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 [personal profile] haikujaguar has a new coloring book featuring men of fantasy who aren't in warrior poses.  Fathers, pet owners, scholars, and more!
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It matters what stories we tell and pictures we paint.  Here's an essay about narratives of diversity in F&SF.  

That's why I write diversity and, especially, pay attention to the mix of heroes and heras in Polychrome Heroics.  Danso is there to provide a positive, nurturing example of a young black man.  He's very powerful; mess with his family and he'll fuck you up.  But he'd rather not have to.
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Here's a lovely look at several of Jack Kirby's characters of diversity, made with Stan Lee but these are ones primarily driven by Jack.  

Note that Ben Grimm is a double-tap for being Jewish and lower/working class.  As the Thing, he is also a man of color -- even though color-changed characters may have grown up white, they pick up the chromatic stigma of not being white anymore and it really shows in how people treat them.  Also worth considering is the way that Jack characterized Ben as Jewish for years before it was safe to come right out and say that.  Sometimes I tag the ethnicity or religion of my characters openly, but often it's just there in the name, location, physical description, etc.

I always liked the technological aspect of Black Panther, which so often gets overlooked.  After having discovered Odinani, the sacred science of Nigeria, I kind of wonder if that played in.

Icon Day

Aug. 26th, 2014 04:10 am
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Djinni is doing an icon day.  Read the instructions and fill out the form to request a free icon.  If you tip, you can get one in full color, and there are other incentives too.
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Looking for something concrete you can do about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri?  Mary Engelbreit has created a picture and is selling prints, all proceeds going to Michael Brown Jr. memorial fund.  This is art as social awareness, a vital part of a culture's conversation with itself.  

Facebook took down the artist's original post, calling it "offensive."  You know what I find offensive?
* killing an unarmed man for Existing While Black
* leaving his corpse in the street for hours to terrorize the neighborhood
* using weapons banned for warfare against civilians
* assaulting and arresting journalists and protesters for exercising their civil rights
* censorship

Make news.  Make noise.  Make art, and sell it, and buy it.  Slip a caltrop under the jackboots of oppression.

I'm really glad to see other creators making cultural material inspired by this fiasco.  Mine was "Safety Rails," which is free for everyone to pass around in protest.


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The August Crowdfunding Creative Jam is open on Dreamwidth and on LiveJournal.  Our theme is "Communication & Community."  Come give us prompts or claim ideas to write!

[personal profile] dialecticdreamer is offering 100-word snippets in exchange for prompts.  You may have seen some of her demifiction or fiction floating around.


What I Have Written

"The Wind Traders" -- this month's freebie features sentient trees who communicate over the ocean.

"Father Sun, Mother Moon" / Pætair Sowel, Mater Mehin -- 16 lines, $10 (Polychrome Heroics)
It's taken me over an hour, but I managed to hack out a morning and evening prayer in Proto-Indo-European. It should resemble the reconstructed roots and some later words, but it's not identical -- this would have been one tribal dialect out of many. The verses are in English and PIE, and I counted both because of how long it took. "Father Sun, Mother Moon" is written in free verse, but if you look closely you'll see some alliteration and assonance, and cadence, that helps tie things together.  It's something from Aidan's history.

"The Other Way Around" -- 106 lines, $53 (Schrodinger's Heroes)
Your prompt about Vic inspired the free-verse poem "The Other Way Around," coping with differences in identity and communication between the dimensions. Fortunately he has Quinn to help. 


From My Prompts

"Brittle Words" -- [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has written a snippet about Drew Finn, one of her characters in the Polychrome Heroics setting, as they talk about a wedding.  In the illustration, Drew is the young man in the blue sweater.

"The Green Book" -- [personal profile] dialecticdreamer wrote this snippet about women mercenaries in King Uthyr's court, for the Ursulan Cycle.

"Foreign Perspective" -- [personal profile] dialecticdreamer posted the beginning of a story about Aidan and Hadyn learning to interact with each other.  This is another Polychrome Heroics story.

"Lettered" -- [personal profile] clare_dragonfly wrote this story about Morgan's education and the community of scholars in a monastery.  It belongs to the Ursulan Cycle.

Art

Aug. 16th, 2014 03:58 am
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 Book benches -- they don't look like very comfortable seats, but they are lovely art.
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Here is an awesome new comic, "Spark," about a team of superheras. The viewpoint character is a telekinetic engineer. The heavy hitter is a fat girl. The shapeshifter is a woman of color. The art is charming and the storyline hilarious. I am loving this comic. I wanted to throw money at it, but couldn't find a PayPal button or anything else like that. :(

I did, however, browse through older posts, which have more superheras based on costumes worn by little girls. Some of them are brilliant designs. The prize for scariest superpower? Goes to Rainbow Heart, because "the heart on her sword makes ‘the bad guys’ have a change of heart and want to be good guys who do good things." Any self-respecting supervillain would run from that, lest his little black heart get chopped into pink confetti. O_O

Not All Men

Aug. 4th, 2014 02:27 pm
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Some men harass and abuse women. That's a lot of men. But it's not all men, and probably not even most men. Lots of men are decent human beings. Speaking as if people are necessarily bad because they have a penis is no better than speaking as if people are necessarily bad because they have a vagina. (Though of course, not all men have a penis and not all women have a vagina; that's just the standard version, so it's what people tend to fixate on.)  It's also a logical fallacy called overgeneralization.

So here's a comic about sexual harassment for guys, and what you can do to fight it.  Bystander intervention works across a wide range of bullying tactics, even self-bullying.  You do not have to put up with someone pissing in the public air like that.  Be the "not all men" that you want to see in this world.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Captain America shares his views on immigration.  You really don't want to be leaning over that guy when he goes off. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
These Chinese book covers for The Lord of the Rings are some of the most breathtaking stylized art I have ever seen.  There is more on the artist's DeviantArt gallery.
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The July 2014 Crowdfunding Creative Jam is now open on Dreamwidth and LiveJournal, with a theme of "Conflicts Where No One Is Wrong."  Come give us prompts about whatever you'd like to see, or claim prompts for your own creativity! 


From My Prompts

"Howl's First Lesson" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer -- Aidan helps Nathaniel learn about his senses.

"Schrodinger's Prompt" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer -- Pat gets a warning call.

"To Fight Like Brother and Sister" by [personal profile] moriwen1 -- Sinéad and Paul grew up together, with an adorable and heartwarming conflict.  This story belongs to the [community profile] nineforthenebulasheart  project.

"The Dragon We Feed" by [personal profile] chordatesrock -- A story about the fluid nature of good and evil.

 

"The Wolf We Feed" by [personal profile] alexconall -- We need both the light and the dark parts of ourselves to be whole.


What I Have Written

"Compromising Positions" -- A man slowly slides from hero to villain.
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Here's an adorable Norman Rockwell-esque rendition of Captain America

Steve: "Loki, if you light the matchbook you just slipped under my left boot, you're not getting dessert tonight."

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