Comic Con

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I think it is pretty well established that I’m a nerd. Yet, there are very few times where I’ve pushed that nerdy envelope to it’s limit. Yes, I have over 15 boxes of comic books in my apartment, and I own replica double lightsaber, and I have a model of a the Starship Enterprise D. Yet the one thing that I have never done was go to a comic con.

Before I continue, I must say that I’ve been to comic book conventions before the glitz and the glamor that they are now. Those were the events that I would go to to search for back issues or buy action figures that I was searching for. There was never the expectation of meeting an artist or getting an autograph. I’ve been to Star Trek Convention, which up until Sunday, was the nerdiest gathering I have ever been too. But, even that event was fairly tame and calm in world of nerds and collectables these days.

I felt, going into this past weekend, that I was fully prepared for everything that the New York City Comic Con had to offer. Well, I was wrong because nothing could really prepare for how HUGE this event was. If you went through the entire event in the Jacob Javitz Center once…then you would have walked about 4 miles. I also think that I have never been to a place that had so many people that wasn’t a sporting event.

darth-maulOne thing is for sure is that there are a lot of freaks in NYC and I know that because I’m one of them. It was good to see people let their nerd flag fly. The cosplay was ridiculous. I saw some people that made some great costumes and to frank, I felt right at home. Let me just say that there was a serious possibility that I was was going to dress up. My girlfriend is dying to dress me up as Darth Maul. Yeah, I will just leave that thought right there.

2013-10-13 19.04.18I went in only wanting to meet two artists so they can sign some comics books I brought with me. Chris Cross didn’t show up on the day was there, but I got Jamal Igle to sign two of my Firestorm issues. This marks the first time that his has happened. Please understand that I’m not a fanatic. I think that the very act of asking someone for an autograph, without a real conversation, to be awkward. With that being said, I have gotten books autographed  from people like Juno Diaz, Miguel Melendez, Michele Carlo, Piri Thomas, Sandra Guzman, and Willie Perdomo. The difference is that I met all those people from my event work and then went to dinner with them. All of these great people were authors who have done great things with words. I was getting an signature from an artist that changed the value of a comic book and that itself is uniquely cool (even though the conversation was awkward lol).

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Then we met Neal Adams, which was just an unplanned thing that occurred. I ended up meeting an old college friend who (because of his wife) knows all these comic book artists. So not only did I meet Neal Adams but he signed some prints that are just awesome. One of them is above and as you can see is of the Walking Dead, so I had to grab that. The other two will be gifts to family that I do not want to reveal at the moment, but needless to say they are just as awesome.

Crisis_on_Infinite_Earths_001However, the highlight of my day was meeting another legend…George Perez. While, I didn’t get anything signed from this man, it was truly a great things to meet a man who is a legend in this industry. He drew two of my favorite books, Crisis on Infinite Earths and Avengers vs. Justice League.

All in all, we spent a better part of our Sunday bumping into people (literally). We saw some pretty cool shit like the Superman Costume Gallery. But we also saw some horrible cosplay that I cannot unsee. Besides the wall to wall display of comic books, the best thing to see was the little kids in mini outfits. If I have any kids, that is definitely happening. As for me, I wore my Black Adam shirt and my woman wore a Fantastic Four shirt. It was awesome and we will have do it again next year.

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Christmas List 2012

 
Its that time of year again where I’m being asked what I want for Christmas. While this may seem early (because it is), I think that with the number of sales happening and my mind wandering to small things that I may want for myself. I do this for purely selfish reasons because I know there are people out there that are hurting in a bad way. This has always been a list that I never expect anyone to get me, but rather things I would like to acquire as I enjoy my own success.

This is not exactly the same list I gave to my girlfriend since some of these seem kinda extreme to me. But hey, sometimes you have to live in a fantasy world. I am not one for too many material things because I do beleive that in the end it is all just stuff. If I am lucky enough, I will get a few things that are truly sentimental over my lifetime.

Alright let’s get to it:

I love to read!

Is it me of have books made a huge come back over the last few years? There is always something coming out that has to do with reading books digitally. I mean, I read comic books online as it is, so it would make sense that everything else would just be that way in this day and age. I already have the first gen Nook from Barnes & Noble and sadly (it is not broken) its time to replace it. I very much want the Nook HD. Perhaps this is just a thing of vain, but I will say that having an E-Reader has made me read a lot more than I did before. With this upgrade, I will be able to read in the dark (it is back lit).

This next item is a no-brainer for me. My contract with AT&T is up and I want to upgrade to an iPhone 5. Unlike most people, I do not care about all the bells and whistles. I just like what it does for me. What I have come to realize after owning this phone is that one will never uses all the features. It gets tiring to try to use EVERYTHING after day 3 of owning it, however, I like the features that I do use. With a better camera, the ability to read Comics, watch movies, do my fantasy sports, and face-time with family (all just a few examples), I am happy with what an upgrade will do for me.

He has a eye-wear line??

At the moment, I write this blog wearing some serious antiquated glasses. The problem is I lost my glasses off the coast of Fire Island a few months back. This means, I am in dire need of some glasses. I wore out my only pair of contacts (which is another thing I need) in the process of waiting to get paid. But never fret or fear, I will get new glasses this year (always the poet). I will have 2 goals in mind for a brand new pair: a) Glare Resistant and b) something that does not slide off my face easy.

One Ring…bitches

There are many things that I lost in the divorce. Many of these things were just divided amongst the both of us and there were things that I fought to try to keep and other things I just let go. Of the many things that I did let go, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (extended edition) was a definite treasure for me. Rarely do movies such as these come out, I knew that I would have to repurchase them. My thought was that if I left go of the DVDs, I will just require them as Blu-Ray discs.

Hotness

My last 2 items are a bit far fetched and to be honest, I wanted to put something on this list that was border line absurd. First, It has been a LONG time since I have gone after anything remotely related to Darth Maul or Star Wars. In fact, I purposely took the Star Wars Saga Blu-Ray off this list because of this lovely statue right here. I haven’t really decided if i am going to go back to collect on a grand scale only because all this stuff accumulates quickly and if I move more than once in my life time… it will be too often.

Ready for walkers!

On the other hand, there is this thought about how much I love the Walking Dead. When I did this list in 2010, I told myself I would venture down this road with the books and since then I have never looked back. But the other day I asked myself how much would a Katana run me? Needless to say that if I wanted something to kill Zombies with (besides my wit) I could easily spend less than $100 on this beauty.

I hope that everyone has a great time holiday shopping.

Michonne: The Ultimate Black Heroine?

Let me tell you what I am grateful for. The woman called Michonne. Even if you do not watch The Walking Dead, you should recognize what is going on here. We are seeing the birth of the most unorthodox and most unlikely of heroines on Cable Television. A sword wielding Black Woman that kicks ass and takes names.

We live in a time where we see plenty of White women play a that hero role which breaks all kinds of barriers and gender roles. I can name countless movies like Aliens, Prometheus, The Hunger Games, and the Underworld movies just to name a few, yet can you name a real movie when that same person was a Black Woman? While my thoughts go to Pam Greer in Foxy Brown back in the seventies…  most roles for African American women, in particular, are usually neatly carved out as maids, hoes, and single parent mothers trying to make it (and that is just in Tyler Perry films).

But, seemingly, out of now where comes this dark skinned woman in a world where you “fight the dead, and fear the living.” Most people seemed to taken by surprise how good this all looks. Can you imagine if a Black Woman was allowed to take out her “post racial” frustration on the living dead? What would that look like? I can tell you that reading the comic book, she is a survivor that takes no chances and trusts few people and that translation has worked well on screen down to her long dreads.

Which brings me to my next point. She is in a comic book! Can anyone tell me the last time a black woman was a major character in a comic book (that is not Storm from X-Men)? I immediately think about Captain Marvel from the Avengers books in the 1980s. But perhaps Milestone Comics had the most recent Black woman character with “Rocket” from the Icon series which came out in the nineties. I will just just answer my own question and just say that Amanda Waller in DC comics Suicide Squad is the only other MAJOR character in a comic book that I know of currently.

This raises a lot of questions for me. Is there some sort of thought that perhaps Black Woman are not seen as the hero types? I know plenty of strong Black Women that do not need a sword or the power of the Gods to fight crime. This is why seeing Michonne on The Walking Dead is refreshing. I knew about her for a long time by just reading the book (in which she is still alive). Her recent fame is only the tip of the ice berg when it come to her character and over all development in the psyche of the United States when it come to Black Women. She is a well developed character that is no laughing matter unlike Hally Berry’s Catwoman that might have set back African American woman back a few decades.

I challenge anyone who can find me an African American comic/movie/television hero that may have a stronger impact than Michonne. I think anyone will have trouble finding this fictitious person. Please do not include Storm in your searches because she is African. I wish you good luck and read The Walking Dead.

I Promote Divisions?

I am not a crime-fighter. I am not a super hero. I am man with a vision and goal. When one does the anti racism work that I do then one will know that some people misunderstand words and phrases because those who operate within the fabric of the system do not see the birdcage for what it is. It becomes difficult to explain that despite whether or not one may believe that words like “white privilege” is real, it becomes even harder to deconstruct the belief that there is a system of advantage that other have been born into.

As I look over the landscape of the Latinegr@s Project, I do see how I got here. There are a number of people who are glad that we exist and we promote ourselves and the education of others. I am not making this up when I say that more slaves ship landed in Central and South America than it did in the United States. Yet, Latinos refuse to see how they fit in to Black History Month and some African Americans do not even understand that we are closely related in more ways than just sharing project building space.

Michonne is a major
character within the series.

I have been told more than once by more than one person that the things I do and say promote division and that perhaps I am drumming up controversy for the sake of getting attention. I disagree. I am very open in my opinion and criticism of all forms of oppression when I see it. It is not my fault that a company like McDonalds decided to air commercials of African Americans dancing while eating chicken. I cannot possible be the only one who has an issue with this. I have the right to express that and the right to say that The Walking Dead comic book has more Black people in that the television show.

This is not me whining. This is me pointing out things for others to digest. The beautiful thing about living in the United States is that I have the right to say anything I want and others have the right not to listen to me. But, if one is to engage me on any one of these topics, please understand that I know what I am taking about. I did not coin the phrase White Privilege, you can thank Dr. Peggy McIntosh. She is a feminist and white woman. She coined the phrase because believe it or not, it exists! So much so, that there is a conference about it.

Which brings me to this idea that I am promoting division amongst people. That is absurd. Divisions of people already exist an yet no one wants to discuss this. It is like saying this makes it real and being quiet makes it all go away. I promote education and pride within people. We all need to hold and adhere to what we are and what our culture is because it will become lost. I also point things out because there are a plethora of ignorant people out there. Think about Linsanity that has take over New York and just about any sports channel.

I don’t think this is funny.

Here is a story of a guy who got cut by thee NBA Teams and then lands on The New York Knicks only to become an overnight icon. This is something that we would normally see in the movies. Jeremy Lin becomes the most popular Asian man in the United States since Bruce Lee. The best part about this is that he was born in this country and yet we see the ignorance of people come out. ESPN fired someone because of it. Not to mention the random things and pictures I see on Twitter that I do not consider to be funny at all. The sad part about it is that black and brown people alike make stupid ass racist comments. I guess 400 years of oppression give us the right to push others down?

Which leads me to my final point about the Matrix. Morpheus said it best: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it. That system, my friends, is the system of Oppression.

I will let Tim Wise take it from here:

Christmas List 2010

‘Tis the season to look at what is on sale. I still have no idea what I am going to get certain people in my life. I have already bought one gift and I know what I am getting my nephew, but that is about it. I am struggling trying to figure what to get my dad and I may have to get my mother something (I don’t know).  But, as I see all the things on sale and think about all the holiday parties I am going to this week (with all the gift giving), I think about what it is I would love to get.

I did this last year, I listed 5 things that I would love to get that I expect no one to get but me. This is sort of a goal I set for myself on things I will get in the following year. The funny thing is that 3 of my items last year I did end up getting as gifts, which I did not expect.

So, below are 5 things I will work on getting for 2011. This is my first Christmas in 8 years, in which I am officially single and it should be very interesting:

I am not trying to get a gold one…lol

The first on this list was the very first thing on my list last year: A Macbook. As you can see this is something I did not end up getting this year. There were other things that took precedence like food and mortgage. Interestingly enough, these computers are still very expensive and I really thought about getting a small one, but after talking to someone who has a Macbook, it is better if i get the more expensive one because of the memory. I am still using my old Dell laptop but I really have to get something else. However, as much as I can say that I may need this, the truth is…this is not a necessity. I will still work hard on getting it though.

Kindle or Nook???

Number two on the list is the same as last year as well but, there is a bit of a difference. I listed a Kindle from Amazon last year because I thought it was really cool. However, there is this thing called the Nook by Barnes & Noble that is just as good. I need to figure out which one is better, but since I love Barnes & Noble, I am feeling a pull toward the Nook. Of course, It does not help that I know someone who has a Nook. I am informed on a semi regular basis how awesome it truly is. It may just help me in this new Book Club venture that I am a part of.

This look so sexy!

This next item is just something that I have had before. I often joke that I lost this in the settlement to my ex wife in the divorce.  The third on my list is a Nintendo Wii. I just happen to be out and about on Black Friday when I saw the Black Wii on sale at Best Buy. I really had to walk away. I have games for Wii that are just collecting dust. The Wii was something that I bought for her years ago, so when she left, she clearly took it with her. I have no games systems newer than the PS2 and I havent really been craving to play games until I went out on Black Friday. So, now I have an urge to just play.

Last year, the fourth item on my list was dress shoes and I ended up getting two pairs. Now, I want to stick with that theme and say that I need to get a new pair of running shoes. I have worn my old pair out and I need to get back to what worked for me. I have stopped running and I need to get back into that old habit. Much of that has to do with my business. I mean, I have gone to the gym to get my workouts in, but I know that I need to get back to running. I am not sure what kind of pair I want, I just know that I need a good pair.

Last, but least. I would like to get into some good graphic novels. Since I am have stopped getting comic books on a regular basis, I can still read them in graphic novel form. “The Walking Dead” is something I want to get into. There are several graphic novels under this title and I want to get them all. “Y: The Last Man” is something I borrowed a few years ago. It was a very good series and I would like to get back into that. They are a good way to keep me into comic books without actually collecting them week to week. Even if I do not get those particular titles, I know there will be others to fall into my lap at some point.

This list was not as hard to come up as the last one was. I think I have come to the realization that I have indeed made some sacrifices that I have affected my livelihood. Material things may not make me happy…but they help.

The Walking Dead

Television is certainly not what it used to be. There was a time when the scariest any show got was when someone died on St. Elsewhere or when the A-Team got caught. Times have changed and we get watch shows that feature spirits, vampires, and now zombies. To be honest, I love it.

AMC launched the Walking Dead on Halloween and it has been a thrill ride so far. What makes this show good is the human element of people trying to survive in the most dire of situations. I am always one to believe that someone’s true nature is shown at a time of great peril. While anyone may think that this is just another gore fest genre type of show, know this: in the first 2 episodes, we have not seen anyone devoured yet. As a matter of fact, there seems to be more gore in True Blood.

The Walking Dead is adaptation of a comic book that still exists. It about a man named Rick Grimes who is a cop that wakes up from a coma and realizes the zombies have taken over. His current goal is to find his family. I have been very unfortunate to not be one of those who had picked up the early issues, my intention is to grab some graphic novels instead. One thing I do know about this series, is to not get too used to any one character because no one is safe.

Like most things that seem to become really popular, zombies seem to appear just about every where these days. Vampires being something a little bit more marketable because at least they are the type of undead that has sex. I would not be surprised if there are movies or shows that try to combine the two, vampires and zombies…not zombies and sex..lol (remember I said this).

I have never been one to be a fan of zombies because as a kid because these were one of the things that scared the shit out of me. Vampires and werewolves never really did. I knew they did not exist. However, when we talk about demons, spirits, or the devil…then we are talking about a different level for me. I consider those to be biblical in nature. Zombies maybe not be biblical in nature, but I almost considered them to demons in human form. This is why sleeping as a kid was so hard (that and watching Dawn of the Dead).

So, why write about this? Is this show that good? Well yes it, but there was situation that happened in the show that I really hit home for me. First, I love Postmodernist theory. I think that shows like this really critique humanity and what our true nature is. There has always been a thought that the only way to truly bring humanity together is a cataclysmic event. Much like the book (and not the movie), The Watchemen displays the world can be on the verge of complete hell but will come together under great tragedy that threatens our existence.

Which brings me to my point of The Walking Dead. The second episode, we are introduced to Merle Dixon who is a big Southern white man that spews racial slurs to another character, T-Dog (an African American) before beating his ass on a roof top. In the the context of this action, the building is surrounded by zombies waiting to eat anyone. Grimes subdues Dixon and tells him…”There are no more niggers. There are no more dumb ignorant white trash either. There’s only white meat and dark meat.” I consider this to be the highlight of the night and thus proving my point that in times of great peril we may come to realize that we are one one race…and that is the human race.

The Walking Dead comes on Sundays at 10pm on AMC.