The Monthly Read – August 6th

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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 queerbaiting, YouTube burnout, why did we leave Mr. Roger’s neighbourhood, Indigenous Comic Con, and Bao isn’t about you.

1. There’s a new type of queerbaiting in empty promises | lwl magazine
“For anyone unfamiliar with the term, ‘queerbaiting’ is defined as ‘the practice of hinting at, but then not actually depicting, a same-sex romantic relationship between characters in a work of fiction, mainly in film or television’. Recently a new type of queerbaiting has emerged, where LGBT representation is promised but not delivered within the content itself.”

Its problematic when inclusion after the fact feels empty on delivery.

2. How Should We Archive the Soundtrack to 1970s Feminism? | The Smithsonian
“During the second wave of feminism in the United States, women’s music albums and concerts invited thousands and thousands to find validation in their identity as women and as lesbians, and to experience being the majority for a night: not in a smoke-filled, testosterone-filled bar, but in a music hall with some of the finest songwriters in the land onstage.

Though some remain downright incredulous that enough time has even passed to make their work “historical,” there’s also been an audible murmur growing in this vibrant, intelligent community of steadily graying fans: We did something important. We mattered to one another. And how we did it is a tale that matters, too.”

Archive what you love.

3. Cooking and Camaraderie: How Delicious in Dungeon Encourages Accessible Fantasy | Women Write About Comics
“Delightful and delectable as the food concocted in the series itself, Delicious in Dungeon is the introduction to fantasy we need in this current world of bleak media. As the series’ fifth volume receives its English release this May, the growing collection of titles featuring accessible, fantastical worlds to welcome new readers and participants alike is significant more than ever. When it can be difficult to find answers within nonfiction, fantasy serves as a channel to reach for dreams and embrace escapism. In a genre especially so riddled historically with boys’ club exclusivity, the manga relieves the stresses of entering a whole world that should have been open all along.”

Find “Delicious in Dungeon” at your LCS.

4. YouTube’s top creators are burning out and breaking down en masse | Polygon
“Three weeks ago, Bobby Burns, a YouTuber with just under one million subscribers, sat down on a rock in Central Park to talk about a recent mental health episode. One week ago, Elle Mills, a creator with more than 1.2 million subscribers, uploaded a video that included vulnerable footage during a breakdown. Six days ago, Rubén “El Rubius” Gundersen, the third most popular YouTuber in the world with just under 30 million subscribers, turned on his camera to talk to his viewers about the fear of an impending breakdown and his decision to take a break from YouTube.”

A reminder that looks are deceiving.

5. Why Did We Ever Leave Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood? | The Cut
“When I see a photo of Mister Rogers, I always feel like I’m looking into the eyes of an old friend. Why wouldn’t I? We spent countless hours together when I was very young. When he came in the door, singing about what a beautiful day it was and replacing his sport coat with a cardigan, my day suddenly felt more promising. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was a soothing oasis in the middle of my chaotic childhood.”

Check out “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” documentary out now.

6. The tortured history of action-film heroines and their high heels. (’Jurassic World,’ anyone?) | wsp
“Women wearing unreasonable shoes in action films is historically common. But something about the sight of Claire striding in pumps captured our attention. “Was it really necessary for ‘Jurassic World’ to resurrect gender stereotypes along with the dinosaurs?” wrote Jada Yuan of Vulture. Parodies ensued, including one that digitally put pumps on the dinosaurs in the original “Jurassic Park.”

What became clear is that movie audiences are more attuned than ever to on-screen footwear, amid our culture’s greater scrutiny of gender norms in film. But a look back at the history of heroines in heels shows that the issue is more complex than it seems.”

Sensible footwear now!

7. Evangeline Lilly on How She “Challenged” Herself to Speak Up on the ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ Set | Heat Vision THR
“Even after receiving equal billing, however, the actress fought to empower her character scene-by-scene. As Lilly described it to The Hollywood Reporter in an interview, her character Hope van Dyne had the potential to “school marm-ish”; Lilly wanted to make sure she could be competent and take a joke, too. Read the full conversation below.”

Great interview for an actress who came out of retirement to be the actress she wanted to be.

8. 12 LGBTQ+ films with – gasp! – happy endings | Digital Spy
“While several of these films are sadly representative of many LGBTQ+ people’s lives, a lot of them are relentlessly grim. However, in recent years, gay stories are a lot more upbeat. Not only are there a greater number of films aimed at the gay market itself, we also have lots of well-rounded gay characters in mainstream films which also happen to have happy endings.”

Expand your view.

9. Indigenous Comic Con, representation and the power of popular culture | CBC
“When Lee Francis was growing up he never saw himself represented in comic books.

“There weren’t a lot that really represented who I was especially growing up as a Pueblo kid,” said Francis.

A few years ago he started Native Realities Publishing, a comic book publisher and opened Red Planet Books and Comics, a shop that specializes in Indigenous comics. The goal was to get Indigenous comics into the marketplace and change the perceptions of Indigenous people in popular culture, he said. Francis is also the creator of Indigenous Comic Con, a three day event focused on Indigenous popular culture held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.”

Indigenous Comic Con is November 2-4, 2018 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can visit the official site here.

10. Hey, White People: Pixar’s Dumpling Short ‘Bao’ Isn’t About You | Inverse
As is Pixar tradition, there’s an adorable (and yummy) animated short preceding The Incredibles 2: the appetizing Bao directed by Domee Shi, the first woman to direct a Pixar movie. But since the release of Bao, Shi’s film and its culturally specific take on empty nest syndrome has left audiences either emotionally in awe or flat-out confused and dismissive of a very authentic human experience.

Within a week, Bao has transformed from being a cinematic summer surprise to a Rorschach test that reveals one’s ability to grasp universal themes from a non-white, non-American point of view.”

Dear reader, please check yourself.

11. How ‘Bao’ Director Domee Shi Created Pixar’s Dumpling Baby Story | Eater
“Bao tells the story of a Chinese empty-nester mom who gets a surprise one day when one of her dumplings turns into an adorable baby boy. The story includes several amusing moments with the mom and her new sidekick, as well as some unexpectedly moving scenes that address the pain of seeing your children grow up and turn their attention outside the house. It’s quite an emotional journey for an eight-minute short about an anthropomorphized dumpling, and according to Shi — who wrote and directed Bao — the film has roots in a very real relationship, one that many audience members will surely relate to.”

Did you enjoy the Pixar Short Bao? How about trying making a bao. Spoilers if you have yet to see the short.

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