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 to change in my main fandoms.

Using my academic background (I have a BA in History and am getting my MA in Literature) and my experiences as a queer Black member of 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 goal is to talk critically about the media we create and consume in order to urge fandom to become 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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[Review] Shadow’s Bane (Dorina Basarab #4) by Karen Chance

Shadow's Bane Cover

Forty-one chapters in, there’s a moment in Shadow’s Bane where one (fully-clothed and French) vampire beats the holy hell out of another (naked and British) vampire.

While I’d loved the book prior to that chapter and hold up the Dorina Basarab series as one of my favorite vampire series in the genre, that scene in Shadow’s Bane took the series to a whole other level. Continue reading

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[Review] Brooklyn Ray’s Undertow (Port Lewis Witches #2)

Note: This review contains spoilers for the first book in Brooklyn Ray’s Port Lewis Witches series.


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Things get extra tense in Undertow, the second novella in Brooklyn Ray’s Port Lewis witches series.

Now, I seriously enjoyed my introduction to Ray’s writing in Darkling and thought it was a fantastic read, but Undertow is even better.

For one thing, Undertow introduces us to some more of the mysteries present in Port Lewis’s witch community – including a conflict between demons that shapes their lives.

Undertow is set shortly after Darkling, the novella that introduced us to necromancer Ryder Lewellyn and his friend-turned-boyfriend, Liam Montgomery, a witch whose magical affinity tends towards water. Liam is the focus of this novella and I think he’s an incredibly solid protagonist, fleshed out even more than he was in the previous novella. Continue reading

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What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Only 33 Words in a Trailer

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Yesterday, the Captain Marvel teaser trailer broke the internet.

Today, I saw a tweet about said trailer from Shakesville.com’s Melissa McEwan from the night before that reminded me that when it comes to feminism and fandom, people of color are always stepped over on the path to (white) female empowerment.

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“In the first Captain Marvel trailer, Samuel L. Jackson’s character has 67 words. Brie Larson’s character, i.e. Captain Marvel, has 33.

Come on, Marvel.”

McEwan’s tweet didn’t just inspire me to write a whole tweet thread about White Feminism ™ in fandom.


It reminded me of a bunch of different brushes I’ve had with White Feminism ™ in fandom – from Maggie Stiefvater’s beef with the The Force Awakens fandom apparently focusing more on Finn and Poe than Rey, to Anne Theriault’s desire to keep Uhura “Strong and Single” in the Star Trek reboot films, and the Star Wars “Dude Free” edit of The Last Jedi that not only cut out Finn and Poe but… all of the Tico sisters’ screen time in the name of feminist satire.

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[Review] Deadline (Harrietta Lee #1) – Stephanie Ahn

Deadline Cover

Stephanie Ahn’s debut novel is, frankly, one of the finest urban fantasy books that I’ve read this year.

Deadline is such a super rereadable book thanks to Harrietta Lee, our main character who happens to be flawed and fun, and Ahn’s incredible worldbuilding. From the first line in the book, one that sees Harry noticing a demon that’s busy checking her out, I was hooked. Harry is a witch who doesn’t exactly have the best reputation in New York’s magical community and, as a result, has been forced to take assorted odd jobs as a magical private investigator because she doesn’t have the connections she once had. Continue reading

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[Review] Soulless (Awakening of the Spirit #3) by Montiese McKenzie

Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I received an advanced copy of this book from the author. All of the opinions in this review are my own and entirely honest. There are no significant spoilers beyond what’s in the “Content Notes/Warning” section directly below the review.


Soulless Cover

Soulless, the third novel in Montiese McKenzie’s Awakening of the Spirit series, is an urban fantasy crime drama with expansive cast of interconnected characters, a thrilling main plot, and a frightening villain called the Darkness looming over the protagonists’ lives and manipulating the world around them.

Honestly, it kind of has a little bit of everything thanks to the book’s focus on found families, immediately aww-worthy relationships, intense action scenes, and McKenzie’s vivid writing style. Continue reading

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[Stitch Likes Stuff] Shipping, Fandom Racism, and Reylo

I came across this video thanks to one of my old mutuals on tumblr and I think it’s a pretty great overview of the way that shipping trends and fandom racism are often one in the same.

The video’s narrator, Moth, starts with a “Shipping 101” introduction for the uninitiated and then jumps right in. They focus on a couple of specific areas that I feel are important to take into consideration in fandom/as a fan:

  • The popularity of “unhealthy” non-canon ships with two white characters over “healthy” canon ships with one character of color being shipped with a white character (Moth uses “unhealthy” to refer to ships involving minors in sexual/romantic relationships with adults, incest, one character being a noted abuser in canon, that sort of thing.)
  • The excuses fans in fandom give for why they’re not racist for being almost solely invested in ships between white characters — especially white villains and the white characters fighting against them.
  • And the Star Wars’ fandom’s Rey/Kylo shippers and several of the racist excuses that some of the fans of the ship use to explain why they can’t find Finn a “worthy” partner for Rey (but insist on shipping her with someone who she calls a monster and can’t stand).

Obviously, this sort of video hits a lot of my buttons because these are things I talk about on my website. I think it’s a really insightful video that clearly lays out what fandom does, what characters are impacted the most, and why it’s a set of trends that is racist. Much of the video focuses primarily on the Star Wars fandom, but as I think that’s one of the most racist fandoms active right now… Obviously, I think that’s a great thing to zero in on.

So please, go to Moth’s video and let them know how much you appreciate their work and upvote the video (because folks that talk about race and racism in media or fandom definitely get the short end of the stick and tons of abuse from assholes who don’t seem to get that they’re just… proving that fandom is racist).

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Today In “Things I Knew I Never Needed”: HP Lovecraft in an Anime

I was minding my business, looking at Funimation’s website to find out what upcoming anime series I can watch a single episode of and then never finish when I clicked on their link for folks to “Meet The New Faces Of Bungo Stray Dogs, Season 2” and saw none other than …

Howard Philips “So Racist I Named My Cat A Racial Slur and So Bad At Writing That I Only Achieved Serious Fame Posthumously and Had To Eat Beans” Lovecraft.

He — or a character representing him in some wildly inaccurate capacity in the context of this weird show I only watched two episodes of — is a new face in Bungo Stray Dogs’ second season and I am AMUSED.

Homeboy’s out here looking like a rather cadaverous bishonen.

I hate Lovecraft like I’ve hated few others (and one day will travel back in time to beat his pasty ass) but… I almost want to watch this series to see how ridiculous this is going to be.

If you want to see Lovecraft as a zombie bishonen (basically). check under the cut! Continue reading

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Sacrifice, Heroics, and Dead Characters of Color

This post contains spoilers for Orange is the New Black season 4, Wynonna Earp season 3, Elementary season 6, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5, and a bunch of other stuff that’s been off the air or out of theaters for years.


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I knew I was never going to watch Sleepy Hollow again when Nicole Beharie’s Abbie Mills sacrificed herself in a heroic death for Tom Mison’s Ichabod Crane at the end of the series’ third season.

When I saw spoilers that Orange is the New Black’s Poussey was killed off in a tasteless and traumatizing scene that called back to Eric Garner’s murder by a police officer four years ago – and the folks in fandom defending it as something that “had” to happen – I immediately took the show out of my Netflix queue.

And, every time a person of color dies so the Winchester brothers can live, I wonder why I even kept the show around as an afternoon marathon session.

Heck, not only did I think I’d have to say some pretty sharp words to Rian Johnson during the climax of The Last Jedi where he had Finn set up to kill himself in order to (possibly) save the dregs of the resistance, but to this day I block everyone I see on social media that wishes for Finn’s death by redemption arc – or suggest that his death would have somehow “saved” his character from being boring.

And now, Wynonna Earp has followed in the footsteps of these shows by killing off the main Black character Xavier Dolls (played by Shamier Anderson) in the third season’s second episode (“When You Call My Name”) and the fandom and crew alike don’t seem to get why that’s such a big problem. Continue reading

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Stitch Does Stuff in September

 

Stitch does stuff in September (1)

So we’re eleven days into September and I’ve had one heck of a busy month already!

If you missed it, I attended BookNet Fest 2018 this past weekend and had a BLAST. I also didn’t get much work done because I am…mediocre at multitasking. So, once again I’m playing catch-up and blowing past deadlines while screaming.

Here’s what’s going to be (hopefully) up on my website and Patreon this coming month!


Website

“Sacrifice, Heroics, and Dead Characters of Color” – September 14th

“Dear Comic Fans, It’s Been Four Years And Y’all Are Still So Darn Angry About Brown Folks In Your Nerdy Media IN GENERAL” – End of September

#IKnowWhatIReadLastSummer Reviews for:

  • Deadline (Harietta Lee #1) – Stephanie Ahn
  • Borderline (The Arcadia Project #1) – Mishell Baker
  • Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) – Rebecca Roanhoarse
  • Shadow’s Bane (Dorina Basarab #4 – Karen Chance

Review for Soulless (Awakening of the Spirit #3) – Montiese McKenzie

Review for Undertow (Port Lewis Witches #2) – Brooklyn Ray

Fleeting Frustrations #2 – Miss Me With Non-Intersectional Fandom Analysis

Patreon

[Finished Draft] Queer-Coding, Bad-Bat-Takes, And Why The Joker Isn’t That Important to Batman – $3 Tier

Snippets and reading list for Urban Fantasy 101: Vampire Supremacy – $1 Tier

The next installment in The Great Big Anita Blake Reread – $3 Tier

Test snippets at the $1 Tier for:

  • What Fandom Racism Looks Like – Beige Blank Slates
  • Little Wolf, Big Red (Fiction)
  • Urban Fantasy 101 – White Saviors
  • Evil in My Heart: Thrawn (a new mini-article series analyzing the villains I love, because yes… I’ve been listening to that one Thrawn audiobook for a month straight and he’s one of a ton of villains who deserve some of my intense interest)

A Spooky Surprise (with Demons!)- $3 or $5 Tier

(Possibly) Writing Files: Demons – $5 Tier


I know It looks like a lot, but I am determined to get this all done and posted! Wish me luck and feel free to subscribe to my Patreon!

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Stitch @ BookNet Fest 2018

Note: I used my headset to dictate a lot of this so most of the errors here exist because my computer still doesn’t understand me when I talk…

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I finally got the chance to sit down and work on my write-up of my first time attending BookNet Fest, a relatively local convention for the book community that was in Orlando, Florida for two days this past weekend.

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Shannile + I on our way up north after a ton of ridiculous complications (possibly caused by a curse).

Thanks to the unbelievable kindness of people that I know on Twitter and who shared my crowdfunding a link on Facebook and their Twitter audiences as well, I was able to attend this convention where I actually had the opportunity to speak on two panels and attend Many More.

I attended the two-day convention with my childhood bestie Shannile and we had a BLAST just taking in all the amazing panels and meeting new people.

While I expected to have a great time meeting new people and talking about books with people who also likes to talk about books, I was incredibly pleased with the friendliness of everyone that I spoke to and with the knowledge I had gained from the various panels that I attended.

So let’s get started on my write-up which will include links to the social media profiles of some of the booktubers and bloggers and authors that I was able to meet and hang out with this weekend.

Continue reading

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