Nota Bene: On Being a Black Nerd

From Lawrence Ware’s “Black Panther and the Revenge of the Black Nerds,” where he talks about what the release of a blockbuster adaptation of the Black Panther comic series means:

Now I know that to be a black nerd is by no means anomalous; there are millions of people who look like me and grew up loving comic books. Yet despite our numbers, we were underground for a long time. But now, there appears to be a widening cultural appreciation for what black people have always known: There are many ways to be black in America. The 44th president helped.

Barack Obama meant a lot to black nerds. Jordan Peele, the director of “Get Out,” told NPR back in 2012, “Up until Obama, it was basically Urkel and the black guy from ‘Revenge of the Nerds.’” President Obama showed us that to be black and nerdy could actually be an expression of black cool, what the author Rebecca Walker who compiled a series of essays on that topic, defines as audacity, resistance and authenticity in the face of white supremacy.

Reader’s Corner: Best Graphic Novel of the Year

Every year, the good folks at Publishers Weekly ask all of us lucky writers who review comics for them to put our votes in for what we thought were the best books of the year. The results came out this week in their Annual Graphic Novel Critics Poll.

The winner was Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing is Monsters. Some of the runners-up were:

  • Everything is Flammable by Gabrielle Bell
  • The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
  • My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi

Weekend Reading: August 12, 2016


Screening Room: ‘Captain America: Civil War’


Roaring into theaters in the wake of Batman vs. Superman and before the summer movie season really gets going, the latest Marvel launching pad for yet more movies and series, Captain America: Civil War opens everywhere this week. 

My review is at PopMatters:

When Shakespeare wrote about the quality of mercy in The Merchant of Venice, chances are he wasn’t thinking about perpetually quipping guys in shiny suits slamming each other into walls…

Here’s the trailer:

Reader’s Corner: The Best Graphic Novels of 2015

'The Sculptor' by Scott McCloud
‘The Sculptor’ by Scott McCloud

Every December, Publishers Weekly surveys its reviewers — including yours truly — for an idea of what they thought were the best graphic novels of the past year. After our votes and comments were tabulated, the results were published here.

The winner was Scott McCloud’s gorgeous and adventurous The Sculptor.

Some of the runners-up were: