Supporting Stitch ’s Media Mix

Stitch's Media Mix

WHO I AM AND WHAT I DO:

I’m Zina and I’ve been running Stitch’s Media Mix since March 2015. I created my site as a site for fandom and media criticism after being frustrated by my inability to find a safe, welcoming place where I could be a part of these conversations in the fandoms that I already belonged to.

I love being in fandom and I love the act of being a fan, but I feel as though there’s room for improvement that is always being overlooked. I’d love to be able to change certain things about the overarching institution of fandom, but for now, I’ll settle for educating and snarking my way along as I figure out how to bring change to  my main fandoms.

Using my academic background (I have a BA in History and have my my MA in English/Literature) and my experiences as a queer Black person in fandom, I try to tackle the media I consume and the fandom spaces I inhabit from a critical and faintly snarky angle. I use my website to host my writing: media critique, analysis of fandom tropes and trends, book reviews, and the occasional bit of original fiction.

My focus is on talking critically about the media folks create and consume in order to forge a path towards making fandom a more welcoming place for marginalized and underrepresented groups of people.

I want everyone to be able to have a seat at the proverbial table without it being pulled from underneath them.

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Double Booked (A Thor/Ororo Fanfic)

Originally published on the AO3 May 26, 2014 as part of Unconventional Courtship 2014Lightly edited to correct spelling/grammar errors.


Double booked

“Who are you?”

After three months of travelling, all Thor Odinson wants to do is sink into his own bed. The last thing he expects is to find a stark-naked woman already there….

Ororo Munroe wasn’t anticipating company either. Thor may be six feet four inches of pure muscle and boast a disturbingly sexy smile, but a fortnight in the South of France is the one thing standing between Ororo and her sanity—and she’s not about to give it up without a fight!

Because Ororo plays to win. The problem? Thor does, too. And with only one bed between them, things are about to get interesting….

Notes: Major thanks to Vonn for looking over this story for me and to my followers and friends on tumblr that put up with me wailing about everything from the ship itself to characterization worries. Based on the book Holiday With a Stranger by Christy McKellen.


Normally, relying on her instincts has always served Ororo Monroe well.

When floorboards in the quiet farmhouse creak in the minutes just after midnight, Ororo awakens instantly. Her eyes widen in the darkness, fear prickling along her spine as her mind immediately goes to the worst possible conclusion when she hears the muted thud of heavy footsteps come from someone making their way through the otherwise empty house.

Young woman all by herself in a secluded house in the middle of nowhere?

Yeah, Ororo’s seen that movie before and didn’t like it then either.

However, Ororo has an advantage. As far as she can remember, none of the poor young women in those horror movies were Omega-level mutants. Continue reading

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[Book Review] Minimum Wage Magic (DFZ #1) by Rachel Aaron

Minimum Wage Magic - Cover.jpg

Fantasy writer Rachel Aaron has had one hell of a year in publishing. She’s teamed up with her husband Travis to write Forever Fantasy Online (the first in a trilogy of fantasy novels), published Garrison Girl, an original novel set in the Attack on Titan universe, and opened up the year by releasing the fifth and final book in her amazing Heartstrikers series, Last Dragon Standing.

Her newest release, Minimum Wage Magic, returns to the Heartstrikers series main setting, the Detroit Free Zone (DFZ for short) with a new cast of main characters and a DFZ that is the most stable it’s been in a while. Set twenty years after the original series, this novel revolves around Opal Yong-ae, a freelance mage that works as Cleaner in the city, who fumbles her way into a mystery when she finds the dead body of a mage in one of the apartment she’s supposed to be cleaning. Continue reading

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Urban Fantasy 101: Definitive-Ish

Urban fantasy 101_ Definitive Ish.png

Wikipedia’s definition for “urban fantasy” is pretty unhelpful in its broadness.

Basically, it calls urban fantasy “a subgenre of fantasy in which the narrative has an urban setting” and goes on to mention that urban fantasy works are “set primarily in the real world and contain aspects of fantasy”.

It’s definitely a definition, but it’s not exactly an clear one. Continue reading

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[Stitch Likes Stuff] Jennie – Solo

I love everything that the girls of Blackpink choose to be and do.

Jennie, one of my two favorite members of the South Korean girl group of my heart, has recently come out with her first single called “Solo”. It is a catchy song and the video is super cute.

If you don’t stan Blackpink, what exactly are you doing with your life?

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[Review] A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2) by Alyssa Cole

A Duke By Default Cover.jpg

I only recently bought Alyssa Cole’s A Duke By Default so I missed out on months of basking in this glorious and delightful novel (because my local library never got around to purchasing it on my request). But I have read this book and it is everything I’d hoped it’d be.

Now, I’m a diehard Alyssa Cole fan. I seriously stan her because she’s a wonderful writer, a fellow Caribbean islander, and she always manages to get me super invested in her characters. She’s another writer that could write a grocery list and have me pleading to read it because it’d be art on scratch paper.

So it can’t be a surprise that I genuinely loved the second book in her Reluctant Royals series, A Duke by Default. Continue reading

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Stitch Does Stuff in December

It’s the end of 2018 and I am so ready for this year to be over. While I’ve had incredible personal, creative, and academic successes this year, it’s also been the longest year I’ve ever lived in my life so far andfull to the brim with stress. But I’m not done just yet.

I’m wrapping up 2018 with a full slate of projects and pieces (in-progress and completed) for my website, Patreon, and maybe a couple of other outlets. This includes my end of the year wrap up post, “Best Books of 2018” lists, and a ton of book reviews for your reading pleasure.

So, let’s get started with my list of things that will be going up on my website and Patreon this final month of 2018!

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[Video] My Comic Book Girlfriend HasTo Be a Redhead: Misogynoiristic Reactions to Racebending Iris West and Mary-Jane Watson

Abstract

Recent adaptations of popular comic book series have taken the step of diversifying their original storylines by racebending (Gaston and Reid 2012) key characters – for example Iris West (played by Candice Patton) on DC Comics and The CW’s The Flash television series and Mary Jane Watson (rumored to be played by Zendaya) in Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Homecoming who were re-imagined as Black women. Using papers, such as “Misogynoir and Antiblack Racism: What The Walking Dead teaches us about the Limits of Speculative Fiction Fandom” (Johnson 2015), this study will look at how the seemingly progressive spaces of comic book fandom become hostile territory when Black women are introduced as main characters and love interests. Both Iris West and Mary Jane Watson are iconic figures in comics, though perhaps more for their personalities and roles as superhero love interests, than for their red hair.

However, once these characters were rumored or confirmed to be racebent, many fans of color observed that fandom discussions around them began to follow certain predictable patterns. Namely, a majority of comic book fans responded to these casting decisions/rumors with outright racist rhetoric.These included attempts at decentering their importance to the narrative,desexualizing the characters (to remove them as romantic interests), and declaring the characters’ appearances (their red hair) their most iconic aspect. This paper will focus on the misogynoir directed at both the characters and actresses in these re-defined roles. Additionally, I will demonstrate that these aggressions are not limited only to male-dominated white “geek”spaces, but also cross over into parts of fandom that are traditionally held to espouse a more progressive politics.

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The Great Big Anita Blake Reread: The Killing Dance

Content Warnings: This installment of my reread series contains relatively detailed references to snuff films, sexual assault and harassment (including brief references to these things happening to children), particularly in the “Just Plain Borked” section so please skip that if these are things that may trigger you or otherwise cause discomfort.


 

The Killing Dance - UK Cover from 2010

The 2010 UK cover for The Killing Dance. Chosen because it doesn’t represent a single theme in the novel.

First published in 1997, The Killing Dance is the sixth book in Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series.

Like the majority of the novels in this long running series, this book is primarily set in and around St. Louis, Missouri. In The Killing Dance, Anita is faced with complications in her triumvirate relationship with Richard and Jean Claude), a visiting vampire master in a similar situation to the trio, and some seriously gross shapeshifter pack dynamics that are coming back to bite Anita in the ass from previous books in the series.

It should be just another beyond busy Anita Blake book, but this is one of the most memorable and disturbing novels in this early run of the series in part because Gabriel and Raina, two of the series’ most infamous abusers and rapists, are in their element here.

There are interesting aspects to The Killing Dance, but as usual, they’re nearly lost thanks to all the weird and upsetting shit that happens and all of the absolutely pointless relationship drama. Continue reading

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[Comet City Stories] Viper Vs. The Major Mansplainer

Viper vs The Major Mansplainer

All Viper wants is to read in peace.


Usually, Viper likes libraries.

For the most part, civilians are the only people that use Comet City’s five library branches – and barely any at that during the middle of the day when Viper tends to head out. No one recognizes her as long as she keeps her sunglasses and a hat on and wears clothing that covers up the scales on her arms, legs, and stomach. A little overheating and the almost claustrophobic feeling of being in clothes more significant than the crop top and shorts she generally gravitates to are a worthy price of admission and for privacy.

The buildings always smell like old books and dust, with the faint human scents of the librarians and janitorial staff almost light enough for Viper to ignore them, and there are plenty of quiet places for her to go and curl up with a book or two. As a (mostly) retired supervillain, Viper now has plenty of time to read and she intends to read everything she can.

Unfortunately, not everyone that comes to the library has the same devotion to quiet reading that she does.  Continue reading

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Fleeting Frustrations #3: When White Queer Icons Like Ezra Miller Fail Us

Seeing Ezra Miller’s face everywhere makes me feel some kind of way.

On one hand, I’m constantly charmed by Miller and I like that they’re a queer icon (who just apparently came out as non-binary). Their Playboy photos are pretty (so pretty) and I really do like knowing that one more performer in a superhero film is queer.

On the other hand, I’m always painfully aware of the fact thatnot only did Miller co-direct TheTruth According to Darren Wilson (a film intending to sympathize withand see the other side of events that led to Mike Brown’s senseless murder),but that it’s not a hard limit for many of the queer non-Black people that findout about it.

At the end of the day, it stings to realize that to many people, Miller’s queerness is seen as more important to talk about than the casual racism behind Miller working on a film that exists to humanize a racist murderer.

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