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This Week in WWAC History: Race and Gender Roundtables

This week I’m taking you back to the year 2013 and keeping you there with four great articles from the WWAC staffers.

First up, an interview with the creator of Black Nerd Girls, October 9, 2013,

id614119493Jamie Broadnax has been blogging since 2007, and in February of 2012 created Black Girl Nerds, a site for blerds (black nerds) to find fellowship around  many geek fandoms. BGN has a great mission statement:

“This is a website for every nerdy girl that can finally come out of the closet and tell the world that they are PROUD to be who they are—no matter what anyone says, does, or think.  This is a place where you can truly be yourself and not be judged by others.  This site welcomes girls of all races, but it was called Black Girl Nerds because it is a term that is so unique and extraordinary, that even Google can’t find a crawl for the phrase and its imprint in the world of cyberspace.  The mission is to put an end to that and know that many Black Girl Nerds exist on this planet.”

I had the incredible opportunity to speak with her about what it means to be a blerd, how BGN reaches an inclusive audience, blogging wisdom, and her vision for the future of BGN. READ MORE

Jamie takes us through the makings of codenames in What’s in a Codename, October 14, 2013,

codename-jeangreyMarvel Comics has long been my oldest and preferred superhero reading material, but over the years it’s developed some patterns I can’t help but notice and wince at just a little.

Codenames.

I’m not griping that they exist; in the universe the characters run in, having a costumed identity separate from the regular “day to day” person makes sense, adds depth to the character and her story, and is just plain wise when one’s enemies are super-powered.

Some of them have in-story reasons for giving up their codenames, or for choosing to go without. But more often than not, a character lacking or losing a codename does not occur in a manner organic to the storytelling, but a simple function of publishing and rights to the character, right down to the character’s given name being a registered trademark on the cover of a comic. READ MORE

Settle in for some “deep couch sitting” and read both parts of the Race and Gender roundtables, Race and Gender Roundtable Part 1, October 16, 2013,

Misty and ColleenThe race and gender roundtable is here!

Mixing it up were our resident writer Mai Pucik; Arturo Garcia, a writer for Racialicious; writer and comics publisher/editor Talisha Harrison; blogger and webcomic creator Jamie Kingston; and moderator Kelly Kanayama.

In part one (of two), we talked about “diversity” characters in comics, the gendering of race, and really ill-advised X-Men names.

To start things off, can you introduce yourselves – who you are, where you write and what you write about/your interests as they pertain to this roundtable?  READ MORE

Race and Gender Roundtable Part 2, October 18, 2013,

Welcome to Part Two of our race and gender roundtable, where we talk about creators and authenticity, consumer threat levels, and the future of diversity in comics.

You can catch up on Part One of the roundtable here.

This is a two-parter, so feel free to answer one part at a time or both simultaneously – whichever’s easier.

How important is the issue of authenticity? Does a comic about a black female protagonist (for example) suffer if the creators, writers and/or artists are neither black nor female?

At the same time, various non-white and non-male comics creators have written and drawn white and/or male characters – e.g. Jae Lee drawing Superman, the men in Gail Simone’s Secret Six – yet the authenticity question doesn’t come up in these instances. Is this related to the idea of the straight white male as the “default” state of being, or are there other factors at work? READ MORE

Enjoy the weekend!