes them remarkable is neither their superpowers nor their heroism, but their ethnicity. Most problematic, though, was that Marvel made their most prominent black superhero the star of a series called Jungle Action.
All of these flaws were lost on Dwayne McDuffie when he first encountered the Black Panther in 1973, at the age of 11. What struck him was the character’s commanding sense of dignity. The Black Panther wasn’t anyone’s sidekick. He wasn’t an angry thug. He wasn’t a victim. He was his own hero, his own man. As Dwayne describes it, “In the space of 15 pages, black people moved from invisible to inevitable.”
Dwayne’s love of the Black Panther eventually blossomed into a love of comics in general. Dwayne was a smart guy with a lot of options in life. He’d earned a master’s degree in physics. But he chose to write comics as his career. I would argue that without the Black Panther, this flawed black character created by a writer and an artist who were not black, there would be no Dwayne McDuffie the comic book writer.
Dwayne wasn’t just a writer — he was also a businessman. In the early ’90s, he teamed with a group of writers and artists to found Milestone Media, the most prominent minority-owned comic book company that has ever existed. The Milestone universe have since been folded into DC Comics, so these days characters like Static Shock and Icon – characters Dwayne co-created – fight crime alongside Superman and Batman.
In the early ’90s, I was finishing up my adolescence. I visited my local comic-book store on a weekly basis, and one week I found a book on the stands called Xombi, published by Milestone Media. Xombi is a scientist who became a superhero after he was injected with nanotechnology. He allied himself with a secret order of superpowered nuns. One sister was known as Nun of the Above, another Nun the Less. Together, they protected the world from all kinds of supernatural threats.
Xombi was inventive and fun, but he stood out to me because he was an Asian American male carrying in his own monthly title. And even more notable – he didn’t know Kung Fu. Xombi wasn’t created by Asian Americans – his writer was white and his artist black – but he did make Asian Americans a little less invisible.
We in the book community are in the middle of a sustained conversation about diversity. We talk about our need for diverse books with diverse characters written by diverse writers. I wholeheartedly agree.
But I have noticed an undercurrent of fear in many of our discussions. We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say.
This fear can be a good thing if it drives us to do our homework, to be meticulous in our cultural research. But this fear crosses the line when we become so intimidated that we quietly make choices against stepping out of our own identities. After all, our job as writers is to step out of ourselves, and to encourage our readers to do the same.
I told you the story of Dwayne McDuffie to encourage all of us to be generous with ourselves and with one another. The Black Panther, despite his flaws, was able to inspire a young African American reader to become a writer.
We have to allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes, including cultural mistakes, in our first drafts. I believe it’s okay to get cultural details wrong in your first draft. It’s okay if stereotypes emerge. It just means that your experience is limited, that you’re human.
Just make sure you iron them out before the final draft. Make sure you do your homework. Make sure your early readers include people who are a part of the culture you’re writing about. Make sure your editor has the insider knowledge to help you out. If they don’t, consider hiring a freelance editor who does.
Also, it’s okay if stereotypes emerge in the first drafts of your colleagues. Correct them – definitely correct them – but do so in a spirit of generosity. Remember how soul-wrenching the act of writing is, how much courage it took for that writer to put words down on a page.
And let’s say you do your best. You put in all the effort you can. But then when your book comes out, the Internet gets angry. You slowly realize that, for once, the Internet might be right. You made a cultural misstep. If this happens, take comfort in the fact that even flawed characters can inspire. Apologize if necessary, resolve do better, and move on.
Let your fear drive you to do your homework. But no matter what, don’t ever let your fear stop you.


Two of the all-time best. 

gailsimone:

greg-pak:

Gene Yang is one of my heroes. Read this, y’all.

weneeddiversebooks:

Read This: Gene Luen Yang’s rousing comics speech at the 2014 National Book Festival gala

From the Washington Post, article here.

GENE LUEN YANG, Library of Congress, Jefferson Building:

Good evening. Thank you, Library of Congress and National Book Festival, for inviting me to share the stage with such esteemed authors, and to speak with all of you. I am deeply grateful for this honor.

I’m a comic-book guy, so tonight I’d like to talk about another comic book guy. Dwayne McDuffie was one of my favorite writers. When I was growing up, he was one of the few African-Americans working in American comics. Dwayne worked primarily within the superhero genre. He got his start at Marvel Comics but eventually worked for almost every comic book publisher out there. He even branched out into television and wrote for popular cartoon series like “Justice League” and “Ben 10.”

Dwayne McDuffie is no longer with us, unfortunately. He passed away in 2011, at the age of 49. But within comics, his influence is still deeply felt.

I was lucky enough to have met him once. About a year before his death, we were on a panel together at Comic-Con. I had the opportunity to shake his hand and tell him how much his work meant to me.

In a column Dwayne wrote in 1999, he talked about his love of the Black Panther, a Marvel Comics character. The Black Panther’s secret alias is T’Challa, the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. He has super senses, super strength, and super agility. He’s an Avenger, though he hasn’t yet made it into the movies.

The Black Panther wasn’t created by African American cartoonists. He was created in July of 1966 by two Jewish Americans, Stan Lee (who was born Stanley Lieber) and Jack Kirby (who was born Jacob Kurtzberg).

By modern standards, the Black Panther is not a flawless example of a black superhero. In their first draft of the character, Lee and Kirby called him “the Coal Tiger” and gave him a goofy yellow and black costume. Even in his final form, his superhero alias includes the word “Black.” This is true of many early African and African American superheroes, as if what makes them remarkable is neither their superpowers nor their heroism, but their ethnicity. Most problematic, though, was that Marvel made their most prominent black superhero the star of a series called Jungle Action.

All of these flaws were lost on Dwayne McDuffie when he first encountered the Black Panther in 1973, at the age of 11. What struck him was the character’s commanding sense of dignity. The Black Panther wasn’t anyone’s sidekick. He wasn’t an angry thug. He wasn’t a victim. He was his own hero, his own man. As Dwayne describes it, “In the space of 15 pages, black people moved from invisible to inevitable.”

Dwayne’s love of the Black Panther eventually blossomed into a love of comics in general. Dwayne was a smart guy with a lot of options in life. He’d earned a master’s degree in physics. But he chose to write comics as his career. I would argue that without the Black Panther, this flawed black character created by a writer and an artist who were not black, there would be no Dwayne McDuffie the comic book writer.

Dwayne wasn’t just a writer — he was also a businessman. In the early ’90s, he teamed with a group of writers and artists to found Milestone Media, the most prominent minority-owned comic book company that has ever existed. The Milestone universe have since been folded into DC Comics, so these days characters like Static Shock and Icon – characters Dwayne co-created – fight crime alongside Superman and Batman.

In the early ’90s, I was finishing up my adolescence. I visited my local comic-book store on a weekly basis, and one week I found a book on the stands called Xombi, published by Milestone Media. Xombi is a scientist who became a superhero after he was injected with nanotechnology. He allied himself with a secret order of superpowered nuns. One sister was known as Nun of the Above, another Nun the Less. Together, they protected the world from all kinds of supernatural threats.

Xombi was inventive and fun, but he stood out to me because he was an Asian American male carrying in his own monthly title. And even more notable – he didn’t know Kung Fu. Xombi wasn’t created by Asian Americans – his writer was white and his artist black – but he did make Asian Americans a little less invisible.

We in the book community are in the middle of a sustained conversation about diversity. We talk about our need for diverse books with diverse characters written by diverse writers. I wholeheartedly agree.

But I have noticed an undercurrent of fear in many of our discussions. We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say.

This fear can be a good thing if it drives us to do our homework, to be meticulous in our cultural research. But this fear crosses the line when we become so intimidated that we quietly make choices against stepping out of our own identities.
After all, our job as writers is to step out of ourselves, and to encourage our readers to do the same.

I told you the story of Dwayne McDuffie to encourage all of us to be generous with ourselves and with one another. The Black Panther, despite his flaws, was able to inspire a young African American reader to become a writer.

We have to allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes, including cultural mistakes, in our first drafts. I believe it’s okay to get cultural details wrong in your first draft. It’s okay if stereotypes emerge. It just means that your experience is limited, that you’re human.

Just make sure you iron them out before the final draft. Make sure you do your homework. Make sure your early readers include people who are a part of the culture you’re writing about. Make sure your editor has the insider knowledge to help you out. If they don’t, consider hiring a freelance editor who does.

Also, it’s okay if stereotypes emerge in the first drafts of your colleagues. Correct them – definitely correct them – but do so in a spirit of generosity. Remember how soul-wrenching the act of writing is, how much courage it took for that writer to put words down on a page.

And let’s say you do your best. You put in all the effort you can. But then when your book comes out, the Internet gets angry. You slowly realize that, for once, the Internet might be right. You made a cultural misstep. If this happens, take comfort in the fact that even flawed characters can inspire. Apologize if necessary, resolve do better, and move on.

Let your fear drive you to do your homework. But no matter what, don’t ever let your fear stop you.

Two of the all-time best. 

(via polymethodic)

wynterwydow said: So there is this fan/internet theory going around that James "Bucky" Barnes was actually enlisted versus volunteering for the war effort, thanks to the first Captain America movie context where Buck calls off his service number starting with 32--- Interestingly enough, the scanned image currently presented on the Wikipedia entry on WWII U.S. Army Service numbers starts with "32". I think that an intern had a case of the Wikipedias; the actor that plays Bucky advocates volunteering. Thoughts?

historicallyaccuratesteve:

Okay, I think you’ve got a little bit of a vocabulary mix-up here, because enlisting and volunteering (at least in the US military) are the same thing. The fanon/canon is that Bucky was drafted—essentially, his name/number was called and he had the choice to go, run away to Canada, or be imprisoned.

The reason this has really taken hold is because the service number he repeats while in Zola’s lab in the first movie is “32557(038).” The “32” at the beginning indicates that he is from New York, and that he was drafted (a “12” at the beginning would mean he enlisted).

While it’s possible an intern had a case of the Wikipedias and just picked a number off the Wiki page, this seems unlikely for a couple reasons. Number one, it’s actually a line in the film, so it was the screenwriters (Markus and McFeely) who wrote that in. Number two, that same Wikipedia page has the explanation of the numbers right next to the image, and the explanation is much, much easier to read than the image. Number three, the service number on Steve’s documents from the first film start with “12,” which means whoever put those together was aware of what the numbers indicated (even if the props department gets basically everything else wrong, ha!).

I’ve seen the clip where Sebastian Stan talks about his theory re: Bucky’s enlistment. He essentially says that he thinks Bucky enlisted out of a sense of duty—to the country, to his family, to his father’s memory—and then found that war was not what he thought it would be (that’s a broad paraphrase). I actually really like this headcanon (and I love that Stan has his own theories on his character), but I still think he’s wrong.

I’d think bucky wanted to stay to take care of Steve, but when the call came up he had to go, and made Steve think he was happy to go, that he wouldn’t be gone long.

whiskeydrinking-operating:

This is Chester. When I was in Afghanistan I got a care package from one of those “Adopt a Soldier” programs that lets families send care packages to service men and women who are deployed overseas. Anyway, I got this care package, and it came with the usual stuff: Baby wipes, crackers, peanut butter, the Dad threw in a pack of cigarettes, and there was some jerky. But there was also a little beanie baby gold fish and a hand written note from a 7 year old girl that said  “Dear Soldier, (I wasn’t even mad) I hope you are doing well. I’m sorry you have to miss thanksgiving with your family. This is my friend Chester. He keeps me safe from monsters, but I think you need him more than I do. I hope he keeps you safe from the monsters you’re fighting. Take good care of him for me”.
You bet your ass that little fish was in my pocket every time I went on patrol.

whiskeydrinking-operating:

This is Chester. When I was in Afghanistan I got a care package from one of those “Adopt a Soldier” programs that lets families send care packages to service men and women who are deployed overseas. Anyway, I got this care package, and it came with the usual stuff: Baby wipes, crackers, peanut butter, the Dad threw in a pack of cigarettes, and there was some jerky. But there was also a little beanie baby gold fish and a hand written note from a 7 year old girl that said
“Dear Soldier, (I wasn’t even mad)
I hope you are doing well. I’m sorry you have to miss thanksgiving with your family. This is my friend Chester. He keeps me safe from monsters, but I think you need him more than I do. I hope he keeps you safe from the monsters you’re fighting. Take good care of him for me”.

You bet your ass that little fish was in my pocket every time I went on patrol.

(Source: never-let--it-die, via capsicle107)

democracynow:

"China has practically shut the door on Hong Kong’s political reform," says Hong Kong legislator Claudia Mo. "This is fake democracy. … We have to take to the street to protest.”

elvishprincess:

Me at work

(Source: femmerun, via deanshellhoundiscas)

CeeLo Green Tweets on the subject of rape (now deleted)

the scary thing is, the idea that if a women is unconscious that she’s by default agreeing to sex is very common among men.

workingamerica:

Changing minds on voting rights

A former Republican describes how his attitudes changed on “voter ID” laws.

Only states that begin with “C”

California will soon join Connecticut as the only states with statewide paid sick days laws.

“Right to work” goes local

Through its new local affiliate ACCE, ALEC is figuring out how to enact city-level union-busting laws.

“It’s worth pausing to note what an accomplishment this is.”

The New York Times editorial board lauds NYC’s new universal pre-K.

"Breathe. It’s only a bad day, not a bad life."

— Johnny Depp (via enemaroberts)

(Source: aerosteonunsoyu, via capsicle107)

brynndowney:

I’m not crying, there’s just a branch in my eye

brynndowney:

I’m not crying, there’s just a branch in my eye

(via luvindowney)

jbuffyangel:

smoakandarrow:

This seemed like a pretty important statement from Stephen Amell regarding photo content involving his kid, so I’m signal boosting it so everybody knows and can respect the guy’s wishes.

Agreed. We enjoy the actors and the actor’s WORK. Their children have nothing to do with it. I will never understand this.

just in general don’t reblog pap pics, everyone deserves privacy.

(via winterstar95)