Can We Have Some Actual Male Friendships?

Representation is weird, readers. Since some people that enjoy a level of privilege also contend with marginalization, it’s difficult to say where we need to get better in our media. Despite men enjoying incredible amounts of privilege, we still have the task of dismantling toxic masculinity. While we are slowly but surely destroying the “no homo, bro” narrative of friendship, I would like to see more well formed male friendships in media that actually explore friendship and aren’t just used as passive plot traits.

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Entertained by Marginalized Characters, but Not Empathizing with Them

A few weeks ago, vice president-elect Mike Pence went to see Hamilton and the internet got into big fights over it. No surprise there. While there is no need to retread the controversy itself, or get into political debate, Pence and his party’s politics are well known. This event got me thinking, though, why would he want to see that musical? Was Pence unaware of the racial and social issues inherent in the musical? Maybe. Surprisingly enough, this made me think of many online multiplayer games in which we can see the same phenomenon happening. In games like Overwatch, people sometimes behave in a racist or sexist manner even while playing with a very diverse cast of characters. But I started to notice that this behavior is more prevalent when characters’ identities aren’t reflected in stories.

(via USA Today)

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The Hamilton Mixtape: Adding Female Stories and Stories of Color

The Hamilton Mixtape has finally come out after much anticipation! I thoroughly enjoyed the musical’s soundtrack and what performances I could see via broadcasts and award shows. So a collection of musicians covering songs from the original and creating new songs that used the originals as starting blocks really intrigued me. The Mixtape is fascinating as an adaptation, as a musical album, and in its culturally progressive themes, and I thought it was a fun overlap of the camp of Broadway and the vulnerability of hip-hop and sincere pop music.

hamiltonmixtape

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Dom Reads: Hyper Force Neo

Dear readers, I cannot stress the importance of conventions enough, as I still have comics from New York Comic Con to talk about! The reason these experiences mean so much to me is that you can simply walk around with the hope that something catches your eye, and Hyper Force Neo definitely fits that bill. The title features a Black main character, a Black author, Jarrett Williams, and an aesthetic that was totally my style (think Steven Universe meets Scott Pilgrim), so I had to give it a shot.

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Dom Reads: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe

I’ve been a fan of the Marvel movies for some time now; they’re usually, at worst, a great visual spectacle. But for me, this never really translated into reading the comics. Superhero comics don’t exactly jump out at me visually, and even when socially inclusive, they typically have borderline impenetrable lore. So when I heard there was a standalone graphic novel for Squirrel Girl, I knew I had to pick it up: even though my knowledge of the character is very limited, I did know she is one of the funnier heroes and has a far above average success rate at defeating the universe’s villains. I had been interested in Squirrel Girl for a while, but wasn’t sure where a good jumping on point would be. Additionally, who wouldn’t want to see one character (other than Thanos) beat up the whole Marvel Universe? I was not let down.

Minor/early story spoilers for The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe ahead.

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Dom Reads: Space Battle Lunchtime

My spoils from New York Comic Con didn’t stop at Welcome to Showside. I continued to purchase from the vendors and picked up Natalie Reiss’s Space Battle Lunchtime Volume One: Lights, Camera, Snacktion!, which can be quickly described as Iron Chef in space with shonen/shoujo elements, from the Oni Press booth. With this premise and adorable artwork, I knew I had to give it a shot, and I was not disappointed.

space_battle_lunchtime_vol1Mild spoilers ahead.

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Dom Reads: Welcome to Showside

I went to my first New York Comic Con last weekend, and for the first time I can recall, treated a convention as a convention and not simply as an excuse to wear cosplay and drink. (Not completely, anyway.) For me, this meant buying art and games, networking, and most relevantly, buying comics. While I love superhero lore and concepts, I’ve never been too big on the Big Two. I prefer either licensed comics (like Sonic and Mega Man) or smaller studios that have a bit more of an indie flavor. Titles such as Scott Pilgrim fit this bill for me perfectly, with their quirky art style and more off-kilter plots. An art style with a similar tone caught my eye with Welcome to Showside, a comic by Ian McGinty and Z2 Comics, and it checks a lot of my boxes in what I enjoy reading.

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