Tag Archives: lgbt

Review : Kim & Kim #3

kim-and-kim-3-coverThe wait for the latest installment of Kim & Kim was well worth it. Just when you thought Kim & Kim had reached maximum capacity on the story and action front the creator, Magdalene Visaggio, cranks this intergalactic bounty hunter story up to eleven.

Issue number three builds on the promise of the previous two issues. We are treated with a journey to yet another exotic and dangerous local as our transgender anti-heroes attempt to get Tom home back to his home planet and away from El Scorchos reach.

This time around our girls take a voyage to the Lost Planet and get stranded in Never-Look-Back when The Contessa gets shot down by Robot Gorillas. We get some back story on Kim’s aunt Djune and meet her old partner and rebel pilot Mina. Lucky for Kim & Kim she’s been hiding out on the same planet that they find themselves stranded on because The Contessa needs some TLC and a really good mechanic .

kim-and-kim-3-2The rescue mission goes awry and there’s a gap in the girls memory after they get The Contessa back in working order. We get to meet some of the Kim’s friends and in a late night drink & nosh hang out, we get to see Squad Goals redefined. I hope that we get to see these four ladies take on some baddies in a future issue. There’s a lot that goes unsaid in this issue and we don’t really find out what happened to Tom or Mina after he made a run for the magic book in an attempt to get himself home. What we do know is that nothing is ever that simple in the Kim’s world and this issue ends with a Robot Gorilla showing up at Kim’s front door.

As usual Magdalene’s writing and story telling skills are on point and the ending has me sitting on my hands freaking out in the best possible way, waiting for the next installment. Magdalene creates a killer world with a nice arc, real life situations and a strong sense of self and some really relatable transgender characters.

Eva Cabrera’s artwork is clean, easy to understand, inviting and semi realistic. It adds all the necessary components to Magdalene’s great story.

Overall Kim & Kim‘s third issue is an exciting and interesting page turner that gives the readers what they want. I loved every page and panel of the story and found myself engaged even when the Kim’s were doing nothing more than hanging out. There was a lot of back story packed into this issue and it seems the creative team is giving us all the tools needed to follow along without pandering or dumbing down the story line and plot points.

Story: Magdalene Visaggio Art: Eva Cabrera
Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Mama Tits Saves the World #1

Mama Tits Saves the WorldOne of the most important, crowdfunded comics is here and Northwest Press made sure that the backers were not disappointed. If you haven’t heard of Charles “Zan” Christensen‘s new comic Mama Tits Saves the World then let me be the first to tell you that this needs to be in your collection! It is history in the making! Not only does Zan give the reader a fact-filled, informative and fun adventure and Terry Blas‘s artwork gives us something fun to look at. There’s also some fun and games thrown into the mix to educate the reader.

There aren’t a lot of comic books with LGBT characters and usually I applaud the ones where being LGBT isn’t the central issue of the characters. The difference between those and Mama Tits, is that the purpose of this comic book is to educate and entertain, so keeping the LGBT icons and drag queens in the forefront while they fight the oppression and hate is necessary to the story.

The story starts off with Mama Tits enjoying all the progress that the LGBT community has achieved. Unfortunately, she is struck with the reality that there are still bigots in the world and they will protest at any chance they get. Mama Tits calls upon the Queer Pantheon, comprised of great LGBT figures & icons and, uses her special power to unleash the truth. I really respected the fact that the protestors signs weren’t all made to say “I’m in the closet”. There was also an acknowledgment that some people are just hurt people who hurt others. It was refreshing to see that Zan didn’t go with a cop-out or a cliche when battling the bad guys.

In part two of the story, Mama Tits is dispatched to take down two super villains, who you might recognize even though they’re not named. These villains are covered in hypocrisy and within the story itself provides the reader with a glimpse of the ignorance that the LGBT community faces. Somehow in battling the bad guys Mama Tits never manages to feel like Zan is having his characters preach to the choir or convert the bigots. He manages to simply point out the flaws in the logic of most bigots and have the LGBT readers & allies cheer for the wrath of fabulousness that Mama Tits is going to unleash.

If the story isn’t enough to get you on board, Mama Tits even has some fun activity pages in it for the reader that wants to be a little more involved. From cover to cover, Zan lays his brightly colored history (and current events) lesson out in the open. The reader is made aware of the issues that the LGBT community faces. There is a message of perseverance and tolerance that is necessary in today’s political climate. I think that media especially comic books can go a long way in educating the public about important issues and the discrimination that racial and sexual minorities face. Mama Tits manages to not only tell a good story filled with fabulous fight sequences, dastardly villains (based on real life villains) and, beautiful costume changes but, it provides the reader with info that they might not have and calls them to action.

Story: Charles “Zan” Christensen Art: Terry Blas
Story: 9.1 Art: 8.7 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Northwest Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

FlameCon 2: Too much for one post!

Flame Con 2 took place August 20 and 21 at The Marriott, Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. There was so many amazing things it’s hard to pack them into one post. Here’s an overview of the best geek con of the year!

It's me as Siryn from X-Force joined by Magneto & Scarlet Witch! @instaflamecon #flamecon #flamecon2

A photo posted by Elana Levin (@elana_brooklyn) on

And that explains everything…

The ReDesigning X-Women Panel is always the most fun. Check out my tumblr post of many of the costume redesigns the panel made.

Max Wittert is fantastic & funny as hell. @instaflamecon #flamecon #flamecon2

A photo posted by Elana Levin (@elana_brooklyn) on

Yup, that’s the Glow Cloud from Welcome to Nightvale. It actually flickered on and off!

Tiger Millionaire! Steven Universe’s wrestling alias made an appearance.

Freddie Krueger Drag! @instaflamecon #flamecon #flamecon2

A photo posted by Elana Levin (@elana_brooklyn) on

Graphic Policy Radio Gets Chatting about Flame Con! Listen On Demand!

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

This weekend is Flame Con, a two-day comics, arts, and entertainment expo showcasing creators and celebrities from all corners of LGBTQ geek fandom. It features thoughtful discussions, exclusive performances, screenings, costumes, and more! This week Graphic Policy Radio chatted with Rachel from Geeks Out, the amazing organization behind this new Brooklyn-based convention.

Tickets to Flame Con are on sale now at www.flamecon.org. And our own Elana Levin’s panel will be Sunday at 2pm.

Rachel Greeman is a board member for Geeksout, a Flame Con organizer, and an obsessive cosplayer. Also, she has great hair.

We’ve also launched a survey to ask you the listeners what you’re looking for in future shows! Take the survey now.

Graphic Policy Radio Gets Chatting about Flame Con!

GP Radio pic MondayThis weekend is Flame Con, a two-day comics, arts, and entertainment expo showcasing creators and celebrities from all corners of LGBTQ geek fandom. It features thoughtful discussions, exclusive performances, screenings, costumes, and more! This week Graphic Policy Radio will be chatting with Rachel from Geeks Out, the amazing organization behind this new Brooklyn-based convention.

Listen to the show LIVE tonight at 10pm ET.

Tickets to Flame Con are onsale now at http://www.flamecon.org. And our own Elana Levin’s panel will be Sunday at 2pm.

Rachel Greeman is a board member for Geeksout, a Flame Con organizer, and an obsessive cosplayer. Also, she has great hair.

Find out about this fantastic convention and Tweet us your questions @graphicpolicy.

Listen to the show tonight when it airs live.

Star Trek Goes Where No Trek Has Gone Before– Explicitly LGBTQ Characters

Star+Trek+Beyond+SuluStar Trek as a franchise has often touched upon social issues via metaphor and innuendo. The show hasn’t had issues discussing hot button topics or being rather progressive in some of its views, such as being credited for the “first interracial kiss.” However, in the 50 years of the franchise, the series has never had an out LGBTQ character, until today.

In the Herald Sun, it was revealed that Helmsman Hikaru Sulu, played by John Cho, is shown in Star Trek Beyond as not just having a daughter, but also in a same-sex relationship. Director Justin Lin said the decision to make Sulu gay was a nod by writer Simon Pegg towards George Takei who originally played the character and came out in 2005.

The inclusion of LGBTQ characters in the Star Trek world hasn’t been an easy one.

In 1987 series creator Gene Roddenberry stated there’d be LGBTQ characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but that never materialized. That promise was reiterated in 1991 as reported by The Advocate and supported by Leonard Nimoy who wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Times on the subject. In an interview with The Humanist in 1991 Roddenberry said:

My attitude toward homosexuality has changed. I came to the conclusion that I was wrong. I was never someone who hunted down ‘fags’ as we used to call them on the street. I would, sometimes, say something anti-homosexual off the top of my head because it was thought, in those days, to be funny. I never really deeply believed those comments, but I gave the impression of being thoughtless in these areas. I have, over many years, changed my attitude about gay men and women.

Roddenberry passed away soon after those interviews and the plan for gay crew members never materialized.

The series stumbled over the years to address LGBTQ inclusion including a controversial episode “The Outcast” which was both praised and derided. The episode addressed sexual discrimination and involved an androgynous race and gender identity. Some felt the episode didn’t go far enough to exploring the issue and others felt it sanctioned brainwashing therapy. Actor Jonathan Frakes commented he felt the alien the episode revolved around and whose attraction to Riker was at the center should have been more evidently male.

Star Trek television writer and producer Ronald D. Moore admitted that including LGBTQ characters was something that they “just failed at” in a 2008 interview. Actors such as Kate Mulgrew and Whoopi Goldberg have admitted it was a struggle for the various series and there were disagreements regarding decisions to not include such characters.

In 2016 Queer Frontier was launched to petition for the inclusion of an LGBT captain in the 2017 Star Trek television show by CBS, Paramount, and producer Bryan Fuller. The organization applauded this announcement.

J.J. Abrams addressed the issue in 2011 saying he was “shocked” that there were never any gay characters and while it “was not on the list of [his] priorities… it [would] now be in the hopper.” While there were no LGBTQ characters in his two films written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the third times a charm with Simon Pegg having now taken over on writing duties.

Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters July 22, 2016.

Flame Con will be (Toy) Gun Free

Geeks OUT and Flame Con has released the below press released regarding this year’s convention. It’s run unedited and we here support this decision 100% percent.

Last week, the queer community lost 49 members of our queer community in what has become an all too common tragedy in this country.

In the days since that event, Geeks OUT has been spending a lot of time talking to the management and staff of the hotel that will be hosting Flame Con about the safety of our attendees. We have also been reaching out to concerned fans. In response to the massacre at Pulse in Orlando, we plan to bolster Flame Con’s security, and will be working with local law enforcement to ensure that even outside of the con, there will be people looking out for us.

Acknowledging the shock and trauma and grief our community is experiencing right now, we feel the need to go even further in making Flame Con a safe space for us all.

As a show of solidarity with victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, their families, and anyone else affected by homophobic gun violence, Flame Con is asking you to leave your toy guns at home.

Because guns are not toys. Guns are not accessories that can be flaunted in public without inherently making light of their intended use—while simultaneously making many people deeply uncomfortable.

If you bring a toy gun to Flame Con, no matter how unrealistic it might look or feel, you will be asked to check it.

Can you do a successful cosplay of Black Widow or Vash the Stampede without a gun? We think you can! If your cosplay isn’t quite complete without a gun, we’ll help you adapt to our new policy by providing some creative alternatives to traditional guns that you can pose with. Your cosplay at Flame Con will help our community make a strong, colorful statement against gun violence, and our culture’s toxic love of firearms.

Spread the word! Flame Con will not allow the following items:

Any weapon of any kind—bladed or projectile—that looks or feels real.

Any kind of gun or simulacrum of a firearm, no matter how fake it looks.

Any prop that is heavy, hard, or sharp enough to injure a person (Err on the side of caution).

When crafting your props, keep it light and keep it safe. You can do a lot with foam!

At Geeks OUT, we are committed to creating spaces that are safe—both physically and emotionally. Join us in making Flame Con a place where we can all enjoy ourselves!

flame con 2016

Kidrobot to Donate Proceeds of Pride Labbits to OneOrlando

Like most of the world, Kidrobot is shocked and saddened to learn about the recent tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Their thoughts are with the victims, their families and the entire LGBT community. They feel it is imperative to do their part to show their support in light of this terrible event. From now through the end of July, all proceeds from Kidrobot’s Labbit Pride Packs will be donated to the OneOrlando Fund. The Labbit Pride Packs are currently available for purchase at Kidrobot.com.

The purpose of the OneOrlando Fund is to provide a way to help respond to the needs of the Orlando community after the effects of the Pulse tragedy. You can learn more about the fund on the OneOrlando website.

As a company that celebrates diversity and acceptance, Kidrobot feels it is necessary to lend their support in this devastating time. They are heartbroken by this tragedy and hope their support will help the community affected.

Kidrobot to Donate Proceeds of Pride Labbits to OneOrlando

#QueerSelfLove is Necessary in Comics

It’s been a brutal time in LGBTQA communities. We are rightfully focused on taking action to protect our communities and stand in solidarity with Muslims and Latinx people; especially LGBTQA Muslim and Latinx people. We must take care of each other. That includes self care.

I don’t want to center the story on people like me. I want to tell you to read the words of latinx LGBTQA people like Delma Catalina Limones,

2016-06-15_1658But I also want to make space to share something beautiful I saw on twitter today.

And then it went viral.

Countless people joined in. It did my soul a whole lot of good to see how many people in comics participated. Fans, writers, artists, critics all of the above. Comics is queer as hell. It has always been queer since the invention of Wonder Woman if not even older.

But right now LGBTQA people in comics and fan communities are organizing like never before. It is already making a difference. I want to thank all of the beautiful people speaking out today. Here are a few of them:

Northwest’s Hard to Swallow for Apple. Readers Get a Free Version.

Hard to Swallow UncensoredTwo weeks ago, Northwest Press submitted their new book Hard to Swallow to Apple’s iBooks with the goal of having a day-and-date release to coincide with the paperback edition that will be in comic book stores this month.

Apple rejected the book, just like they have Northwest Press’ past two releases aimed at adults. The reason is the comics having “prohibited explicit or objectionable content.”

The publisher has now decided to offer a censored version of the book for free, to shine a spotlight on what it sees as Apple’s ongoing campaign against sex in art.

In the days before the iPad debuted, Apple repeatedly rejected comic books and apps with gay content—some of which were very tame and included no nudity—and was accused of following a double standard when compared to heterosexual content. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously defended the platform’s restrictions on sexual content by saying Apple provided his customers “freedom from porn.”

Charles “Zan” Christensen, Northwest Press’ publisher and board member of the nonprofit LGBT comics advocacy organization Prism Comics, took them to task publicly for this in an online article.

in 2011, when the iBooks store was opened up to comics content from indie publishers, Northwest Press submitted its very first release, Jon Macy’s Teleny and Camille (which at that time was the most explicitly sexual book they had published). Apple accepted it, and accepted every subsequent release for about two years.

In Fall of 2013, Apple changed its submission process; they added a new “Explicit Content?” checkbox to their iTunes Producer software, which is used to submit titles to iBooks. The first book Northwest Press submitted to Apple since that change was Al-Qaeda’s Super Secret Weapon, a gay, erotic, political satire of the War on Terror. This book contained far less sexual content than Teleny, so the publisher was perplexed when the book was rejected. Despite following up and protesting the rejection, Apple’s decision stood.

This happened again when Jon Macy finished the final chapter of his fantasy epic Fearful Hunter, and Northwest Press submitted the collected edition to iBooks. Apple rejected it. Lets make that clear. Apple had already approved the first three issues. But, when those issues were collected, they were rejected.

Now that Hard to Swallow has been rejected as well, the publisher feels that Apple will continue to reject any graphic novel that includes sexual content.

Christensen emphasizes that this is not censorship, per se.

Apple is not the US government, and they can make their own decisions about what to include or not. But the waters are muddied by the fact that Apple’s devices behave a lot more like a distribution platform than a standalone bookstore, with independent publishers using iPhones and iPads as a means to distribute their work. When Apple blocks material on content grounds—blocking it from being sold in any app installed on a customer’s device, by the way—they are effectively banning the book from being sold on any of Apple’s over a billion active devices.

Hard to Swallow CensoredTo make a point about what Apple’s behavior, Northwest Press has created a special version of Hard to Swallow, which readers can download for free. They refer to it as the “apple version”, because all of the sexual content and nudity has been censored with pictures of apples.

The publisher has included an introduction to the special edition, penned by Christensen, as well as several Internet links: one is to an iBooks feedback form where the publisher urges individuals to share their feelings about content restrictions—”respectfully but firmly”—with Apple. The second is a link to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, who work to protect comic book creators from censorship and legal threats. The third is a link to Northwest Press’ entire catalog on comiXology, including the two previous books which Apple has rejected.

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