Selecting interesting articles, exciting news from the world of comics and pop culture, important editorials, or unique perspective pieces; LGN presents a monthly round up of links to read.
This month we have Kelly Marie Tran, indigenous representation in Thor, Shania Twain is a queen, and video gaming’s Joyce Weisbecker.
1. Kelly Marie Tran: The Rise of Rose | Buzzfeed
“Two years ago, all of Kelly Marie Tran’s dreams came true: She got the career break of a lifetime and landed the new lead role of Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, she moved to London and got to work with some of her personal heroes (Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and actor Laura Dern, for starters), and she finally paid off her student loans. And then, once filming wrapped, she ran away.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out this month. Look for Kelly’s Rose to play a big part.
2. All The Ways That Taika Waititi Pushed for Indigenous Representation On The Thor: Ragnarok Set | The Mary Sue
“In taking the helm of Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi not only made a career leap for himself, but a huge leap for indigenous representation behind the camera. With a budget of approximately $180 million, Ragnarok is the sort of opportunity that big studios almost never hand to an indigenous director – and so Waititi used his position to include others. From Easter eggs to shadowing opportunities for indigenous filmmakers, from an opening Karakia ceremony to avoiding appropriation, Waititi worked to bring better representation and inclusion to the Ragnarok set.”
Taika, great director and great role model. My crush grows for this man.
3. In the Heart of America, K-Pop Thrives | NBC Asian America
“Joey Abonzo was working as an optician in Dallas when he was first introduced to Korean pop music, also known as K-pop, in 2012.
He had been going through what he called “pretty dark times” when a friend showed him a music video by SHINee, a five-member boy group, for the band’s “RingDingDong.” Abonzo said the upbeat music, intricate choreography, and striking visuals cheered him up. A K-pop neophyte, he started looking for a local community of fans who shared his passion.”
Anytime is a great time to listen to some K-pop.
4. ‘BoJack Horseman’ Offers One of the Best Portrayals of Adoptees on TV | Broadly
“Throughout the series, BoJack’s life plays against the one he portrayed on television as an adoptive father to three rambunctious orphans. In front of the cameras, adoption made an instant family possible. A brief snippet of the fictional show’s opening credits is revealing: “Now we’ve got a new family,” the theme song jingles, “every day is a dream.” But in BoJack’s offscreen life, adoption is a complex and evolving identity that forges relationships both familiar and uncanny.”
So funny, you’ll cry. And cry. And cry.
5. Giving Eliza Hamilton the Chill Legacy the Musical Denied Her | Broadly
” I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott (released September 26 by Kensington Books) takes readers through the same period of time as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical: from shortly before Eliza and Alexander meet, and up to Alexander’s death. But instead of seeing this time from Alexander’s point of view as we do in the musical, Eliza’s narrative is privileged, offering a rare glimpse into her mind and showing us the impact she had on her husband as a partner and helpmate.”
If you’ve been listening to “Hamilton: The Musical” soundtrack non-stop since it’s birth, consider a few minutes for Eliza Hamilton.
6. Shania Twain on Confidence, Consent, and 20 Years of ‘Come on Over’ | Buzzfeed
“As predictions go, this photo isn’t really that strong of a fortune to tell of the future because you know, and knew then, that all of these women were on track to be famous and integral to pop culture. Twain created a bridge between pop and country—genres that were, at the time, seemingly worlds apart. Country music has its legends like Dolly Parton, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, and The Dixie Chicks, to name a very brief few. All are monumentally successful performers in their realm. But Come On Over and Twain were different; she can be placed in an entirely separate, ascended spot on her own. The fact remains that now, at this very moment, looking back at that photo, Shania Twain is an icon.”
Praise Queen Shania!
7. Flesh And Blood: The Misogyny of Blade Runner 2049 | Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out…
“Blade Runner 2049 makes use of this dialectic in rendering women the conveying vessels of the humanity of replicants. But female bodies are more than just baby-machines – in Blade Runner, they are also the repositories of male desire, sexual, religious, cultural, and social. The film indulges in the fragmentation and destruction of female bodies without bothering – or apparently desiring – to restore them. Women are robots, holograms, and advertisements; the only human female, Madam, is deliberately de-sexualized, her humanity reliant on her lack of (visual) femininity that also makes her easy to eliminate. In the commodification of the female form and image, there is hope for subversion, a questioning of the patriarchal superstructure that forces women into the “hollow vessel” role. Perhaps the film is setting up a vision of a world in which that commodification becomes the source of rebellion?”
You’ve seen the movie and it’s visuals, now it’s time to understand what was seen with this eye opening essay about Blade Runner 2049.
8. ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series in the Works | THR
“Sources stress that a deal for a Lord of the Rings TV series is far from official. Talks are said to be focusing on rights issues with the Tolkien estate; the project has yet to even go out to search for a writer.”
I mean… really? Give it a rest.
9. ‘Writer on the side’ scores major U.S. publishing deal | Edmonton Journal
“When Anna Priemaza, 32, was young, someone asked her what she wanted to be.
“I told them I wanted to be a writer, not as my main career, but on the side,” she said. “My dad, especially, was very big on making sure you have a stable career. And even at the age of seven, I knew that ‘writer’ was not a stable career.”
Priemaza always wrote for fun — poetry, songs, short stories. But it wasn’t until she finished law school that she started to write in earnest.”
Local writer gets a big break with a new YA novel “Kat And Meg Conquer The World”. Check it out in a store near you.
10. Rediscovering History’s Lost First Female Video Game Designer | Fast Company
“In 1976, Joyce Weisbecker programmed games for an RCA PC and console based on technology created by her dad–a significant achievement that went undocumented until now.”
Finding the herstory in video gaming roots. It’s a long read so tuck in for some highly specific tech notes.
10.1. R E D W O R L D : Adventure in an Alien World (PC only)
“You awaken in a hut. You have no memory of who you are and how you got there.
The spirits of the dead beckon to you. They speak of dire portents, powerful sorcerers, ancient relics, and forgotten worlds.
Solve puzzles and explore a bizarre landscape in this entirely original adventure game from Copper Octopus Studios.”
A master thesis game made from scratch! Download and give it a play.
11. THOR: RAGNAROK IS A DIRECT COMMENTARY ON TRUMP’S AMERICA | SyFy
“To be fair, Captain America: The Winter Soldier came closest, given that directors Anthony and Joe Russo patterned it after classic conspiracy thrillers like Three Days of the Condor, The Manchurian Candidate, and The Parallax View. But it wasn’t, in and of itself, political — by which I mean to say, it wasn’t a film that commented directly on the current socio-political climate.”
There are huge spoilers in this article which is why its listed last but if you have seen “Thor: Ragnarok” you may read on.
12. “South Park” Blinks | Village Voice
“Last year, just days after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone told a reporter that the next season of their show wouldn’t take aim at Trump, because “satire has become reality.” After twenty years of skewering public figures from Steve Jobs to Donald Rumsfeld to Britney Spears, Parker and Stone seemed stumped. What happens when you flip off the principal, Stone mused in an interview in May, and he flips you off right back? “The comedian pushes the button,” Parker asserted. “That’s the natural order of things.””
White American manhood in a nutshell. A must read on South Park satire.
[TW: Sexual Harassment & Assault] Stay updated on comics news like this because these are the kinds of news stories that should be helping you, the fans. Support the artists and creators, believe them. Its up to you to speak up with words and actions.