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Seeing Double (Standards)

So this weekend Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters and proved to be a box office hit. For those who want my thoughts on the film, you can read about them here and here.

As was the case with Man of Steel, it seems very fashionable to snark on BvS and the DC Cinematic Universe in general. My theory is that the Marvel films are shiny new toys by comparison to the DC franchises.

This isn’t to say that DC and parent company Warner Brothers are above critique. They aren’t. Neither is Marvel and parent company Disney. I both enjoy and take both companies to task for different reasons when it comes to their comics and films.

However not all of the major complaints have been as valid and they definitely illustrate a double standard at play when it comes to Superman specifically.

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Don’t Buy Black Panther Graphic Novels During Black History Month

“I’m always fascinated when white geeks go on and on about how accepting and wonderful geek culture is. I don’t question their experience, I just can’t personally relate. For me, I have to be cautious of what venues of fandom I venture in, because it’s not unlike walking through gen pop, where you constantly have to look over your shoulder to make sure an inmate or warden doesn’t attempt to shank you. Or a better analogy would be making sure that while you’re always outnumbered, that you’re never outgunned like my patronus Midnighter.”

-Dennis R. Upkins

The following happened a few years ago but this tale definitely warrants a post just the same.

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Paladins: An Interview With Vaughn R. Demont

Recently I had the opportunity to meet and connect with author Vaughn R. Demont. A talented writer and an all-around very cool guy, I was more than stoked when he agreed to sit down for this interview where we cover everything from life as a gay geek, being an  urban fantasy author and of course diversity in speculative media.

Upkins: For the readers at home, tell us a bit about yourself.

Demont: It’s always weird to answer this question. Do I recite the same tired thing in my bio? Go humble, be brash? I’m a gay guy, pretty much, from central New York. I’m a gamer, tabletop and PC, I teach composition, and I write urban fantasy because I love the genre and the kind of heroes it enables writing about. I would mention that I run as well but Haruki Murakami does it too and wrote that book and now it seems every writer is humble-bragging about their distance AND their word count on Twitter.

Upkins: Has storytelling always been your calling?

Demont: I’m a tabletop gamer, cut my teeth on Dungeons and Dragons, but it seemed there was never enough attention to what made the characters tick. I end up coming with backstories for every character I play, and if one’s provided, I fill in the blanks. I do this even when it doesn’t make any sense, like when creating a player in the baseball or football game, my brain starts imagining what motivated him to go pro. Who does that? It makes me a lot more invested, more likely to see a game all the way through, and usually end up disappointed by the ending because it wouldn’t match the story I’d built up in my head.

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