Gods of The Arena

Recently my beautiful and brilliant internet wife RVCBard did a wonderful piece on how the neverending hetero fest in the media can be disheartening and mentally taxing to LGBTQs. It’s rare to even have us acknowledged that we even exist, much less portrayed with any modicum of respect.

This is one of the many reasons that I’ve taken it upon myself to pass a personal edict that with the exception an elite few works, I only consume media that has POCs and LGBTQs as the central and lead characters. If it doesn’t, I’m not interested.

But this also got me thinking about my favorite gay pairings. Surprisingly enough, one of my all-time favorite gay pairings came from the unlikeliest of series: Barca and Auctus  from Spartacus- Gods of the Arena.

Don’t get it twisted. Spartacus is a mixed bag. While it has more than its share of fail, it’s also occasionally some things right and has shown glimpses of brilliance.

With Gods of the Arena being a prequel to Blood and Sand, I knew Barca and Auctus’s fates were sealed by your Bury The Gay trope. Nevertheless they were a groundbreaking gay pairing to watch.

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Contemplating Griffin

Cross-posted for feedback:

Ladies, I have questions. May I have a moment of your time please?

So for Clarion Write-a-thon, I’ve been knocking out a lot of writing projects. I just finished a book which I’m currently editing. I’m working on an outline for a publisher. I’m about to work on my next project which I’ve developed.

An action-packed SF/F story, it’s a predominantly female merc crew with a queer black heroine as the central protagonist. In fact, I envision said heroine resembling the lovely and talented Ms. India Arie in the above pic. This is a diverse team that features other women of color, a protagonist of size, as well as a trans heroine. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that even with most women-centric stories, women of color, particularly black women, are often thrown under the bus and that’s definitely something that never sat well with me. The story is loosely based on an old comic book script I previously wrote. Think a female Expendables meets Birds of Prey in a dystopian setting.

So my question to the women is this. In an action packed book where the ladies take center stage, what would you like to see more of from writers and what would you like writers to avoid? I basically want to hear your thoughts so I can know what to bear in mind while writing the story.

Your comments can also serve as a great resource for other male writers who genuinely want to do it right. While many of us know to avoid the major tropes and fails, there may be a few elements that we haven’t considered.

Women of color and queer women, I especially want to hear from you. Thank you for your time.

Game of Thrones: A Review

“Winter Is Coming.”

So last week I finished watching the first two seasons of Game of Thrones based on the popular George R.R. Martin novels. I was then informed by several friends that I was obligated to write a review.

Be careful what you wish for.

I’ve had other friends hype this show up like it was the second coming and more often than not, HBO consistently produces quality television.

This show right here? *SMDH*

I’m debating whether or not I’ll even watch season 3 but as a buddy and I agreed, there is a certain shiny train wreck factor to the show that simply cannot be denied.

Before I begin the review, let me put up the disclaimer. I have not read the books and at this point I have no intention of doing so. As a number of my friends have pointed out, quite emphatically I might add, there are certain plot elements that are handled far better in the book than it is in the tv series. Having not read the books, I will not argue that point.

So I am only reviewing the television series only in this review.

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Setting my eyes on: Assassin’s Creed liberation

Since the time when game creators in put a create “Your Own Character”, I’ve always created a female character. At times it was difficult to find a game that didn’t pander to making the female lead an eye candy.  I liked playing a female character and watching her fight. One point when I was playing Saints Row the Third, I puposely made the character look like a female James Bond (Black suit, with black slacks and black shoes). It made the game that much good. I know what you may wonder, what’s this have to do with Asssassin’s Creed the Science Fiction version of the Da Vinci Code? Well I tell you

From the game Wiki:

“The game is set between 1765 and 1780, and primarily features Aveline de Grandpré, a female French-African Assassin around the end of the French and Indian War.

Yes, a game with a female POC as the main character. Now I do find it funny how some movies (Le Comte De Monte Chirsto, Three Musketeers) never touched upon a Afro-French characters in that era.   Now from what I read about our character Aveline, she is the daughter of a wealthy bussinessman and African Mother. She joined the Creed after her mom disappearance. i got to say that this has my attention, I’ll be watching this for awhile. One of my concerns is that the backlash of gamers due to the fact that she is black. Then again it might be another Sheva problem from Resident Evil. “Like I hate her in the game, but lets make hentai pics of her.”-Random Fan

All that matters to me is finally a decent character.

That Internet Wife Of Mine

So recently your truly achieved a milestone here at Ars Marginal in hitting my 100th post. It’s pretty cool to think about because Ars Marginal has truly grown and evolved. So to honor the epic accomplishment I decided to do a one-on-one interview with our fearless leader, my internet wife, RVCBard, who coincidentally is celebrating her 25th birthday (again) this weekend. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOO!!!!

As the interview will soon prove, there’s a reason why the two of us aren’t allowed to get together without adult supervision and a SWAT Team in place.

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What’s going on when we interpret a character played by a POC actor as White?

I know it’s been a while, Ars Marginal. But Neo and Triple J and Javan have been holding it down quite nicely while I’ve been away.

Now that I’m back, I want to open up a few cans of worms by getting us to dig deeper into something I’ve been noticing about Regina Mills (aka the Evil Queen), my future wife favorite character on ABC’s Once Upon A Time. I’ve been asking this on Facebook, Tumblr, and LiveJournal, so it’s time to bring this discussion to Ars Marginal too. It’s been fucking with me for a while, and it’s time to get it out in the open.

You wanna know what’s been gnawing at me, dear reader? It’s something I’m seeing quite a bit when people talk about race and diversity and my show. What happens is that somebody will always bring up the lack of racial diversity on the show by saying that there are no main characters of color. Or, if they acknowledge that Lana Parrilla is Latina, they still say Regina is White because there’s no evidence that she’s Latina and/or a woman of color. Even other people of color do this!

But anybody who’s heard me gush about Lana Parrilla (aka the most beautifullest, wonderfullest, amazingest person ever aka My Other Boo) knows that she’s a proud Latina*. Look at dis gawjus BAMF!

She ain’t Cameron Diaz or Christina Aguilera, OK?

(*Yeah, yeah, I know her mom’s Sicilian and all, so she’s technically biracial. But she’s biracial in the same way Barack Obama is. In other words, if she ever got caught with a bag of weed at the airport, they will not say, “Half Sicilian actress Lana Parrilla was arrested for possession of marijuana.” They’ll say, “Latina actress Lana Parrilla was arrested for possession of marijuana.”)

Now, I can get into all the reasons why saying one (Lana Parrilla doesn’t count as a person of color) or the other (even if she is a POC, her character is still White) is fucked up, but I ain’t doing that right now. What I wanna know is: what the hell is going on when we say shit like this? What kind of fucked up mindjob got done on us that we can look at a woman of color, know she’s a woman of color, but still say, “This character is White”?

What the hell is going on with that shit? What does it say about us and our world when we do that? How can we change shit up to stop erasing POCs even when we’re looking straight at POCs?

I wanna hear from y’all.


Alan Scott

It appears Alan Scott has been confirmed as the outed gay superhero in question. 

So let’s review:

Rather than making Hal Jordan or any other relevant iconic superhero gay, DC opts for an obscure 1940s, alternate earth, second tier character who they can sweep under the rug whenever it’s convenient (hell we’ve seen that happen to fan faves Renee Montoya, Cassandra Cain, most of Milestone). And we won’t even mention that said character already had a gay son who they retconned out of the New 52 revamp.

More than that they chose a character who got his powers from a mystical flame. Because all gay guyz are flaming amirite? And a character who’s weakness is wood. And then they hype up the publicity expecting to get praised for this garbage.

You CANNOT tell me the brass at DC wasn’t laughing their asses off as they came up with this bullshit of a homophobic punchline.

Like I said, NOT BUYING THE HYPE!!!!!!