Clap Along: Part I
By: Tiffany Brunson
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof”….I’m not really sure what a room without a roof would feel like; better yet I’m not even sure what that statement means. What I am sure of, however, is that this song makes me happy. Fundamentally, being happy is a good thing, but you didn't need me to tell you that! The question is how do we create more opportunities to be happy? Is it really that complex?
I could think of no better narrative to get us started other than talking about myself and sharing my journey. Since this recollection is particularly long I’ve broken it up into two sections.
This is part one of my two part journey. So, here goes!
Creative Homicide-Code Blue
As a publisher, we are generally asked the same questions without fail -every author we’ve ever spoken with, every editor we’ve ever interviewed and every illustrator we’ve ever contacted has asked, “How do you go from science to running a publishing company? What inspired you to make such a leap into the literary world?” Well, the truth is, it wasn’t well planned nor carefully orchestrated in the least. Rather, I was in a desperate creative state, as I clawed to maintain my penchant for autonomy and creativity.
The fundamental underpinnings of my science based graduate program was that there was always more than one way to arrive at any conclusion. These concepts meshed nicely with the free spirited path that had guided me in my life thus far. In that world, independent thought and flexibility were praised- I flourished.
When I actually had to grow up, get a job and become a productive member of society, I saw my creativity and out of the box thinking slowly dwindle. The thoughts that once flowed out of my mind like a wild river came to a halt, and slowed to a drip, like a leaky faucet. The growing responsibilities associated with the demands of adult life and the hustle and bustle of work pinned my creative self against a wall in a death grip. I nearly exhaled my last creative breath.
I was mundane, and no one wants to be mundane, the mundane never see the truth in the world, rather they live in ignorance of the wars raging about them. I needed to do something- anything but be mundane! (the Mortal Instruments fans will get this reference)
Publishing: The Resurgence of the Creative Me
Self-expression, creativity and freedom of the mind used to be my outlet. How did I lose that? How did I allow life to strip me of that? Not only did I notice this demise in myself; I saw it in my friends and my family, it was like someone held a mirror up to me. I have friends that once took pleasure in photography and enjoyed a leisure walk to capture the essence of a spring day, and there were those that would lose themselves in painting. Moreover, I had friends that had a penchant for hair styling and relished with pride in the artistry that it took to get a wash, set and blow just right. Much like I had done, they’d all begun to toss those talents to the side in lieu of a secure and structured corporate career path. All of our creative selves were dying a slow and arduous death in the name of adulthood. It didn’t happen overnight, yet I could see it clear as day. In that moment, I really understood the value that creative freedom brought to my life…. our lives. I understood why my mother so fervently supported creative thought, and she didn’t need a stockpile of degrees to realize it… Simply put, creative expression is good for you!
This post is modified from Blackgirlnerds.com
Personal Twitter: @2TIF1
Company Twitter: @mbmagroup
Moon Crisis Makeup
Sunday, May 18, 2014
If you follow me on twitter then you know that I am in a tizzy about the news that Viz Media dropped. They have picked up the new Sailor Moon series Sailor Moon Crystal!!!
Even better, you don't need cable to be able to watch it. It will be streamed on neonvalley.com and hulu.com. I'm not sure when it comes out because I keep seeing conflicting dates. Some say May 19th and some say in July. I'm not really sure. All I know is that I can't wait. If you have any awesome Sailor Moon memories, comment down below. I would love to hear them!
Physics and Netflix
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Hey Blerds! It's Jewel again!
If you follow me on twitter (@BBTau1899), then you know how much of a hermit I am. I basically just go to school and then home. Sometimes I go out, but it's not anything that I'm just dying to do. Anyway, when I'm at home, one of my favorite things to do is watch Netflix. I like to watch older shows from my childhood and new shows as well. My love of old shows helped my mom with her physics class. I bet you're asking how right? Well, it was The Magic School Bus. Never did I think that a children's show to make science fun would help with a college physics class.
I know I must have gotten on my mom's nerves because every time she would ask me a question my answer was always: I saw this on an episode of The Magic School Bus. Now, even though I helped her out a bit, I am in no way going to enroll into a physics class myself. It was just nice to know that my hermit-like ways were put to a good use.
P.S. For those of you wondering, she got an A in her class. Can we get a round of applause for Ms. Frizzle please?
"Dear White People": The Sundance Film for the Young Black Hipster Generation
By: Shala Thomas
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Picture this. The lives of a small number of black students unfold on the campus of the fictitious, prominently white Ivy League college Winchester University, paralleling the present-day sampling of the current black to white US population, if you will. They are different in their views of post-civil rights era of black identity. There are the new generation of budding proud black militants, the black conformists to their white surroundings, the self-hating black students, blacks who know little about their culture, and the black student comfortable in their own skin. Even though they all have in common the influence, intelligence and opportunity to exist in this place as their white counterparts, they must contend racial presumptions and attitudes that blacks must contend with everyday other races. This is all dealt with in a smart and statical way, a valiant first offering from writer-director Justin Simien.
The impetus of the story is a college radio show called "Dear White People" run by biracial student Samantha White (Tessa Thompson), who always begins her show by calling out ignorant statements comment to the masses. The film begins with an oldy but goody: "Dear White People, the amount of black friends required not to seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, your weed man, Tyrone, doesn't count." When Sam decides to run for president of the all black residential hall on campus to save the haven to black culture the building has always provided, reality tv, campus journalism, and campus secret societies all converge in the name of race and controversy.
One of the most clever contemporary black films to day, akin to 90s Spike Lee with a modern hipster edge Dear White People offers a visual perspective into the inner and outer struggles of the black Y generation. It touches on the new ways they define themselves but also the threads of similarities to older generations regarding issues that continue to plague the community. While it doesn’t alienate its white audience and gives them permission to laugh, the film humorously speaks more to its young black audience to say “you are more complex than that Tyler Perry movie makes you out to be”. At times, you’ll have to excuse some of its self-importance but its worth the experience and messages it provides.
--> I screened this movie at Sundance 2014 and hung out at the "Dear White People" film reception thrown by YouTube. Check out some pictures here.
--> The cast and director discuss their satire here.
--> In an interview, director Justin Simien reflects on the deeply on the interracial conflict of the film.
Adventures of a Twine Mage
Monday, April 21, 2014
I just want y'all to know that I am very nervous about writing this post, but here goes.
When you hear the word crochet what do you think of? Old ladies? Afghans? Those really cute slouchy beanies that people are wearing?
Although crochet does include those things, it also has a bit of a nerdy side. I have seen people turn yarn into cute little figures of Yoda or the Doctor and his companions to people creating blankets that look like a level of Super Mario Bro. Crochet is a good way to get and collect nerdy items when you don't have enough money to go out and by them. I have crocheted Pokeball hats, Sailor Moon scarves, and even a Dragonball Z hat modeled after Gohan's dragonball.
So I feel that everyone should crochet or get to know someone who does. Who knows what your nerdiness could create?
The Black Whovian: My 3 Fav Metacrisis Tenth FanFics
By: Lyn Muldrow
Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler. Oh, how I've cried each and every time I allowed myself to replay that fateful moment, as The Doctor burns a sun just to say goodbye. I've longed to replay that embrace and watch the Metacrisis Doctor grow old with Rose, to see what sort of life on the alternate universe they lived. Thanks to the magic of the internet and a bevy of imaginative writers and creators, I sometimes indulge in the Metacrisis (Human) Doctor and Rose fan fiction, or fictional additions to a show's storyline. Here are a few of my absolute favs:
Unhappily Ever After?
What if Rose and the Human Doctor (from Journey's End) didn't live the life we all imagined on Bad Wolf Bay? This fanfic shows an alternate situation, with bits and pieces from David Tennant's cameo on Diary of a Call Girl, Billie Piper's work outside of Doctor Who.
Rose and TenToo have a baby. How's that for normal? Could you imagine The Doctor with a mini Doctor? Oh, the feels. Check out this story on A Teaspoon and an Open Mind:
The sudden mental image of Rose pregnant and waddling around their flat, followed by one of a very tired, yet very beautiful, Rose rocking a newborn to sleep in her arms brought tears to his eyes. Oh, he wanted it. He wanted it with a fervor that surprised even himself. A second chance to have a real family with the person he loved most lay out before him. But it meant nothing if she didn't want it as well.
Relationships Are Cool.
How would the Doctor and Rose really deal with living a 'normal' life? I mean, after saving the universe a few times, turning into a kick butt omnipotent being, having two hearts...wouldn't everyday life on Earth get a bit monotonous? This fanfic explores the fluctuating nature of a relationship without the TARDIS.
So there you have it, three of my fav renditions of life after Bad Wolf Bay. Maybe one day Moffat or Davies will give us a little taste of TenToo's adventures. A girl can dream, right?
Are there any others that are your favs? Share them with me- I love a good bit of fan fiction!
The Black Whovian: Martha Jones- Hero or Rebound?
By: Lyn Muldrow
Thursday, April 10, 2014
After the ill-fated love affair of our Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), one could argue that there would never be another companion as intertwined with The Doctor. Destined to wander time and space devoid of a quirky, generally physically attractive yet needy companion, when The Doctor stumbles upon the headstrong and self-sufficient Martha Jones, most of us thought nothing of it. Oh, she’s another random brown face in the show. Oh, she’ll just be in a few episodes, and won’t be woven into The Doctor’s timeline.
Of course, because I’m a black girl, there’s going to be a tad bit of bias toward a brown beauty balancing the weight of the worlds on her shoulders with grace and style. Yes, for once in a show across the pond (besides Being Human), there was a black female counterpart worth pondering. I rejoiced in Martha’s profession and roles, and smiled as subtle racist remarks were confronted dutifully and with class while on adventures with our beloved alien. When the end of her tenure with The Doctor arrived, it wasn’t the weighty feeling of loss that I felt with Rose- I almost felt happy for her departure.
Doctor Who is a show full of melanin-deficient characters, aside from the otherworldly creatures we get to encounter. The Doctor is traditionally a white guy, and his companions are traditionally young, pretty white girls. That said, I didn’t really expect Martha to stick around long. What struck me, however, was the detachment that was felt as I tuned in to Agyeman’s character. She was nothing more than a rebound in my eyes, and even though she pretty much saved the world, persevering for a year while The Doctor was otherwise preoccupied, she couldn’t transcend this noun. Still enraptured by his past love, The Doctor let Martha go, and with his release my idea of fitting into that box that’s bigger on the inside.
So Martha Jones- was she a hero, or was she a rebound? She championed the dreams of many a brown girl, but her tenure with our Tenth felt like little more than a stepping stone for the next and more engaging companion, Doctor Donna. She saved the world but lost the battle with her emotional attachment with The Doctor. She was the face of a welcomed change in the racial dynamic of the cast, but stayed just long enough to whet a few whistles and continue in the tradition of Euro-centrism. I don’t quite have the answer, but I’m happy to have added her to a list of favorites in one of my favorite shows.
(All pictures c/o BBC America and BBC.)
Black Actresses Who Could Have Been Sue Storm in the "Fantastic Four" Reboot
By: Shala Thomas
Monday, March 10, 2014
A new reboot of the Marvel comic Fantastic Four is nearing production and with it the (sort of) announcement of the cast. Though some of the casting haven’t been made official, some of the cast have confirmed their involvement in the project. Ladies and gentlemen, your new team of superheroes: Miles Teller (Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic), Kate Mara (Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman), Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm/The Human Torch), and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/The Thing).
A lot of people have had comments about the direction the new films(s) will be going in terms of casting choices, many comments in regards to race and the traditional characterization of Johnny Storm. I have many objectives but not because of that; I of course embrace racial diversity as a way to offer a new take on comic book stories and better represent those who exist in society.
No disrespect to Kate Mara, but I think the real missed opportunity to be progressive and groundbreaking was not casting a black Sue Storm, and thus breaking the traditional blood ties at the heart of The Fantastic Four reboot. It could have also been a real chance to craft a very interesting view of black woman superhero and to show a strong black family unit, something we don’t get enough of in the comic book universe.
I have put together a list of actress that could have been prime candidates for Sue Storm. All of these actress are around Mara’s age, a perfect fit for the rest of the cast yet old enough to be the big sis to Johnny (and Michael B. Jordan). And also like Mara, these ladies offer mainstream appeal evidenced by their work in both TV and film:
Nicole Beharie is who I think of when I think of a contemporary Sue Storm. Not only is she seemingly very pensive and beautiful, but she also has a toughness in a deceptively small package. This Juilliard alum with a theater background has been on many people’s radars the last few years. Fans of independent film know her from her breakout role as a struggling single mother falsely arrested in American Violet, as Rachel Robinson in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, and as the woman who romanced Michael Fassbender (on and off screen) in Steven McQueen’s Shame. Fans of cult TV shows know her the critically-acclaimed Fox TV show Sleepy Hollow, where she is the “contemporary” half of a supernatural investigative duo.
Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke
Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke would really bring a gracefulness to Sue Storm. Echikunwoke is perhaps best known for her TV roles as the powerful, rapidly-againg Isabelle Tyler on the sci-fi drama The 4400 and most recently as medical examiner Tara Price on CSI: Miami. She has made the rounds on other TV shows including Raising the Bar, House of Lies, and Made in Jersey. Though Echikunwoke is a more of a newcomer to the film world, this would have potentially been a great role to bring a black woman to the forefront of Hollywood.
There is one big thing that Teyonah Parris and Michael B. Jordan (her would be big screen little brother) have in common – they are both breakout stars from recent buzzed about Sundance Film Festival features from up-and-coming young black directors. Jordan for 2013s Fruitvale Station and Parris for 2014s Dear White People, where she plays a student with an identity crisis at a prestigious predominately white college. Many will recognize her as the first black series regular on AMC’s Mad Men where her character was pivotal in bringing the racial climate of the 70s to life. Parris is slowly but surely making a name for herself in Hollywood and would have brought down-to-earth quality to Sue Storm.
Yaya DaCoasta is commanding and statusque onscreen (a great characteristic for a superhero). No wonder; she is a model, who first graced TV screens as America’s Next Top Model Season 3 runner-up. She is now building her career as an actress, parlaying a long stint on the soap All My Children into independent film roles in the critically-acclaimed Sundance selections The Kids are Alright, The Messenger, and Mother of George as well as role in this 2013?s The Butler.
—> Continue reading at The Cinematic Katzenjammer
Could you see any of these actresses as Sue Storm? What are your (honest) thoughts on the new cast of characters for the Fantastic Four reboot?