[PRE-ORDER] (IN)FAMOUS

(In) Famous, my novella about a too-online, fame-hungry teenager who starts hanging with a bad crowd & makes a bunch of crap decisions as a result for JUDGES Volume 3 (2000AD), will be out Dec 1.

Preorders for the novella are open now including for limited edition signed copies!

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I’m Standing In Solidarity and Against Hate

On Twitter I’ve been boosting what I can, when I see it. This means linking to articles about the hate crime shooting spree in Atlanta (and the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, violence, racism, etc)  across the past year and change alone. I also shared donation links from foundations specifically to benefit and uplift Asian American communities and help the victims of the latest attacks to hit the news. I neglected to do that here as I was focused on using that bigger platform to boost and be helpful that way.

However, it’s important to make things clear here as well: I stand in solidarity with Atlanta’s Asian American community as well as with Asians and other people of color who are subject to the horrors and hatefulness of white supremacy everywhere. White supremacy is a rot that must be rooted out of society and solidarity is a community building/reinforcing tool that will help us do so.

Rather than center myself at any point, I’m sharing some of the links I shared on Twitter so that folks who read this site can see how they can help and what they may have been missing. This will include donation links to GoFundMes and foundations.

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The Evolution of Anti-Critical Consumption/Thinking “Anti-Anti” Fandom

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Link Lineup – November 2021

In November, I did a lot of content consumption. It was all incredibly interesting stuff! Any errors on my commentary under the pieces are because I did this via a dictation software across the month! 😀


Confronting the Questionable Legacy of ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Peter Jackson’s trilogy, while spectacular and ground-breaking in many ways, is glaringly white. Worse, the human villains are all coded as non-white; “bad men” from the East and the South, complete with either veils and kohl, or bearing tribal tattooing and scarification and riding mythical elephants. Worst of all, the inhuman Uruk Hai – muscled and merciless – have black skin and dreadlocks. While some of this British colonial racism and eugenicist thought are a reflection of the source material itself, Jackson made a – possibly thoughtless – choice to remain “faithful” to those parts of the text and even to exacerbate them. As a result, racist fans were not alienated by the films but accommodated, allowed to believe that their extremely racist interpretation of Tolkein’s work was the correct one. The film trilogy benefited from their racist support and everyone involved in it is therefore complicit in the abuse now raining down on series’ cast of colour (particularly the black cast, and more particularly the black women cast). The comments directed at Nomvete and Cruz Cordóva are not generic racism: they are rooted in the racist lore and imagery that Jackson’s films perpetuated. One of most frequent comments on Nomvete’s picture is “better be an Uruk Hai”.

I grew up on Lord of the rings and so growing up in the fandom, I realized very quickly that the negative aspect of Lord of the rings where people of color were absent from the narrative was a bonus for a large majority of the fandom. Unlike the Harry Potter fandom which would go on to racebend characters like Harry and Hermione, the Lord Of The Rings fandom never really took to racebending as a thing they could or even wanted to do. Instead, they seemed really happy to be faced with a version of Middle Earth where all the elves were white, and all of the men were too. The films, that I grew up with, were integral to building a fandom identity as an extremely online tween for many people in English language fandom who are my age at this point.

The problem is that when faced with updates to the franchise where characters might be of color who aren’t background characters or silent extras, the fandom doesn’t have a good reaction. Even before we see who all have been cast within the upcoming series that Amazon is doing, there is a history of Lord Of The Rings fans being upset at the concept of racebending even within their own communities. People who are fan artists or fanfic writers that choose to portray these characters using ethnic groups in our world, can expect to get really rude messages from diehard fans of the franchise. They’re subject to racism, even if they are not of color themselves, because they have chosen to “deviate” from Tolkien’s vision. And we’re told that these are all white men. We’re told that the Lord Of The Rings fans, like the Star Wars fans who raged at The Force Awakens and the sequel trilogy having people of color in relatively prominent roles, are all white men.

But that is not true and honestly, that’s why transformative fandom has a white supremacy problem that I don’t see any way to fix. Because people assume it’s all white men, so white women have nothing to do with any of it. Which leaves them to wallow in the mire of white supremacy in fandom and get worse. Anyway, I don’t know what Amazon will do with their Lord of the rings show or the fandom that builds from it, but I am frustrated that 20 years after the original massive trilogy came out from Peter Jackson, fandom still maintains that they don’t have a race problem even while being publicly and actively racist.

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(I Wish It Wasn’t) Applied To Fandom: Anti Racist Moderation as Trauma Work

Today in “yeah that’s not what that means in fandom” we have… “trauma work”.

I first saw this crop up either in 2019 or 2020 where the response to “perhaps eventually there should be some kind of anti racist policy for the AO3 that would lead to overtly racist works/creators being yeeted from the platform – even temporarily” from an increasing number of people. There was a tumblr post about it and everything that picked up steam back then, and then 2/3rds of the way through September, there were several threads spiraled off a tweet doing that again (you can find a roundup of all of that here at Naye’s Dreamwidth).

Here’s the thing… that’s not exactly what trauma work is.

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Stitch Reads Rafael (Anita Blake #28)- Chapters 10 & 11

Content Warnings: racism (specifically antiblack historical revisionism and mentions of slavery that are poorly done), transmisogyny, poor representation of intersex people


When we last cracked open Rafael, the titular character and Anita had just realized that Hector was the animal to call and/or sweetheart of a master vampire that wasn’t America’s Next Vampire King Jean-Claude. 

Chapter ten picks up with Anita in Jean-Claude’s bedroom, pacing around the bed because he has beautiful, bitchy, blond Asher with him and as Anita puts it “he still wasn’t on my cuddling list”. Mind you, she went to Jean-Claude for comfort but because she can’t communicate worth a damn and say “hey Asher, can you keep to one side of the orgy bed please? I’m still mad at you for not communicating to my specifications”, no cuddles for her.

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Ships ‘n Shit: Clark/Lex

Smallville Clark Kent GIF - Smallville Clark Kent Lex Luthor GIFs
Instead of an actual introduction I give you… Clex gif.
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So, I Watched The Harder They Fall

The Harder They Fall is a really good example of a thing that’s “for us” that’s not really… for all of us.

Spoilers for the harder the fall
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Meme-Ing For A Reason #14 – Racist Clown Shit

The “clown applying makeup” meme with the top panel with the man applying base paint saying “Before you talk about racism in fandom as a POC, have you considered fighting and stopping racism everywhere else first?”. The second panel, where the clown has his makeup on, says, “Actually if the AO3 does anything about racist fanworks or behaviors, next they’ll have to take down [nonbigoted thing] and it’ll open them to lawsuits”. The third panel, where the clown is being fitted for his wig, says, “Would you yell at a librarian for the library having Mein Kampf on the shelves? No? Then don’t talk about how the AO3 could do anything about racist content.” And finally, the fourth panel with the fully made up clown, says, “If AO3 tries to do anything about racist fanworks, there goes the entire danmei, anime, and kpop tags”.

The thing about the statements in that meme is… they all exist in some form. You can read one of them below in the screenshot in my second embedded tweet and the others went viral over twitter – like the full clown take about AO3 doing anti racism leading to wiping out entire East Asian media fandom collections.

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Hey, Now It’s November!

October was… a lot.

In a good way. 

Mostly. 

Aside from dealing with racists empowered by the latest round of “if you have any criticisms of AO3 – including it lacking anti racism policy and its unevenly applied harassment policies – you are a literal nazi burning books and racism in fandom is necessary to fandom itself” shit that lasted the usual two weeks before racist weenies went back to fighting with teenagers on the internet, things in October were… pretty good actually. 

(And we will be digging into that slippery slope to racism in fandom at a later point because uh… a lot of the gays and girlies in fandom are openly white supremacists and we need to talk more about that and how they’re purposefully poisoning the well of discourse in fandom.)

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Our Basic Halloween Watch List

I’ve mentioned this before but BTS Nieceling and I were supposed to (re)watch a bunch of horror movies this past month. We… didn’t. But we had a list and that’s what I’m gifting y’all with this Halloween: the very long list of horror movies and related documentaries that we basically… didn’t finish because we have nonexistent attention spans!

Enjoy!

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Stitch Reads Rafael (Anita Blake #28)- Chapters 8 & 9

When we last left Anita and her unwieldy polycule + Claudia and Benito, they were being homophobic as hell over one challenger to Rafael’s throne (the hella homophobic Nestor) and Rafael just dropped the bombshell that another, Hector, might be his long lost son. This, by the way, should be impossible as born-shifters are incredibly unlikely because of Hamilton’s own worldbuilding.

Either they kill the human mother partway through gestation and work sort of like a chestburster… or the shifter mother shifts during the full moon early on and just… has a period. It’s only recently (the Las Vegas book) where we found out that tiger shifters can “take pregnant women’s beasts” so they don’t shift and miscarry at any point. They only just started teaching other shifters how to do that.

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Mind the Gender Gap Discussion

If you missed watching this mid-October, here’s the replay!

😀

Mind the Gender Gap Discussion on Monday, October 18 at 7:00 PM
Panelists:  Sydney Amanuel ; Sue KisenwetherCin’Von Quinzel;  Stitch ; and  S.R. Toliver

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[Exclusive Interview] Junji Ito

This is the full version of Junji Ito’s interview and the entire set of questions and answers I sent to him that you all were able to read in October’s second Fan Service column Why Horror Fans Love Being Scared. I’ve been a Junji Ito fan from the moment that I learned that horror manga existed and it was an incredible honor to interview him!

I’d like to thank Ito-sensei for answering my questions and sharing his insight! I’d also like to thank Chantelle and VIZ for making this happen as well as for giving me permission to share the interview in full! Please go treat yourself to Sensor after you read the full interview, and of course, go shout about it on social media!


You’ve been working in horror for over thirty years, with new fans coming to your work every year thanks to international translations like your Frankenstein adaptation and Sensor. Do you think of your work as “timeless” and if so, what do you believe contributes to that feeling in your work?

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Stitch @ Teen Vogue: Why Horror Fans Love Being Scared

However, the majority of horror media does not inspire violence. Fans of graphic violence and gore aren’t generally driven to commit harm on any level, much less the racist violence that The Birth of a Nation committed. Liking horror at any level doesn’t automatically mean that you’re a bad person or that you secretly want to make your own Human Centipede to see if it’ll work for you. It simply means that you probably just enjoy the thrill of being scared senseless and witnessing fictional extremes of human behavior.

Why else do horror fans enjoy paying to be frightened? Horror legend Junji Ito, creator of long lasting horror manga staples like Tomie and the recently released Sensor, explains that the phrase “forbidden fruit is the sweetest” comes to mind.

Why Horror Fans Love Being Scared

I love horror even though I am one of the biggest weenies out there. I love it so much that from day one I was like “okay so if Fan Service makes it to October, we’re doing a Halloween column”… and here we are.

Across October, BTS Nieceling and I were supposed to watch at least one horror movie a day. I think we did… six. While I’m a faithful livetweeter of AMC’s History of Horror and get that in every week so far, the niece and I quickly realized that we want vastly different things from horror… and that we really are too chicken to watch these movies together.

However, I really freaking love scary things. I love gore, I love mess, I love madness – especially when reclaimed and reinvented by people who have that thrust upon them because of mental illness. I love being scared by things that probably can’t hurt me.

I’ve talked regularly about my interests in horror. I’ve done rec lists, explored what it means to be a “monstrous” POC and talked about the impact Candyman had on me (short answer… it was thrilling and traumatizing), and I keep trying to get spooky in my own writing.

I studied romanticism and gothic horror in college (and for fun, as I am a nerd) and of course, if you remember my Crimson Peak thing… well I had a Crimson Peak thing. (I own literally every published piece of material for that film actually. I’m obsessed. It’s brilliant!)

Horror is so cool and has so much value. I also love (more hardcore) horror fans! They’re some of the coolest people out there and they seem to have nerves and stomachs of steel!! Shout out to my sister for absolutely traumatizing me that time we watched Dog Soldiers together when I was a tadpole!

Anyway, keep an eye out for a special bonus for this column going out later today… the full, unedited interview with legendary creator Junji Ito. It’s going to be amazing!

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Birthday Aftermath

Hello friends, I come to you in the aftermath of birthweekend to tell you that I have survived and that I finally finished watching Legend of Korra season three. That was my real birthday gift to myself… on top of all of the other birthday gifts I got for myself because 2021 has been rough.

So here’s quick run down of what birthday looked like:

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