Are Black Superheroes Good for Black People?

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Are Black Superheroes Good for Black People?

I don’t think that superhero comics that deal with any issues in strictly black and white terms are good for any people.  The article raises some interesting points, but ultimately the grey areas (of good and evil, the individual and society) are where we not only find the best stories but the best glimpses into human existence. The article frames the discussion on African Americans dealing with the police as complicating the good and evil opposites of the hero and villain, but with the recasting of Captain America, I’m also wondering about the military. How this will address (or avoid) issues of African Americans in the military-serving the State and not a civil police force?

(Thanks to the Institute of Comics Studies for posing this question on their Facebook page!)

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My Rotring Art Pen was the first cartridge drawing pen that I had, and my dad gave it to me in high school when he started teaching me how to pen and ink.  It was perfect for learning control of line weight and always glided on the paper.  When I finally got it out after far too many years sitting in an artbox, I found that the cartridges I had left were only half full (or half-empty?) and thanks to the evaporation the remaining ink was too think to flow.  I decided rather than buying my own cartridges- I’d refill them myself.  I got a pack of 6 vet syringes and was able to load the cartridges with Rapidograph Ultradraw, once I had cleaned them out. Now it’s fully functioning and ready for my sketchbook- but I think I need to experiment more with some hypodermic needle drawings.

 

 

 

Dan Con

I got a table already for Dan Con next year at Orland Park Civic Center, March 22- Chicago Southland’s biggest comics extravaganza!  Today’s the first day to register so get a table while the gettin’s good!   This’ll be my first time going, but I’m looking forward to an event that puts local comics creators first!  http://danconcomic.blogspot.com/

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One of the many art tools I have of my dad’s this Boston Model 18 electric pencil sharpener. It quit working at the start of the summer, so I dissected to see what the problem was. The plastic gear seemed to have lost some of its teeth, and as I looked for schematics so that I could draw the gear in Illustrator then cut it with a laser cutter- I found someone who was already tooling gears for just this purpose.  It was pretty easy to install, and now it’s up and running again.

 

 

 

 

 

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At this year’s CAKE (Chicago’s Alternative Comix Expo) I picked up lots of books, but the one that stayed with me the most was Joshua Cotter’s Skyscrapers of the Midwest. The black and white graphic novel follows the lives of a pair of brother cats growing up in the midwest and delicately plays out the transition from childhood to adulthood with seamless shifts between fantasy and reality that are at once touching and disturbing.  There’s a loving nostalgia for the past evoked with each obsessively hatched and cross-hatched line, but also a dark current running beneath the shifting dreamscapes.  I’m definitely looking forward to picking up his other books.  Here’s his website: jwcotter.tumblr.com and an interview of his on the Comics Journal .

 

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Page 15 from upcoming comic on perceptions of an Imaginary Japan and my experiences last summer in Kyoto.  Beyond Paper Walls will hopefully be launching next April if I can keep my Rapidographs clean.

Page 15 from upcoming comic on perceptions of an Imaginary Japan and my experiences last summer in Kyoto.  Beyond Paper Walls will hopefully be launching next April if I can keep my Rapidographs clean.

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Remembering a once militant Japan. KIYOCHIKA Kobayashi created this ukiyo e in 1895 commemorating a victory in the Sino-Japanese War as Japan modernized rapidly and built up its military might- which led to WW2 involvement and the endgame at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Today Japan and its people have often been the voice of peace but with PM Abe’s reinterpretation of Article 9- we’ll have to wait to see how that voice is changing. See more of Kiyochika’s war prints at: http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/throwing_off_asia_02/toa_essay02.htm