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“If You’re Not Sure, Ask”: Great Advice On Writing Characters Of Color

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In late August, writer Gene Luen Yang posed a challenge to his peers in the world of comics: Write characters who are different from you, racially and culturally, even if it's scary. That can be tough to do without being insulting, or tone-deaf, or resorting to stereotypes. What can really help for writers is input from people of the races and cultures that they hope to depict; people who can gauge whether a work has the right level of sensitivity and understanding.

Luckily, a whole bunch of cartoonists have come together to offer up advice in a post on Midnight Breakfast titled "Writing People of Color (if you happen to be a person of another color)." It's chock full of insight.

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Illinois School Board Sensibly Votes Not To Remove Acclaimed, Award-Winning Memoir ‘Persepolis’ From Reading List

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Just as this year's comics-centric Banned Books Week was coming to a close, an Illinois school board has unanimously voted to keep Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Persepolis on the reading list of a local high school.

According to the State Journal-Register, a Glenwood High School parent complained to Principal Jim Lee (yes, that's his name) about the book, questioning why a teacher would ask students to read a book about Muslims on September 11. The parent also complained about a scene that shows a dismembered body and a man being tortured. Thankfully Lee just plain wasn't having it.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): She-Ra, Ferris Bueller, Neuromancer, Tangled And More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Amy Reeder Designs Anti-Harassment Posters For New York Comic-Con

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Amy Reeder, artist of Rocket Girl from Image, announced on her blog this week that she'd been asked by the organizers of New York Comic-Con to design some posters letting people know that harassment simply won't be tolerated.

The result is some really neatly designed imagery that will hopefully grab people's attention and help them understand that cosplayers should always be treated with respect and consideration.

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Wifey Material: DC’s Sexist Superhero Shirts And How Licensing Works -UPDATED With Comment From DC

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DC Comics has been the butt of a lot of jokes and criticism about sexist depictions of female characters and the company's lack of female creators. But recently DC has been making strides towards employing more women in creative roles and publishing more progressive, women-centric books like Gotham Academy, the new Batgirl and the Wonder Woman anthology Sensation Comics that seem to have a lot to offer women readers. It’s disappointing, then, to see a rash of new licensed DC apparel aimed at women with sexist slogans like “Training to be Batman’s wife.” This kind of clothing does not send women the message that they are welcome within the DC Universe as anything but prizes to be won.

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Filed Under: , , , Category: Culture, DC, Fashion, News, Opinion

Best Cosplay Ever (This Week): Wasp, Wonder Woman, Huntress, Sailor Jupiter And More

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Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions. In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.

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Filed Under: Category: Cosplay, Culture

The Comics Alliance Collection: Cool Stuff We (And You!) Got This Week

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The ComicsAlliance staff is a diverse lineup writers, editors, artists, photographers and designers, but before we’re any of those things we’re simply fans. Appreciators. Collectors. Almost every day we share with each other via Instagram all the great books, toys, artwork, apparel, and other beautiful and/or inescapably cool objects we collect almost ceaselessly in comics stores, at conventions, and from all kinds of sources all over North America (and sometimes beyond). Displaying (i.e. showing off) some rad swag typically inspires everyone to one-up their pop-archeologist game in the never ending quest to find awesome stuff, and simply posting the week’s new comics usually causes someone to discover a new title or artist, which in turn inspires a whole new line of excavation.

In the past we’ve published photos of our “con hauls” here on CA and the resulting discussion with readers — i.e. collector kudos — has always been fun, so with the ComicsAlliance Collection we’re going to do it every week. But more importantly, we want to see your collection too. Show us new additions to your collections by using the hashtag #CAcollection on Instagram and we’ll embed the best stuff alongside our own recent acquisitions. And please do follow us @ComicsAlliance.

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Marvel And Jack Kirby’s Heirs Settle Copyright Dispute

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“Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history."

Well, those are words no one expected to read on Friday morning -- or maybe ever -- but they were indeed issued in a joint statement. The heirs of Jack Kirby, the late cartoonist responsible for many of Marvel's most enduringly popular and profitable characters, including the Hulk, Captain America, the X-Men, Thor and many more, have come to terms with the Disney-owned company from whom the family sought to claim copyright.

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Filed Under: , Category: Culture, Marvel, News

Best Abs Ever (This Week): An Appreciation Of Male Comic Book Eye Candy

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In the process of writing my article about muscles vs curves, and how the big dudes of superhero comics typically fail to represent the tastes of most androphile women, I gathered a collection of images and recommended artists from my correspondents that illustrate the sort of art they'd love to see more of -- but which there's sadly very little of compared to all the T&A fan-service targeted at straight men.

I had far too many recommendations to put in the article, so I've compiled the collection (and a few personal favorites) into a very special one-off post. The collection includes pin-ups, fan art, sketches, and some traditional superhero art from artists who aren't afraid to put a little male eye candy in their work!

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Why Big Superhero Muscles Aren’t ‘The Same Thing’ As Sexy Curves

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As a man who reads superhero comics, I confess that I share a commonly-held prurient interest in big-chested, long-legged heroes in skin-baring costumes that barely cover their naughty bits -- or as I like to call him, Namor.

Sadly, Namor is pretty much alone in his category. Contrary to the perception that male heroes in comics are frequently sexually objectified, it's my experience that even Namor is only rarely presented as someone to lust over. Yet I'm fortunate that my tastes run towards the Hemsworth end of the scale. Like many straight men, I admire the kind of buff dudes that are the staple of superhero comics, even though they are rarely sexualized. If I shared the tastes of most of the women I know, I think I'd find superhero comics an even more frustratingly sexless wasteland.

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