Author Archives: Elana Levin

Black Panther Wakanda Forever: Film Critics and Movement Organizers Discuss

From the sound of Mayan spoken in a Marvel movie, to the beauty of wearing a mask to breathe, Ryan Coogler’s new Black Panther movie, Wakanda Forever has a lot to say.

And so does my panel of experts:

Moji Alawode-El, Feminist Buzzkills Podcast https://www.aafront.org/fbklive/

Marcus Pinn,  Zebras in America podcast / Pinnland Empire film blog http://www.pinnlandempire.com/

Felicia Perez, Head of Memes at TaskForce.US https://www.feliciaperez.com/

PS there is an audio glitch when Elana is explaining Riri Williams. Elana is trying to say that in the comics the character Riri Williams was specifically designed to be a superhero.

Andor: Star Wars rebels and real world revolutionaries. Part 1

Comrade Nemik isn’t alone in developing a revolutionary analysis of the world of Star Wars. My expert guests bring a knowledge of the history of revolutions, the huge Star Wars mythos and real world activism to their analysis of the first 7 episodes of the series, Andor.

“I do love when Star Wars is like, yes, I know they’re Nazis, but did you know they’re also the United States” –  Klaudia Amenábar, RuPalp’s Podrace

“Both sides are attempting to use polarization to advance their goals.” – Charles Lenchner, Organizing 2.0/former political prisoner. 

“What is the Rebels’ Ladder of Engagement?” – Elana Levin, host/ Organizing 2.0.

The first approx 20 minutes of this episode are entirely spoiler-free. 

For Klaudia’s podcasts, writing and social media  https://linktr.ee/kaludiasays

For an uncorrected transcript of this episode: https://share.descript.com/view/obP89Xhg4Wr

For people imagining a Star Wars version of The Internationale, stay till the end.

Deep Space Dive: A Deep Space 9 pod w/ NY State Senator Gustavo Rivera

From Bajor to the Bronx we’re joined by State Senator Gustavo Rivera, a tried and true Trekkie. Serving in the New York Senate since 2010, Gustavo has beaten the odds, facing down real world Kai Winns, negotiating soil reclamator disputes and championing New York’s Medicare for All bill.

We talk about communities, real and fictional alike, pulling through the wreckage of colonialism. Especially Puerto Rico and Bajor.

Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Rivera4TheBronx and https://twitter.com/NYSenatorRivera

Donations still needed for the Puerto Rican-lead Hurricaine Fiona Community Response Fund https://secure.actblue.com/donate/fionaresponse

Elana takes full responsibility for the really sloppy photoshop images. 

Blade Maidens: Sword Lesbians, Monsters, Magic, Disaster Humans in a webcomic

Blade Maidens is a fantasy adventure romance comic starring two disaster mercenaries trying to get by. Read it online for free at https://www.blademaidens.com/

The series’ creators joined me to talk about their fantastic debut series. Also, the X-Men, a little.

Valentine Smith is a writer, illustrator, and comic artist. They were shaped by a love of horror movies, music, and comicbooks. Their website has the wonderful X-Men fan comics the team made prior to making their own series. http://www.valentinemsmith.com/

Zoe Tunnell is a trans, lesbian writer who previously wrote criticism and essays for sites like WWAC and ComicsXF and has transitioned (for the second time in her life!) into writing comics proper with Blade Maidens. Follow her https://twitter.com/blankzilla

Deep Space Dive: A Star Trek Deep Space 9 podcast: Mirror University

DS9’s Mirror Universe episodes: simultaneously campy and tragic, we love these episodes’ windows into other possible Star Trek worlds. Join us as we recalibrate the transporter polarity for a journey through the looking glass.

Deep Space Dive is a Star Trek Deep Space Nine podcast where we examine the series’ social and artistic themes and characters– particularly with a queer lens. We don’t do recaps, we do do spoilers. DS9 came out in the 90s, so watch then listen. 

Catch up on our podcast within a podcast with this playlist of Deep Space Dive episodes https://graphicpolicy.com/deep-space-dive/. This is episode 9. 

Got a question? Tweet at Elana – https://twitter.com/Elana_Brooklyn or email: deep space dive podcast gmail.com (no spaces).

The Venture Bros Podcast: S1 ep 13: Return to Spider-Skull Island

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again as we cover a classic episode of The Venture Bros animated series: Season 1 finale, “Return to Spider-Skull Island,” aka that Easy Rider episode. 

Professor Steven Attewell and I (Elana Levin) will walk you through a classic Venture Bros episode. We’ll explain the film history, music and all the themes and references in this episode which draws a ton from two iconic movies that had huge subcultural impact. Also, I sing more than normal. 

Follow me, Elana Levin https://twitter.com/Elana_Brooklyn and my co-host, historian Steven Attewell, Phd. https://racefortheironthrone.tumblr.com/

The Sandman TV Series Part 1: with a City Councilman & a GLAAD Award Nom Writer

As Neil Gaiman wrote, “The price of getting what you want is getting what you once wanted.” So what of the new Netflix TV series based on the groundbreaking comics series we grew-up on, The Sandman?  Join Sandman fans as we talk about the comics we loved and our thoughts about the first four episodes of the new series. The first part of the episode is spoiler-free.

Apollo Gonzales is a digital strategist who advises progressive advocacy campaigns on engaging and mobilizing their communities. He sits on the board of Climate Access, a nonprofit  focused on building political and public support for climate and clean energy solutions, and Our Back Yards https://ioby.org/ a nonprofit crowdfunding platform whose mission is funding community led projects. Apollo is also holds public office, and serves on city council in the small Texas town of Brookside Village.

Ben Kahn is a GLAAD Award nominated writer of comics and novels. You can check out their comics including the GLAAD nominated graphic novel Renegade Rule, and the soon to be re-released in bookstores Heavenly Blues. Their debut novel, Elle Campbell Saves Their Saturday, will be out from Scholastic in Fall 2023. https://twitter.com/BenTheKahn Their podcast is Progressively Horrified https://progressivelyhorrified.transistor.fm/

Thor Love and Thunder: Pasifika, Indigenous, Queer, Disabled perspectives

Fresh perspectives on Taika Waititi‘s latest for Marvel. Let’s see how Thor Love and Thunder applies the organizing adage: “closer to the problem = closer to the solution”.

Jeanne is a Queer Biracial Tongan media critic and author known for sharing her unique perspective on popular media on Twitter, guest appearances on podcasts, and arguing in bars about temporal paradoxes.  https://twitter.com/fangirlJeanne.

Johnnie Jae is an Otoe-Missouria and Choctaw founder, journalist, organizer, creator, and futurist empowering others to chase their passions and create for healing and revolutionary change. She is the founder of A Tribe Called Geek, an award-winning media platform for Indigenous Geek Culture and STEM, and #Indigenerds4Hope, a suicide prevention initiative designed to educate, encourage, and empower Native youth. Jae is a co-founder of Not Your Mascots and LiveIndigenousOK as well as a founding member of the Fan Organizer Coalition. 

Jena English is an educator/filmmaker currently teaching film and media at a girls school in Los Angeles. She is also a graphic designer and photographer. Her most recent project is Validation, a web series about the life and times of a parking attendant with a heart of gold. https://vimeo.com/showcase/8749735

PS Jean’s epic Thor tread is a must-read https://twitter.com/fangirlJeanne/status/1551661323456356352

Ms. Marvel: Kamala Khan & Desi Community Power

“I want Ms.Marvel to give us the kind of personal fuel to continue to do this work and keep our eyes on the campaigns we’re trying to win.” —Sabiha Basrai.

Ms. Marvel, the MCU’s latest on Disney+ gets a close read from our expert panel. We open with a spoiler-free pitch of why we enjoyed the show then cover the full TV series.

Darakshan Raja is a Pakistani – American organizer and Bhangra DJ. She is the founding executive director of Muslims for Just Futures (MJF), a grassroots organization that builds power in Muslim communities through collective care, organizing, advocacy, and movement-building. https://twitter.com/DarakshanRaja

Harini Marchadi is a college student studying biology and history. She is particularly interested in questions of nationalism in formerly colonized nations and interactions between countries affected by colonialism. https://twitter.com/harini_marchadi

Sabiha Basrai is a graphic designer and social justice organizer involved with economic justice, immigrant rights, and anti-war organizing since the mid-1990s. For the last 16 years, Sabiha has been a co-owner of Design Action Collective where she works at the intersection of visual arts and activism. designaction.org

Sabiha shared a list of some of her fave orgs fighting for justice here and in South East Asia. They won’t all fit in my show notes so read them here: https://twitter.com/Elana_Brooklyn/status/1549938780022374400?s=20&t=n5a2G7PaqgcZbFBILt5n7w

Young Justice Phantoms pt 2 w/ Dr. Khaliden Nas & Nathaniel Hubbard

Fish people thruples & critiques of the space prison system abound as DC‘s Young Justice animated series returns on HBO Max to conclude its 4th season. Guests that helped me cover the first half of this season have returned to update our DCAU mood boards with the Emerald Empress and some Fourth World worthy art.

Dr. Khaliden Nas is a writer & researcher with a PhD in Media and Culture Studies from the University of Sussex. His work explores the realities of queer subjectivity, self-conception, otherness and the intersections of culture and identity. https://twitter.com/alsopurp

Nathaniel Hubbard, or Hub, is a podcaster and writer. He is the co-host and producer of Titan Up the Defense  a podcast where he and his brother cover Teen Titans and Defenders comics in chronological order. https://twitter.com/ttwasteland_

Catch up on our coverage of the first half of season 4 here https://bit.ly/YJ4Marzz

PS. Dick Grayson clearly picked up all the red yarn Hub had to throw away when his Cameleon Lad conspiracy theory fell apart. But has Khaliden cooked up a whole new theory for Beast Boy’s corgi? “Name a shapeshifter— that’s who it is.”

“Dick Grayson is no Detective Chimp” — Hub. 

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