Tag Archives: immigration

Undocumented Immigrants and Hollywood with Black Panther’s Bambadjan Bamba. Listen on Demand.

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher ¦ BlogTalkRadio ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

Bambadjan Bamba is an actor and filmmaker who immigrated from the Ivory Coast with his family fleeing political persecution in 1992. Bambadjan made it through drama school and is now a series regular on NBC’s The Good Place and will be seen in what is sure be a blockbuster, Black Panther, the next Marvel film.

Bamba qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) but his immigration status is now in danger due to the Trump administration’s announced repeal of the program. Bambadjan refuses to stay silent about the realities faced by undocumented immigrants and is now working with the nonprofit group Define American to share his story about America’s outdated and dysfunctional immigration system.

This Monday we’ll be joined by Bambadjan Bamba who will talk about his journey and his current fight against an unjust system and why Black Panther matters to him. Listen in Monday and show your support.

Undocumented Immigrants and Hollywood with Black Panther’s Bambadjan Bamba. Listen LIVE Monday.

Bambadjan Bamba is an actor and filmmaker who immigrated from the Ivory Coast with his family fleeing political persecution in 1992. Bambadjan made it through drama school and is now a series regular on NBC’s The Good Place and will be seen in what is sure be a blockbuster, Black Panther, the next Marvel film.

Bamba qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) but his immigration status is now in danger due to the Trump administration’s announced repeal of the program. Bambadjan refuses to stay silent about the realities faced by undocumented immigrants and is now working with the nonprofit group Define American to share his story about America’s outdated and dysfunctional immigration system.

This Monday Graphic Policy Radio will be joined by Bambadjan Bamba who will talk about his journey and his current fight against an unjust system and why Black Panther matters to him. Listen in Monday and show your support.

The show airs LIVE this Monday at 10pm ET.

Around the Tubes

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens tonight! Who’s going to see it? We’ll have our review later today and while you wait for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

NBC News – Through Comic Books, Latino Kids From Immigrant Families Send Message to Pres. Trump – Very cool to see.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Read No Mercy #9 by De Campi, McNeil and Lee for free – Free comics! Go read it folks.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Newsarama – Black Bolt #1

Comic Attack – Secret Weapons #1

Graphic Policy Radio Goes to the Movies to Discuss Logan. Listen on Demand.

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

Snikt. Snikt. In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.

Logan is the latest and reportedly final ride of Hugh Jackman as the iconic Wolverine partnering him with Patrick Stewart as Professor X and Dafne Keen as Laura aka X-23! Part road trip, part western, Logan explores themes and tackles issues as immigration, intellectual property, violence in fantasy entertainment, the inevitability of death, and more.

Joining hosts Elana and Brett to discuss the film is Graphic Policy contributor Logan Dalton.

By day, Logan is a data entry administrator. At night, he writes about comics, TV shows for sites like Graphic Policy and Nerds on the Rocks, and is even working on a play. Once he interviewed a vampire. Feel free to pick his brain on LGBTQ representation in comics at any time on Twitter @MidnighterBae

Immigration And Comics. It’s Our History.

ck-rocket-from-krypton-croppedA version of this originally ran January 2016.

You’d have to have been living under a rock to have avoided the refugee and, to a lesser extent, the immigration discussions occurring this past week due to the executive order signed by President Donald Trump.

As an immigrant myself, it’s a discussion that I’ve been paying some attention too.

First things first, though, is that I should clarify that my situation in no way resembled the plight of those from Syria or other war-torn regions. As a white man immigrating from the United Kingdom it would be offensive to those refugees to say that I know what they’re going through. I don’t.

I genuinely hope that I never will.

Indeed, I have been present in my new country when people start talking about “the immigrants” taking their jobs because they didn’t consider me an immigrant.  This was shortly after asking about my accent. I may be a white guy, but my accent sure isn’t from this side of the pond. That’s about as much prejudice as I have ever encountered on my end, directly, and while I found it exasperatingly funny at the time, it does go to  show the general sense that a (very) few have toward immigrants (at least in my experience, but as I said, mine is not the same as the Syrian refugees. Not even close). Even comparing a refugee to an immigrant is a slippery slope; while some immigrants such as myself arrive in a new country of their own volition, some undoubtedly feel forced out of their homes, due to escalating conflicts or tensions at home. But either way, the immigrant has a little more freedom to make the decision. A refugee has no choice in the matter; they just want their family to feel safe.

And the type of safety that the Syrian refugees are currently seeking, and the scale of the horror’s they are running from is something that many of us have no personal experience with. Hopefully we never will, but that doesn’t preclude us from having some empathy for them, either.

My family have lived in England for as long as I am aware (my Aunt traced my grandfather’s line back to around the 1700’s, give or take), so I can’t knowingly claim that there is any immigration within my family’s past (myself aside), but that’s not necessarily true of people living on this side of the pond.

There are millions of people in North American who can trace their families back across the years and the oceans to other countries, when their ancestors left their home lands for fear of persecution or simply to hope for a better life.

This is especially true when it comes to some of the early and/or influential members of the comic book community.

The Thing KirbyIndeed, many of the greatest names in American comics are often the first generation born in the new country, such as Art Speigelman (the author of Maus), Bill Finger (co-creator of Batman, Green Lantern, and many many others), Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (the men who created Superman). Even Bob Kane‘s (Batman‘s other co-creator) parents were of Eastern European Jewish descent. The point I am attempting to make here is that the sons of Jewish immigrants created some of our biggest super heroes, and some of our greatest stories.

And what of their creations? 

Superman is an alien from another planet who’s family sought refuge for their only child from the end of their world. He is far from native to any country on Earth, yet he has chosen to make the planet his  home. Far beyond just simply moving from country to country, Superman is an interplanetary immigrant that kick started the modern superhero comic. 

And he’s not the only immigrant in comics, either; Supergirl, the Martian Manhunter are but two of the early inter-planetary examples, X-O Manowar is both a geographical and chronological immigrant (it sounds confusing when typing it like that, but the character is as rich and deep as any other on this list). Howard the Duck has been trapped in a world that he’s slowly become accustomed to, but was never his own; and Thor Odinson has been protecting our world for centuries – and even without his hammer he continues to do so. The idea of a hero from the stars come to save humanity (or in the case of Howard the Duck to simply work amongst us) is an idea that as comic book fans we’re all enamored with , and in many cases these interplanetary immigrants have become some of the most beloved, and powerful, characters in the comic book reading world.

Giant-Size_X-Men_Vol_1_1In terms of the more traditional Earthbound type of immigration, the of moving between countries, look at almost the entire second team of X-Men; BansheeColossus, Nightcrawler, Sunfire, Storm and Wolverine are all from countries other than the US. You know what that makes them, eh?

If  these characters were ignored because they were immigrants, both of the interplanetary and Earthbound nature,  would comics, nay, popular culture, even have the same face? The Superman symbol is an internationally recognized symbol of truth, justice, and the American Way, and Wolverine is arguably one of the most popular characters to ever appear in a comic book. What if the parents of the previously mentioned creators, and the numerous others I haven’t named who are also descended from immigrants, were trying to escape their living conditions to provide a better life for their families today? Would we still want to turn them away?

If it wasn’t for the sons and daughters of refugees and immigrants the comic book landscape, and perhaps even our way of life would be drastically different than what we’re used too. Before you add your voice to those who say we should close up our borders, take a long hard look at your family history, at the characters you love, and tell me where you would be if the country you call home had refused to admit any new immigrants at any point in the past two or three hundred years.

Would you still be sat here reading this, if your ancestors hadn’t had the opportunity to live a new life in North America?

Immigration And Comics

ck-rocket-from-krypton-croppedYou’d have to have been living under a rock to have avoided the refugee and, to a lesser extent, the immigration discussions occurring these past few months.

As an immigrant myself, it’s a discussion that I’ve been paying some attention too.

First things first, though, is that I should clarify that my situation in no way resembled the plight of those from Syria. As a white man immigrating from the United Kingdom it would be offensive to those refugees to say that I know what they’re going through. I don’t.

I genuinely hope that I never will.

Indeed, I have been present in my new country when people start talking about “the immigrants” taking their jobs because they didn’t consider me an immigrant.  This was shortly after asking about my accent. I may be a white guy, but my accent sure isn’t from this side of the pond. That’s about as much prejudice as I have ever encountered on my end, directly, and while I found it exasperatingly funny at the time, it does go to  show the general sense that a (very) few have toward immigrants (at least in my experience, but as I said, mine is not the same as the Syrian refugees. Not even close). Even comparing a refugee to an immigrant is a slippery slope; while some immigrants such as myself arrive in a new country of their own volition, some undoubtedly feel forced out of their homes, due to escalating conflicts or tensions at home. But either way, the immigrant has a little more freedom to make the decision. A refugee has no choice in the matter; they just want their family to feel safe.

And the type of safety that the Syrian refugees are currently seeking, and the scale of the horror’s they are running from is something that many of us have no personal experience with.  Hopefully we never will, but that doesn’t preclude us from having some empathy for them, either.

My family have lived in England for as long as I am aware (my Aunt traced my grandfather’s line back to around the 1700’s, give or take), so I can’t knowingly claim that there is any immigration within my family’s past (myself aside), but that’s not necessarily true of people living on this side of the pond.

There are millions of people in North American who can trace their families back across the years and the oceans to other countries, when their ancestors left their home lands for fear of persecution or simply to hope for a better life.

This is especially true when it comes to some of the early and/or influential members of the comic book community.

The Thing KirbyIndeed, many of the greatest names in American comics are often the first generation born in the new country, such as Art Speigelman (the author of Maus), Bill Finger (co-creator of Batman, Green Lantern, and many many others), Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (the men who created Superman). Even Bob Kane‘s (Batman‘s other co-creator) parents were of Eastern European Jewish descent. The point I am attempting to make here is that the sons of Jewish immigrants created some of our biggest super heroes, and some of our greatest stories.

And what of their creations? 

Superman is an alien from another planet who’s family sought refuge for their only child from the end of their world. He is far from native to any country on Earth, yet he has chosen to make the planet his  home. Far beyond just simply moving from country to country, Superman is an interplanetary immigrant that kick started the modern superhero comic. 

And he’s not the only immigrant in comics, either; Supergirl, the Martian Manhunter are but two of the early inter-planetary examples, X-O Manowar is both a geographical and chronological immigrant (it sounds confusing when typing it like that, but the character is as rich and deep as any other on this list). Howard the Duck has been trapped in a world that he’s slowly become accustomed to, but was never his own; and Thor Odinson has been protecting our world for centuries – and even without his hammer he continues to do so. The idea of a hero from the stars come to save humanity (or in the case of Howard the Duck to simply work amongst us) is an idea that as comic book fans we’re all enamored with , and in many cases these interplanetary immigrants have become some of the most beloved, and powerful, characters in the comic book reading world.

Giant-Size_X-Men_Vol_1_1In terms of the more traditional Earthbound type of immigration, the of moving between countries, look at almost the entire second team of X-Men; BansheeColossus, Nightcrawler, Sunfire, Storm and Wolverine are all from countries other than the US. You know what that makes them, eh?

If  these characters were ignored because they were immigrants, both of the interplanetary and Earthbound nature,  would comics, nay, popular culture, even have the same face? The Superman symbol is an internationally recognized symbol of truth, justice, and the American Way, and Wolverine is arguably one of the most popular characters to ever appear in a comic book. What if the parents of the previously mentioned creators, and the numerous others I haven’t named who are also descended from immigrants, were trying to escape their living conditions to provide a better life for their families today? Would we still want to turn them away?

If it wasn’t for the sons and daughters of refugees and immigrants the comic book landscape, and perhaps even our way of life would be drastically different than what we’re used too. Before you add your voice to those who say we should close up our borders, take a long hard look at your family history, at the characters you love, and tell me where you would be if the country you call home had refused to admit any new immigrants at any point in the past two or three hundred years.

Would you still be sat here reading this, if your ancestors hadn’t had the opportunity to live a new life in North America?

Updated: Comic Writer (and Congressman) Rep. John Lewis Arrested at Immigration Rally

Congressman John Lewis has been arrested for a 45th time at today’s immigration rally in Washington, DC.  The Congressman was arrested with other elected officials today at a rally and concert advocating for comprehensive immigration reform. Rep. Lewis is the writer of the New York Times best-selling graphic novel March about his experiences in the civil rights movement. That graphic novel is published by Top Shelf and has been met with praise and is one of Top Shelf’s best-selling graphic novels ever.

2013-10-08_1717

Update: Rare reports that 100 were arrested for blocking a street.

Around the Tubes

I’m still sick and recovering from New York Comic Con, booo! But the weekend is almost here, yay! Here’s the news you missed.

Around the Blogs

Bleeding Cool – When The Black Cat Was Sexually Harassed At NYCCSucks she went through this, but great that she says this is the exception.

The Outhousers – Missing Comic Industry Females Located in Binders Full of WomenPretty funny.

The Jewish Voice – Comic Con and the JewsAlrighty.

The Guardian – Conversation on comic books explores immigrationSounds like a cool discussion.

Bleeding Cool – North Carolina Comics Artist Arrested On Indecency Charges – Jesus christ.

Around the Tubes Reviews

IGN – Marvel NOW! Point One #1

Talking Comics – Nightwing #13

IGN – Ultimate Comics Iron Man #1

MTV Geek – DC Reviews: Justice League #13, Sword of Sorcery #1, Before Watchmen Minutemen #4

Graphic Novel Helps Immigrants Avoid Scammers

Sans cape and tights, a new graphic novel is a hero for immigrants, focusing on the issue of fraud targeting immigrant communities.  José Busca Legalizarse (José Seeks Legal Status) focuses on the issue of undocumented workers who are tricked by people promising legal status.

Created by New Immigrant Community Empowerment (N.I.C.E) this is the first time they’re reach out to the Latino community via graphic novel and the effort is part of its larger immigrant consumer justice campaign.  N.I.C.E. primarily works with newly arrived immigrants.

The graphic novel is free at their office, office at 37-41 77th St. in New York City.  The hope is to have the readers understand how immigration and the legal system works in the United States.

Superman, Citizen of the World. Right’s Head Explodes?


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I’m good when it comes to fighting apocalyptic threats.  But the everyday degradations that humans suffer? Dying of thirst? Hunger? People being denied their basic human rights? I’ve never been very effective at stopping things like that. And I want to be.

– Superman

I intend to speak before the United Nations tomorrow and inform them that I am renouncing my U.S. citizenship. I’m tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy.

– Superman

Action Comics #900

Action Comics #900 made news this week, not because of it’s the nine hundredth issue of the series, instead it was one of the numerous stories contained within.  It wasn’t the story featuring Superman taking on God that was the problem, instead writer David Goyer’s (Batman Begins) The Incident was the one that got the right’s panties in a bunch.

The story has Superman talking to the President’s National Security Advisor about his flying to Tehran to protest with the Iranian people.  The story is impressive in that it throws out the usual fake countries and leaders DC comics sticks to, but instead names the country and leader.  It also reflects the very real unrest occurring throughout the Middle East.  This action causes an international incident as Iran sees Superman’s stance as an action by the United States.  This causes Superman to think globally and decide to renounce his US citizenship.  He’s decided there’s an entire world for him to protect.  And only DC knows how far they’ll take this pretty comic universe shaking event.

Superman Renouncing Citizenship

But, this has sent ripples through the news and internet with the right denouncing the action.  The American Spectator joked he won’t be voting in 2012 and one of his creators was Canadian.  While the comics industry took it with humor, the right were a bit more serious.  Geek Week for instance looked at what they thought were some of the better highlights.

Most comic books have been on the far left fringe for decades now. There is no surprise or shock value in it anymore when they promote extreme left wing causes like socialism/communism, nor when they attack America or western values.

But, what’s interesting is Superman isn’t actually giving up the “American way” he’s been fighting for.  If anything, he’s becoming an even bigger instrument to bring those values to the world.  Is standing up for democracy in Tehran not American?  It seems that part has been lost on people and for once it’s not Fox News which had decent and even coverage.  The blog The Mary Sue actually had to make things up (with humor) over Fox’s non-story.  Even the conservative New York Post was pretty level with their coverage.  Instead, they used their article to present the facts and took a dig at Donald Trump and birthers.  The Examiner looks at the “growing call for a boycott.”  Having read a lot of articles and comments, I don’t see it and think the Examiner is attempting to turn a match into a raging fire.  Entertainment Weekly just overlooks the controversy and focuses on the main story, which was less than stellar.  This article by the Daily Caller (and linked to by Big Hollywood) I think is an attempt at humor, claiming Superman’s action under a black President is racist.  Um, ok.

Level headiness wasn’t the case for Fox’s commentators which involved the usual lunacy.  But, in fairness that wasn’t limited to just their site.  Canada’s National Post had this one comment by Batman2010:

Screw you Superman, fly off and find freedom and integrity in some other country, try China or Syria!

The usually predictable conservative website Big Hollywood has only taken a shot with the title of their coverage “Left’s Crusade to Destroy Our Heroes Marches On: Superman Renounces God, American Citizenship.”  That article just links and copies Wired‘s article about the subject.

On NewsBusters (and reposted at numerous other websites), writer and managing editor Ken Shepard labeled it “leftist crap.”  Further into what is mostly a recap of the story he writes:

…simply saying that “truth, justice and the American way [is] not enough anymore” is a pretty startling statement from the one man who has always represented those values the most.

But, Superman isn’t saying the “American way” isn’t enough.  If folks actually read the story, he feels he’s not acting globally enough.  He’s not against the “American way,” he actually plans on spreading it globally by helping on an international level, not just being confined to Metropolis.  To do so as an American citizen has global implications.  It would look to be an extension of American foreign policy and cause further international uproar.  Instead, by acting as a non-citizen he can spread the American ideal without further implications on America’s stance and relationships.

As I pointed out in an earlier post, the right should have utter disdain for Superman to begin with.  While some bloggers and commentators touched upon it, Superman is a literal alien, not born in the United States.  He couldn’t have ever been a citizen to begin with, so there’s nothing to renounce.

John Hawkins at Right Wing News has issues with the actual plot and it’s implications, more so than the statement it makes.

Let me go full nerd on you and point this out: It would be impossible for someone like Superman to get involved in geopolitics and remain a good guy long term. There are dozens of governments across the planet abusing and murdering their people on a daily basis. If Superman is going to start getting involved when it happens, then he’s setting himself up as global judge, jury, and inevitably, an executioner — because that’s what it would take to stop some of these governments from raping, robbing, and butchering their populaces. Then, when Superman couldn’t be everywhere at once, the next step would either be giving up or building his own army to overthrow governments and enforce his moral code on other nations. By that point, every government in the world would be nervous enough to try to develop weapons powerful enough to kill Superman for their own defense.

Many predicted the “rage” including Nerdage, The Portland Mercury, Bleeding Cool and Comics Alliance.  Not all the coverage was bad, in fact the reaction was very subdued from what I expected it to be.  The Associated Press, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Herald Sun, News and Sentinel and many more covered the event without opinion.  I’m sure that coverage has spurred sales for the anniversary issue of which I expect numerous printings.

In the end though, it doesn’t matter as Superman is already a citizen of the world.  In 1974 a Superman comic depicted just that.  He’s always been global, he’s now just acting upon it.

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