Man of Steel Musing

This isn’t a review.

I’m not going to fill this blog with spoilers, verbage on which Superman Movie was better than which, or how this actor’s portrayal was better/worse than that of the current or preceding actor’s. I’m writing this as an ode to the Superman legacy as a whole.

Before going to see ‘Man of Steel’ today, I watched Superman Returns the night before. To say I love that movie is an understatement. It holds a very special place in my heart that brightens whenever I re-watch it. When I first went to the theatre to see it, I was in a very dark place emotionally. I don’t remember the exact reason why, but I recall feeling very alone and uninspired. Creatively, I had been stagnated. Forgoing my hopes of learning how to publish my own comics, I hadn’t written anything in months, and in general I was just in self-imposed creative exile. But on a whim, I forced myself to see Superman Returns. My childhood was filled with watching the original movies with my brother; and I just knew this movie would hit my nostalgia in all the right places. It did more than that though. It sparked something inside of me that burst into flames and wouldn’t stop burning, even until this day. The movie inspired me to go after my dream of writing and publishing comics. I didn’t know what it was…the actors, the story….something just resonated with me. It wasn’t until I saw the movie again yesterday, then watching Man of Steel today that I realized what it was.

The story of Superman is not about a Supreme Boy Scout. He’s not as altruistic as people make him seem. He has doubts and frailties. He get’s angry, feels defeated….never certain if he can do enough, but he does what he is capable of doing at the time. He knows that he can’t save everyone, but he saves as many as he can. And there are times when he needs saving too. Superman has talents that very few if any have, and he uses them in the only way he knows how in order to be contributing member to society. He could use them to harm people, but it isn’t in his nature; like many of us he just wants to do what’s right and what sings true to himself. Superman’s characterization isn’t cut and dry; there are many layers to him, but in the simplest terminology, he just wants to do what he’s good at; and that’s helping people. It took me almost 7 years to realize that that was what I learned from Superman Returns and it was re-enforced by Man of Steel.

We are all here for a purpose. We have talents, worries, cares, and passions. We have a duty to ourselves and to our communities to share our talents and capabilities. And I am taking my own advice. As crazy as this industry is, and as caught up as I get with marketing, reviewing submissions, and exhibiting at events, I can never forget the reason why I am doing all of that. Writing is one of my callings, I can never ignore that. My characters scream for attention in my head all the time. Their voices ring louder than my own sometimes. They refuse to take a back seat to all my other endeavors; and I don’t blame them. I did it once before but I’m never going back that again….ever.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Writer,

 

Regine

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A Look Back: Refugee 2 Years Later

This is a blog I wrote two years ago on another site in repsonse to myself and two other female Sci-Fi writers being kicked off a certain Sci-fi website; all because we questioned the usage of a completely nude woman in one of their ads.  With all this talk of Sexism in Comics, Gaming and the Science Fiction Novel genre, I figured it was time to revisit this essay and reflect on it

Refugee: Runaway Sexism in the Modern Literary World

Around this time last week I was battling the concept of using a black woman’s body as communal plate.  Now that may seem a little dramatic, but I’m entitled given the situation.

I love to read books and comics, always have since childhood. As I grew older I began creating my own characters and stories. Through practice as well as formal classes I nurtured my writing ability and used it to win contests and college scholarships.  About four years ago I decided to start publishing my own comic books and sci-fi novels. In beginning the endeavor, never once did I think that being a woman would ever become an issue or a topic of extreme interest, maybe it was naïve of me, but I did. I just wanted to make books people wanted read; nothing more, nothing less. But as I immersed myself into the world of comics it became more and more a topic of conversation and fascination.  Although I’m used to it now, I never expected what happened last week to happen, and if anyone is curious you can read Vanee (Deep V’s) discussion “Women to be Seen and not Heard on BFSFS? My true Story”.

I joined BFSFS to commiserate with fellow black authors and artists. I wanted to be a part of an uplifting atmosphere that drew creative people together where one could get constructive criticism on their work, synergize with other creators, etc. But instead it became a place of sexism, silencing, and overall disrespect towards women. Nevertheless I must say, everyone on the site did not display those views or feelings and several of them have reached out to me as well as the other women involved in the ‘Nude Ad” debacle. And I appreciate their support more than words.

However, it still amazes me how the three of us were deleted from the site, disrespected by members, called out of our names by an administrator that claims to want to uplift the community and nurture creative works authored by Black writers and artists. I have never picked a fight or battle with anyone in this industry, but I fight for what I believe in. In this case, When I wrote my blog “Industry Faux Pas: Women in Comics Part Deux”, it was written with all the young women I meet at conventions who want to enter this industry in mind, as well as my fellow female writers, publishers, and artists that were appalled by the ad just like I was but didn’t want to say anything because they were afraid to be ostracized.

It seems to me that when one who is in agreement with a movement but is in opposition to an aspect of the overall cause, in this instance the uplifting of Black Authorship, that person is equated to being just as bad as the original oppressor. As a member of BSFS I disagreed with the usage of a nude woman in an ad advertising the site and all of a sudden I’m an enemy of the “cause” and every other name in the book.

I can live with agreeing to disagree. That’s not a problem, but to try to humiliate and derogate me and  other, (talented and steadfast) female writers for not sacrificing our integrity for the sake of the community is deplorable.  Nevertheless, I’m not going to dwell on this occurrence to the point that it affects my creative processes, and nor do I want that for anyone else. However, I do think it is important to not only acknowledge that this type of harassment and bullying exists, but to make changes to end it such as speaking out against it like Vanee and I are doing.

Ironically, this situation brought together three women who were virtual strangers to one another, who are now bonded under the same cause: Respect for all, Fool for none, with Creativity that knows no bounds.