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CheG
05-30-2014, 09:56 PM
Hello- this seemed like the place to post this. And I'm too chicken to try Tumblr...

I would like to hear stories about what being a nerd AND POC is like. Experiences at comic cons. Are friends/family supportive or not. Frustrations with the media you love be it anime or Disney or comic books. Cosplaying characters not your race and were people receptive or rude, or a mix. And anything else you'd like to tell me.

(Why I'm asking- I am thinking of writing a an upper MG contemp about a couple nerdy artist girls who meet at a con and I'm thinking of making one of them African America/black because I follow a lot of blogs like http://cosplayingwhileblack.tumblr.com/ and because it seems like there aren't many nerdy black characters and maybe it would be nice to see some.)

kuwisdelu
05-30-2014, 10:36 PM
I'm a big anime geek, but I never much go to cons or anything, because... oh wait, because of this.

I have a Japanese-American friend who feels the same way, and he's pretty much the only one I can talk to about anime intelligently (IRL anyway).

Lillith1991
05-30-2014, 11:57 PM
I'm a big anime geek, but I never much go to cons or anything, because... oh wait, because of this.

I have a Japanese-American friend who feels the same way, and he's pretty much the only one I can talk to about anime intelligently (IRL anyway).

I'm a geek as well, and I've not been to a lot of cons because of this. Also, I object to the sexy Sesshomaru costume on that tumblr. Sesshomaru is awesome enough without being sexed up. One of his swords brings people back to life!

CheG
05-31-2014, 01:44 AM
Can you guys explain more your reasons for not going to the cons? (I couldn't tell which "this" you both are talking about)

I admit I had to look up Sesshomaru then find the costume! LOL! I don't recognize 98% of the cosplays anymore! I'm so out of the loop on anime. I used to watch a lot more and go to cons, but the fandom is young and irritating when you reach a certain age LOL! My other older nerd friends are the same way! Too much squeeing and screaming fangirls LOL! Last anime con I went to was Yaoicon in Longbeach. I prefer scifi/fantasy cons with a heavy slant toward aspiring authors like myself.

kuwisdelu
05-31-2014, 02:07 AM
Can you guys explain more your reasons for not going to the cons? (I couldn't tell which "this" you both are talking about)

The same reason I don't associate with most other anime fans IRL. I always got the feeling other Western fans were into it at least partly because it was "exotic" and different. Japanese culture was "other". On the other hand, I was drawn to it because it felt familiar to me. I'm not Japanese myself, but I felt cultural parallels that I could relate to, and I felt the way I viewed anime wasn't really shared by other Western fans (at least, not most of the ones that I've met). I went to my college's anime club a few times, but I couldn't really relate to them. It took joining my college's kendo club to find another person (who happened to be Japanese) who shared my perspective, with whom I could discuss anime the way I wanted to. For me, it was just a clash of cultural perspectives.

Lillith1991
05-31-2014, 02:24 AM
Can you guys explain more your reasons for not going to the cons? (I couldn't tell which "this" you both are talking about)

For me it's the "that's sooo cool" thing that I find off-putting about cons. Well, anime cons. I'm possibly going to a Star Trek con in a couple weeks. Anyway...back to anime cons, and why I really don't got.

For me I've always liked mythology and prefered anime that dealt with a basis in mythology. It wasn't that's so cool for me. It was, that comes from this part of the traditional legends. That outfit is a modified version of something from this periode.

I also enjoyed and still enjoy more tech based things and things that involve aliens. But find they can also have origins in mythology. Basicly, I'm a how and why geek. The ones at cons are more showy, "this is so cool" geeks. That's what I've found to be the case for me. If the show uses a part of a specific myth I want to talk about that myth as it relates to the show, not about how cool the show is. I can't do that at cons.

kuwisdelu
05-31-2014, 02:35 AM
I doesn't help that I have basically no interest in superheroes.

kuwisdelu
05-31-2014, 02:41 AM
Incidentally, although I've always thought of myself as a lover of science fiction and fantasy, I haven't really read much of the genre since middle school. This year I've vowed to read only speculative fiction written by PoC authors.

"...going to foreign countries and colonizing the natives... For many of us, that is not a thrilling adventure story; it's non-fiction, and we are on the wrong side of the strange-looking ship that appears out of nowhere. To be a person of colour writing SF is to be under suspicion of having internalized one's colonization."

—Nalo Hopkinson, Introduction to So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial SF and Fantasy

CheG
05-31-2014, 03:00 AM
I always enjoyed anime because the animation is better than American animation, and because of the range of story lines. There were dramas, comedies, sci-fi, tragedy, dark themes, and OMG stories for girls, etc. All the things you don't see in the US which relegates animation as being for children or sitcoms like Simpsons and Family Guy.

I have seen fans who are into anime for the exoticism. But I'm not sure if it's changed more in recent years. When I was in an anime club in college (it was totally independent) we were all there for the art, beauty, and superior storytelling. Not just because OMG! Japan! But anime does make Japan look cool :)

Lillith1991
05-31-2014, 03:06 AM
Incidentally, although I've always thought of myself as a lover of science fiction and fantasy, I haven't really read much of the genre since middle school. This year I've vowed to read only speculative fiction written by PoC authors.

"...going to foreign countries and colonizing the natives... For many of us, that is not a thrilling adventure story; it's non-fiction, and we are on the wrong side of the strange-looking ship that appears out of nowhere. To be a person of colour writing SF is to be under suspicion of having internalized one's colonization."

—Nalo Hopkinson, Introduction to So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial SF and Fantasy
Oh, that sounds interesting!

I doesn't help that I have basically no interest in superheroes.

See, I like mythology based superheros. But the rabid that's so cool fans scare me away from cons. And rabid is the word for them, also, the complete lack of distinction between anime and other forms of animation by "fans."

kuwisdelu
05-31-2014, 03:11 AM
I have seen fans who are into anime for the exoticism. But I'm not sure if it's changed more in recent years. When I was in an anime club in college (it was totally independent) we were all there for the art, beauty, and superior storytelling. Not just because OMG! Japan! But anime does make Japan look cool :)

"Exoticism" isn't always the right word, but most fans I've interacted with IRL tend to view characters and narratives through the lens of Western storytelling. With the exception of the most mainstream shounen shows, this is evident simply in what genres and shows become most popular and how they're received differently in the West versus in Japan. For example, Gainax and Trigger are very Western-influenced studios, and Western fans love them.

The reception of the series from which my avatar originates is probably one of the most dramatic examples of a series that is received radically differently by most Japanese and Western fans of anime.

Little Ming
05-31-2014, 04:54 AM
I'm a big anime fan too, and many years ago I tried to interact with other anime fans IRL. It didn't work out. Unfortunately the stereotypical super-fans kept trying to out-geek each other. I just want to have a calm conversation, including criticisms for some shows, how they could be better, tropes I was tired of seeing, etc. Yeah, that didn't work out, either. I'm sure there were some quieter fans like me in the mix, but I found the overall experience very off-putting.

I've never been to a con before, and doubt I ever will. :(

nighttimer
05-31-2014, 11:35 AM
I doesn't help that I have basically no interest in superheroes.

Shit. I knew there had to be something about you I didn't like. :(

Then again, I have basically no interest in superheroes anymore. Once you get old enough to have purchased nearly all those classic Marvel and DC comics that have become a license for Hollywood to print money, it's not only hard to get interested by the latest swill from the Big Two, it's impossible.

kuwisdelu
05-31-2014, 08:07 PM
Shit. I knew there had to be something about you I didn't like. :(

Then again, I have basically no interest in superheroes anymore. Once you get old enough to have purchased nearly all those classic Marvel and DC comics that have become a license for Hollywood to print money, it's not only hard to get interested by the latest swill from the Big Two, it's impossible.

I do like magical girls.

And I might check this (http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2014/05/arigon-starrs-super-indian.html) out.

Sam Argent
06-01-2014, 05:43 PM
Being a black nerd did suck as a kid. I always got an earful about what I wasn't supposed to be doing from other kids(It would have been nice not to get this from PoC too). I got called white a lot, but that lessened once I learned the proper use of my middle finger. Around high school people just got used to me being the way I am and stopped saying crap.

My friends are all nerds and even though a lot of them moved away from anime over the years, we've all accepted that each of us has our own tastes. My parents never minded my interest in anime because it's their fault for being stationed in Japan when I was born. Mostly, my dad's because he played anime on tv since it kept me a quiet baby.

In larger settings like cons, I do feel self-conscious because being a minority in that group becomes obvious but that only lasts until the crowds pick up. Then it's too much chaos, too many people squashing me to give a crap about sticking out, and hoping against hope that I make it to the Farscape panel before they lock the doors due to over capacity(:cry:I didn't make it). I haven't worn a costume to a con yet, but I'll probably put more thought into because there aren't a lot of black(or dark-skinned in general) characters to cosplay and I don't want to be Yoruichi #6 or Anthy #5.

The only time my skin color factored into my head in the heat of a full con was when I was crossing the street to another hotel. I spotted probably the best Ruby Rhod I had ever seen. The wig was perfect and so was his cane. Heck, he even had Chris Tucker's skinny but slightly muscular build. This was probably only the second time I've seen someone black cosplay as him, usually it's someone white. I don't know why but I'll see more PoC get ragged on for wearing an outfit like that than anyone else. So anyways, I don't think it was just me who knew the odds of seeing that perfect Ruby again were low because a Leeloo from two blocks over, sprinted across heavy traffic to get her picture with him.

FoamyRules
06-01-2014, 06:59 PM
I too am considered a bit of a nerd because I was the only girl who loved, loved, loved anime and video games. All the girls thought I was weird and didn't like me much, but the guys thought I was sexy and cool and was popular with them.

I never went to any cons because they weren't my thing.


PS. Sesshomaru is still sexy to me.

shestval
07-30-2014, 11:55 AM
Disclaimer: I'm not a POC. But I have been to cons. I sell custom dolls in Artist Alleys with my husband. We tend to stick pretty much to ourselves, though.

Just from observation, how POC are treated at cons is largely a factor of the con's size, type, and location. We saw a very diverse group at Otakon, which is a large con in Baltimore. I saw a much whiter crowd at small cons in Indianapolis and St. Louis. Archon, a smallish SFF con in St. Louis, recently had a huge blow-up on their facebook page, regarding whether or not to remove a guest of honor who printed very racist jokes in his fanzine. Some of the jokes shocked me, and I was very disheartened at the way people defended the guest of honor. Here's a summary (http://file770.com/?p=17147).

Sooooo I guess I'm saying, in regards to your manuscript, I'd love to see one of your nerd girls be black! Her experience may vary, depending on where you set it and the sorts of cons she goes to. Not sure if it's helpful, but that's been my experience.

ETA: Woo, sorry, this is older than I realized. This forum moves slow. Hope the info is still useful!

M.N Thorne
07-30-2014, 03:16 PM
I do not think I am a nerd. I am more of strange woman than a nerd or geek. Anyways, I am a big fan of Amine, Comic Books, horror films, gothic music and Japanese horror films. I was always a little strange.However, I would become friends with the Minority punks and goths. As a teenager, other people of color thought I was into witchcraft and sex magick. I was smart yet I did not fit into the nerd or geek box. However, people never said I was trying to be white. I would go to horror cons in California. No one was shocked at all.

CheG
08-01-2014, 06:00 AM
This thread isn't as old as you think ;) I keep checking back for more answers!

I'm still hoping for more details about nerdom as experiences by PoC! So keep them coming!

C.bronco
08-01-2014, 06:04 AM
I have no idea what POC is. .,(dot dot dot) Point of Contact? I'm part nerd, however, or all nerd depending on who you ask.

Thuro
08-01-2014, 06:23 AM
Oh, that sounds interesting!


See, I like mythology based superheros. But the rabid that's so cool fans scare me away from cons. And rabid is the word for them, also, the complete lack of distinction between anime and other forms of animation by "fans."

I know quite a few fans who go to cons (I haven't been myself) and I wouldn't describe them as rabid. Maybe we're talking to different people *thoughtful face*.

I don't have a lot of family but they are supportive I guess. They want to go to a con too. But I am so far from the target group I'm probably not good for answering your questions.

Lillith1991
08-01-2014, 07:24 AM
I have no idea what POC is. .,(dot dot dot) Point of Contact? I'm part nerd, however, or all nerd depending on who you ask.

Person of color. Basically anyone nonwhite.

Shall
08-03-2014, 02:29 AM
I had a ticket for Comic Con this year. For personal reasons, I couldn't go. I'm still bummed about it. My family is supportive. My brother wanted to go with me.

I've never been into cosplay though.

BTW, I'm an African American female.

CheG
08-09-2014, 06:53 AM
I had a ticket for Comic Con this year. For personal reasons, I couldn't go. I'm still bummed about it. My family is supportive. My brother wanted to go with me.

I've never been into cosplay though.

BTW, I'm an African American female.

I would be bummed if I had a ticket to Comic Con and couldn't go too!

C.bronco
08-09-2014, 07:03 AM
Person of color. Basically anyone nonwhite.
Oh! Sorry! I'm beige. My parents always supported me, even when I wanted to join the SCA and relive the middle ages while in high school. There are people of all colors, shapes, ages and sizes at our Pokemon league. It is awesome for my son, and if we had one in my youth, I would have been there all the time. I never saw any rifts among the like minded. Heck, we have to stick together.

Kitty27
08-10-2014, 04:12 AM
I am not a nerd,but a Goth. Let me tell y'all that a Black nerd is way more acceptable than a Black Goth,lol. I heard it all from devil worshiper to speculations about the state of my sanity and holy soul. Growing up,I loved dark music and horror of any kind. I am with M.N.Thorne. I'm just an odd soul.

I've never been to a con,but I've heard tales of foolishness happening at them from friends. I'd love to go to Londoncon and Whitby Goth festival one day. I literally live a stone's throw from DragonCon,but never go. I prefer cons that focus more on horror and the like than cosplay. I do intend on going to OnyxCon this year,though.

maxmordon
08-12-2014, 11:01 PM
I write science fiction and you would not believe how many times I have gotten "You shouldn't write this. It's not our culture". Because if is not García Márquez or Bolaño is not Latino.

Never mind Borges wrote an Alien invasion film.

M.N Thorne
08-13-2014, 06:41 AM
Max, there are tons of Latino science fiction writers and comic book creators. Have you ever read "La Raza Cósmica (1925)" by great José Vasconcelos? I believe that novel is one of Latin America's greatest Science Fiction stories of all time. However, many people believe it was created to justified colonialism in Latin America. In addition, Mexican Chemist and Poet Jorge Cuesta wrote a beautiful fantasy/science fiction"Canto a un dios mineral(1936)" I am sorry but I always believe that Borges' science fiction was overrated. However, I did like his short horror story collection "The Book of Fantasy." In fact, some of the greatest vampire literature was written in Spanish came from Latin America.



I write science fiction and you would not believe how many times I have gotten "You shouldn't write this. It's not our culture". Because if is not García Márquez or Bolaño is not Latino.

Never mind Borges wrote an Alien invasion film.

maxmordon
08-14-2014, 09:24 PM
I have always considered Borges been closer to the style Chesterton and Saki with his cosmopolitan magic realism. I have heard about "La Raza Cósmica", but I haven't read it but I wanted to point out that the time machine story was actually written by the Spanish ambassador in China and published two years before H. G. Wells' own. More about it here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrique_Gaspar_y_Rimbau).

The thing about being a writer in Latin America is that you have a lot pressure from all sides. At least in Venezuela, people tend to read translated authors over Spanish ones and there's a feeling that you have to write for the people, or at least give something back in regard of arts and culture.

A writer is not a mere writer, it's a public intellectual as Mark Twain or Gore Vidal were who also have duties of being a journalist or columnist or professor or at least offering workshops. And as such, is seen as having a responsability with the people, reflecting our culture and preserving a "here and now" and you can see it in some of our greatest writers such as Mario Vargas Llosa or Paco Ignacio Taibo II.

This has led, I feel, to two great schools of thought: The grandiose, the more literary type obsessed with great mature topics in our society and the irreverent, who touches more existential elements while dealing with vice and issues with a more urban air.

M.N Thorne
08-15-2014, 12:28 PM
Wow, Max, you have taught me something new about Latin American writers. I thought the days of being public intellectual was over:D I have heard of Enrique Gaspar actually.



I have always considered Borges been closer to the style Chesterton and Saki with his cosmopolitan magic realism. I have heard about "La Raza Cósmica", but I haven't read it but I wanted to point out that the time machine story was actually written by the Spanish ambassador in China and published two years before H. G. Wells' own. More about it here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrique_Gaspar_y_Rimbau).

The thing about being a writer in Latin America is that you have a lot pressure from all sides. At least in Venezuela, people tend to read translated authors over Spanish ones and there's a feeling that you have to write for the people, or at least give something back in regard of arts and culture.

A writer is not a mere writer, it's a public intellectual as Mark Twain or Gore Vidal were who also have duties of being a journalist or columnist or professor or at least offering workshops. And as such, is seen as having a responsability with the people, reflecting our culture and preserving a "here and now" and you can see it in some of our greatest writers such as Mario Vargas Llosa or Paco Ignacio Taibo II.

This has led, I feel, to two great schools of thought: The grandiose, the more literary type obsessed with great mature topics in our society and the irreverent, who touches more existential elements while dealing with vice and issues with a more urban air.

maxmordon
08-16-2014, 12:29 PM
Wow, Max, you have taught me something new about Latin American writers. I thought the days of being public intellectual was over:D .

I guess it's because, historically, publishing books was far more uncommon here than in Western Europe and the US, so you had a pretty tight intellectual elite who also had also to write in the far-more available and accesible newspapers to make themselves a name. This, too, is why so many Latin American writers traditionally have focused on short stories and poetry. I remember reading an essay about it but can't remember if it was by Herrera Luque (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Herrera_Luque), Uslar Pietri (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arturo_Uslar_Pietri) or Manuel Caballero (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Caballero).

For a while, I have tried to write science fiction dealing about social clashes, but it worries me to become too political and because of it not making it enjoyable to the reader.

M.N Thorne
08-17-2014, 02:36 AM
Hang in there, Max :) We need more Latin American horror, fantasy, and science fiction writers. I understand that many people might want you to focus on more political tones. However, I believe that Latin America still needs genre writers.



I guess it's because, historically, publishing books was far more uncommon here than in Western Europe and the US, so you had a pretty tight intellectual elite who also had also to write in the far-more available and accesible newspapers to make themselves a name. This, too, is why so many Latin American writers traditionally have focused on short stories and poetry. I remember reading an essay about it but can't remember if it was by Herrera Luque (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Herrera_Luque), Uslar Pietri (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arturo_Uslar_Pietri) or Manuel Caballero (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Caballero).

For a while, I have tried to write science fiction dealing about social clashes, but it worries me to become too political and because of it not making it enjoyable to the reader.

CheG
08-26-2014, 06:19 AM
I've sort of started to work on developing my book. I just call it Fujoshi for now... I've never written something without a speculative element though and I'm all adrift.

And fujoshi isn't really the right term, I just think it's funny.

Littlebit66
10-03-2014, 05:45 AM
Max, there are tons of Latino science fiction writers and comic book creators. Have you ever read "La Raza Cósmica (1925)" by great José Vasconcelos? I believe that novel is one of Latin America's greatest Science Fiction stories of all time. However, many people believe it was created to justified colonialism in Latin America. In addition, Mexican Chemist and Poet Jorge Cuesta wrote a beautiful fantasy/science fiction"Canto a un dios mineral(1936)" I am sorry but I always believe that Borges' science fiction was overrated. However, I did like his short horror story collection "The Book of Fantasy." In fact, some of the greatest vampire literature was written in Spanish came from Latin America.

This is a wonderful thread topic, I started working on a new story where the MC is a young Latino college student who feels he doesn't quite fit in with his large extended family because he's a sort of a nerd and loves sci-fi. Your notes about Latin American writers and books could be a nice detail where he offers suggestions for sci-fi books with a pretty girl he meets at his college book store; luckily for him she also shares some of the same interests.

These forums are a lot of fun as well as informative.

Littlebit66
10-03-2014, 05:49 AM
I write science fiction and you would not believe how many times I have gotten "You shouldn't write this. It's not our culture". Because if is not García Márquez or Bolaño is not Latino.

Never mind Borges wrote an Alien invasion film.

And maybe that attitude is part of the reason Latinos apparently don't exist in the future per sci-fi films or books with the exception of a few shows like Star Trek or Babylon 5. Please disregard all those naysayers, we need more diversity in all genres.

M.N Thorne
10-11-2014, 10:59 AM
You are welcome, Littlebit66 :) Latin American genre writers needs more exposure to the masses.



This is a wonderful thread topic, I started working on a new story where the MC is a young Latino college student who feels he doesn't quite fit in with his large extended family because he's a sort of a nerd and loves sci-fi. Your notes about Latin American writers and books could be a nice detail where he offers suggestions for sci-fi books with a pretty girl he meets at his college book store; luckily for him she also shares some of the same interests.

These forums are a lot of fun as well as informative.

KarmaPolice
10-12-2014, 12:27 PM
I've personally noticed the absence of Latinos in sci-fi. I thought that by say the 22nd Century a few more Spanish words would have got into 'mainstream' English language (we're not fussy, happily stealing any new word that fills a hole - I don't understand why mañana isn't there yet!) Also, the demographics alone say that the US is becoming increasingly Latino - bring on a President Garcia, Rodriguez or Perez for that novel set in the 2040's!

Iced_Chai
11-24-2014, 02:21 AM
Hey! I’m an animation nerd, and I thought I’d pipe up. I primarily research about social censorship in family-targeted American animation. Children of color grow up with a limited representation of themselves in the media they consume.

In 2015 DreamWorks will be releasing Home – the first CG theatrically released film with a black primary protagonist.
Disney’s Big Hero 6 (2014) is Disney’s first CG film with a character of color as the primary protagonist – and it has been 11 years since they featured another male character of color as their primary protagonist (Brother Bear 2003).

Of the 39 Disney films with a primary human protagonist, 10 of them have a character of color as the lead. 3/10 of those characters spend the majority of their movie as an animal (by comparison only 3/29 white characters are inhuman for large portions of their movies).

http://woodsanimation.blogspot.com/2014/01/disney-race-and-gender-data.html

White nerd culture can sometimes be very dismissive of representation issues, and it is not uncommon to see films like Avatar, in which all of the characters of color are hidden under “digital makeup” alien and otherworldly.

Iced_Chai
11-24-2014, 05:58 AM
Also, if you don't already read Black Girl Nerds, I highly recommend it. Here is a great article that looks at the different ways female/POC/QUILTBAG fans interact with fandom in comparison to white male nerds:

http://blackgirlnerds.com/gender-roles-fandom-fake-geek-girl-dilemma/

And here is a personal account from a black cosplayer whose pictures went viral, and the racism that she faced:

http://www.xojane.com/issues/mad-back-cosplayer-chaka-cumberbatch

C.bronco
11-24-2014, 06:17 AM
Nerd-dom does not have racial boundaries. All who are privy to such awesomeness have only to accept the marker and own it.

TessB
11-24-2014, 06:48 AM
(If only that were true!)

I'm not POC myself so I can't speak for them, but I'd strongly suggest getting in touch with Jay Justice -- she's @thatjayjustice on Twitter, and has a tumblr. She's been cosplaying-while-Black for years, currently works for Marvel Now tours, and is one of the strongest voices for POC women in geekdom that I currently know of. (Also, her cosplays are flat-out amazing.)

She'd be the one to ask about her experiences, since she's been to cons worldwide. She's also given interviews before: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2425583,00.asp