Last November, we had a chat with awesomely earnest indie creator Jacques Nyemb about his comic Not So Super, which turns a unique twist on the average-joe-gets-super-powers paradigm.
(Check out the interview to find out just how awesome we think Jacques and Not So Super are.)
Jacques’s delightfully quirky comics ideas and his gang of artists, letterers, and editors make up a talented team at the indie enterprise Not So Super Comics, and now they’re looking to print more of Not So Super along with first issues of several of his other equally unique comics (including This Bites, about the trials of a vegan vampire… Yep. Really.).
Peep the Kickstarter and support indie comics! Or at least watch the kickstarter video after the jump and see for yourself why we adore Jacques’s awesomely earnest nerderificness.
Last week brought us lots of Geeky Outsidery awesome. So, we decided to consolidate it all into one giant post of awesome to get your geek on and week started off right. Happy Sunday!
Gotta headline with this week’s best news! Amandla Stenberg, that dope actress who played Rue in the Hunger Games, will be joining the cast of SleepyHollow! After a less-than-awesome (read, horribly racist) experience after her Hunger Games debut, it puts a huge smile on the geek gods faces to see this great tiny actress join a diverse cast on a fun show with an awesome dynamic Black female lead. Win.
Speaking of winning, Marvel gave us the gift of a new badass superhero. The teenage shapeshifter from Jersey will be debuting in her own title series as the new Ms. Marvel in February 2014! Real name Kamala Khan, this young new superhero grew up in Jersey but has Pakistani roots and joins the ranks of the few Muslim superheroes in mainstream comics! Written by G. Willow Wilson, Khan made her first appearance in last week’s Captain Marvel #17(yep. Go get it!). (via CBR)
Awesome freelance artists (and video game industry professionals!) Audran Guerard and Daniel Roy had the beautiful idea to put together a graphic novel adaptation of the life of Frederick Douglass. Based on his two biographies The Life of Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Novelwill be published as two 50-page volumes featuring some beautiful watercolor art. Support ’em (and dibs a copy!) on Kickstarter.
Marvel is bringing Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones to the small screen! Specifically, they signed a deal with Netflix for four separate new live-action TV series, one for each of the characters. And here’s the dope – these four shows will lead to a team-up in a miniseries for TheDefenders! (via IGN)
As you know, we’ve kind of got a thing for New Paradigm Studios here at GeekOutsider. Their Watson & Holmesseries is stayin’ on point and we’ve been looking forward to their latest The Rockthrower for some months now. And New Paradigm’s Karl Bollers just launched a Kickstarter to finish up the The Rockthrowerand put it in stores in a pretty, shiny, graphic novel format.
The Rockthrower by Karl Bollers, Dave Ross, and Gene DeCicco crashes two worlds apart right into each other when washed up baseball scout David Willis spots a beacon of hope for his career, in the most unlikely place — footage of an encounter between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. One of the young Palestinians has got an arm on him that Willis has never seen the likes of, so he boards a plane and goes knocking on doors to find the kid.
Of course, things don’t go exactly as planned, but it seems eventually our “rockthrower” finds his way to the Major Leagues where Middle East meets West, and who knows what’s in store. But because it’s New Paradigm, we can trust it’ll be good!
Sherlock Holmes has been re-imagined and modernized and reinvented a million times. From Gene Wilder as “Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother” to modernized bromantic Robert Downey Jr. movies, the character has survived a century and half of radical revisions, but New Paradigm Studio’s Watson & Holmesbrings us the *first Black Sherlock. And, unlike many of the Holmes-ian re-imaginings, it’s actually good!
The venture started out as a digital comic back in 2012, but with overwhelming support on Kickstarter, issue #1 launched as a print comic this past Wednesday, and we’ve got at least 5 issues to look forward to.
Rick Leonardi and Paul Mendoza‘s art work places the story visually in a gritty noir-ish Harlem, where a seriously too-cool-for-school mystery man named Holmes works the locals and watches the streets for clues to solve local crimes. Under the care of Karl Bollers , the story has all of the flavor of Harlem, with local kids taking a break from play to offer Holmes some useful tips and cast a little side-eye at the new guy John Watson, a doctor medical resident in a local E.R.
And apparently fans want more. With a small initial print run of only 3,888 copies, the issue quickly sold out at San Diego Comic Con this year. The comic and the newbie studio has gotten quite a bit of coverage , and with a couple of dope free comics under their belts — The Rockthrower,Nimbus, and the web-comic Justice Is Nocturnal — this certainly won’t be the last we hear of them.
The Rockthroweris another interesting gem from the studio, telling the dramedy of a washed up baseball scout who manages to find talent in the oddest of places when he spots a Palestinian kid throwing rocks with impressive accuracy and speed in video footage of the Palestine/Israel conflict.
With a crew of comics veterans, edgy creators, and stories that breakdown and remix the traditional, New Paradigm Studios is keeping it geeky and outsidery, and we likes that. So check ’em out.
*Well… one of the first. The first Black Sherlock Holmes character actually appeared in a 12-minute silent film A Black Sherlock Holmes produced by the Ebony Film Corporation back in 1918, a film that featured an all-Black cast at a time when white actors were still performing Black stereotypes in black face. Despite the title and the all-Black production company, the film actually followed a character named Knick Carter (played by Sam Robinson) who embodied aspects of Sherlock’s sleuthian personality, but, according to Julie McKuras, A.S.H, B.S.I at the Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections, the film’s failure to overcome Black stereotypes received criticism from Black audiences.
It’s the Wednesday before payday, and that paycheck will soon be burning a hole in your pocket for booze and pizza and low brow entertainment, so why not balance it out and make yourself feel better about your more indulgent purchases by spending the first dollars of your check on some noble independent projects? Here are a few that’ll help salve your conscience and please your inner geek at the same time!
With E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in full force, everyone’s hopped up on the latest technology consoles and game developers are boasting about at the expo. While the name of the game at E3 is awe-factor, over at the offices of the mission-driven organization SpecialEffect, the goal is to take advantage of cutting-edge technology to bring video games to individuals whose needs are not currently met by the field.
SpecialEffect finds solutions so that those affected by neurological disease, physical impairment, or a disability of any kind has the opportunity to play the latest and greatest games.
It seems awareness about accessibility is on the rise in the gaming industry. Just this past February SpecialEffect was chosen as the 2013 Charity of the Year by Multiplay, and In an interview with founder Dr. Mick Donnean over at PCGamer, Donnean notes that various game studios have sought out SpecialEffect’s help in developing accessible games.
Written by Michael Reaves, who has worked on such projects as Disney’s Gargoyles and Batman: The Animated Series, and starring such awesome geeky talent as Neil Gaiman and Amanda Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Blood Kiss promises to debut a brand new genre — Vampire Noir! — combination of genres that seem so perfect for each other it’s hard to believe it hasn’t happened before.
Here’s a bit on the plot:
“Blood Kiss revolves around detective Joe Belicek, who must solve the murder of a vampire before a deranged killer murders them all. Inspired by Film Noir, this supernatural thriller is set in 1940s Hollywood with famous haunts like the Brown Derby.”
If you don’t know Michael Reaves, you might find the video intro a bit kitschy– the ol’ cue card trick — but you’ll soon find out that Reaves suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, which makes it difficult for him to speak. The film will be associated with the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, in order to promote awareness about the neurological disease. Check out Reaves’ blog Parkinson’s Monster where he writes about his experience with the disease.
The Kickstarter has already reached it’s $50,000 goal to make the movie, but with 3 days to go, the crew is pushing to make the film all it can be. With $100,000 support Reaves and crew promise better sound, costume, and makeup and a film of”Indie Thriller quality, shot with red cam”. The story will also be captured in comic book form.
Vindicatedwill introduce readers to John Russell, a soldier who lost both his legs in combat. Upon returning home, he takes up more than just a set of prosthetic legs, he dons armor and takes to the streets to combat organized crime in Seattle.
The creator George Kissell, a comic book artist known for his work with IDW comics and on the Alan Wake video game, is a veteran himself. Team members Ernesto Haibi and Robert Scott McCall are also military vets; Haibi was permanently disabled in combat. The team came together on this project in order to raise awareness about veterans who have been physically and psychologically scarred by war, and the process of coping when they return home.
What makes this project particularly salient is the dedication to realism that Kissell and crew have promised. Hiring technical experts in military and law enforcement, the creators will leave the impossible bullet dodging to the likes of Batman and other unpowered fictional heroes, and show how this everyday hero uses his combat-experience, intellect, and fierce dedication to survive the day and take down the badguys.
In many aspects of geek culture, including comics, sci-fi, and video games, there’s plenty to say about the lack of or poor representation of outsiders – ethnic, religious, gender, sexual… Change is needed and that’s why conferences and conventions like Different Games , GaymerX, Latino Comics Expo, and East Coast Black Age of Comicsexist, why documentaries like My Other Me and Afro-Punkput the spotlight on the fringes , and why sites like Black Girl Nerdsand The Mary Suewrite about these issues- to call attention to the issues and provide spaces where outsiders can find shared experience, discuss the issues, or just geek out without harassment or funny looks.
Lacking and mis-representation in much of geek culture is a big problem, especially in the major mainstream publishers and studios, and outsider communities aren’t just shaking their fingers when the big guys mess up and waiting around for them to get a clue. Individuals and groups of like-minded geeks are creating their own representation… through Kickstarter projects, self-publishing, webcomics… Some are even creating whole new universes, universes that are more colorful, more inclusive, (and often mo’ betta if you ask me), and, frankly, different.
The problem. They don’t always get the kind of publicity that would help them attract audiences that would seriously appreciate. So here’s our attempt to contribute to the cause. Check-out these incredible projects that you’re totally gonna love:
The Secret Identities Universe
Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (2012)
Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology (2009)
To combat the side character roles and stereotypes that plague Asian American characters in comics, a super team of Asian American creators and comics lovers came together to create a whole universe full of Asian American superheroes from all over the world. Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow, Jerry Ma, and Jef Castro edited the Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthologyin 2009 and, just last November,Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology.Together these books feature art and stories from over 60 comics creators, and introduced dynamic Asian and Asian American superheroes in a whole new universe known as the Secret Identities universe.
The stories are as unique as the heroes who populate them:
“Metahumans” like Tokyo Rose (created by Daniel Jai Lee and Dafu Yu), who served in WWII using her ability to shapeshift into one desires most to see, in this case the “Asian Dream Girl” fantasy, in order to acquire intelligence from the Nazis.
Whole groups of “mutants” like The Hibakusha or Atomic Progeny (created by Parry Shen), whose parents or grandparents wree affected by the atomic bombs dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and who now exhibit superhuman abilities.
And there are villains too… Shatteredexplores the darker side of the Secret Identities universe.
Seeing a lack of heroes and often criminalization of characters of Middle Eastern and Islamic heritage in comics, Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa created The 99, a legion of 99 superheroes who acquired superhuman abilities born of their own natural talents by finding magical gems that were scattered across the globe after tragedy hit ancient Baghdad. But I won’t spoil the whole origin story, because you can read it for free here!
The 99 is one of the most diverse and most global teams in comics with heroes from Sudan, India, the U.S., the U.A.E., Switzerland and many many more, each with their own rich personal stories and unique powers. The team has appeared in crossover stories with the Justice League of America, was made into an animated series, and a documentary called Wham! Bam! Islam!tells the story of Dr. Al-Mutawa’s inspiration for the series and the troubles in getting these heroes to American audiences.
Edited by Damian Duffy and John Jennings, Black Comixcollects the art of over 50 Black comics artists creating independent comics featuring Black heroes and culture. The anthology covers the vast array of comics genres showing off the talents of Black creators in the field. The anthology came out in 2010 and features some seriously stunning art, some of which is from independent comics these creatures have put out in the world others are artwork you’ll want to beg the artists to turn into full-fledged stories.
Womanthology: Heroic Sketchbook
Starting as a Kickstarter project, Womanthologyhas been an on-going massive and impressive effort to bring female artists and comics creators from all levels and genres of the field to create several books, including a hardcover anthology Womanthology: Heroic, a sketchbook, and an on-going monthly anthology of short graphic stories. The latest Womanthologyproject is Womanthology: Space,out this June in hardcover.
That fans are rallying around projects like these is not only a hopeful sign, but also a sign of the absolute need and demand for stories that tell the lived and imaginable experiences of the incredibly diverse geek community. A glance at any one of the projects listed here are evidence enough that such stories will only enrich the mediums in which they’re told.
I know there are many many more great projects out there, so please share your favorites in the comments! Let us know about ’em! And keep an eye on Geek Outsider, ’cause we loooove to talk about these great new finds!
Finally a film to counter the unrelenting bad media about video games!
“They’re too violent”
“they’re to blame for today’s violent or lazy youth”
“they suck out your soul and turn you into a drooling zombie (albiet with great thumb reflexes)”
We’re all familiar with the haterade that gets thrown at video games and gamers – from accusations for all the faults of “today’s youth” to social ostracization. Certainly, they’re not all always quality or great ways to spend your time, but then, neither is every novel.
It’s about time we hear a vociferous defense of all the good that this medium has to offer – unimaginable worlds made real, a sense of community, real-time strategy, inspiring careers in software/engineering/the arts…
And here it is!
Filming has already finished for Video Games, The Movie,and now Jeremy Snead, President at Mediajuice Studios, Ltd. has started a Kickstarter to find funding to finish post-production on this long-overdue defense of video games the gaming community.
Check out the trailer above, see some of the video game heads interviewed in the film below, and head over and support!