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Fandom Report for Sep 28 2017: Punch Nazis, Not Dinosaurs

Unless they’re Nazi dinosaurs or dinosaur Nazis–then punch them.

Check back later today for a review of Star Trek Discovery–and it’s failure to do for this time period what previous iterations did for those eras.

And check in tomorrow for a review of DuckTales–specifically, what they’re doing with Gyro and GizmoDuck.

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Right: Lin-Manuel Miranda in the title role of his musical Hamilton, April 20, 2016. Credit: Steve Jurvetson. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

CFP: “Whitewashing and Racebending: Diversity in Literature and Popular Culture” (Northeast MLA, April 2018, Pittsburgh), Submission Deadline 9/30/17

Right: Lin-Manuel Miranda in the title role of his musical Hamilton, April 20, 2016. Credit: Steve Jurvetson. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Rafael Ponce-Cordero and I have collaborated on numerous sessions at the Northeast Modern Language Association, focusing on representations of gender, race, and other markers of identity in comics and graphic narratives. For this session, we are interested in looking beyond comics and graphic narratives to consider numerous practices of changing the identity of a character in adaptations and other re-imaginings of earlier texts. Source material may include comics and graphic narratives but can be expanded to adaptations of traditional texts, films, plays, and fan productions.

Please forward the full call for papers below to potentially interested contributors. 300-word abstracts are due online September 30, 2017, at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16951. If you have any questions for Rafael and me, please email derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com or message me on Twitter.

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New addition: Call for Papers page

Given how many CFPs I organize or promote each year, I have added a calls for papers page. Check it out for some panels I’m organizing at the Northeast Modern Language Association in Pittsburgh (deadline for abstracts: September 30, 2017). And please email me at derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com or tweet at me any CFPs you would like me to consider promoting on my site.

With Bakugo, “My Hero Academia” shows your fave is problematic

“Todoroki vs Bakugo,” My Hero Academia, Episode 25
Adapting Issues 42, 43, and 44 of the manga, available from Viz
Anime available at CrunchyRoll and Funimation

Well, that was an ending–and, in terms of doing more with Bakugo and the animation, it’s somehow more disappointing than the manga’s version.

Granted, “Todoroki vs Bakugo” improved upon some details from the source material, including the already effective reunion of Todoroki and his mother, and clarified Midnight’s powers, something not as clear in the comic panels and gutters (despite the clue in her name). Comics are thus a double-edge sword. Composed of panels, they are a series of frozen moments, so they cannot communicate movement as easily as animation without having more page space to extend that action into multiple panels. However, the benefit to comics is that they tend to allow audiences to sit and meditate for the longest time on moments frozen in time, like All Might’s heartfelt outreach to Tokoyami and Todoroki, or the humor behind Bakugo’s fury. Meanwhile, when I saw Bakugo shaking in his chains, I wasn’t amused–I was horrified, because whereas characters like Todoroki, Izuku, and Ochaco have reached tenuous resolution to their plots, Bakugo and Iida have not–and Bakugo lacks the kind of sympathetic background to his story. The flashbacks in the cold opening improve upon the manga so as to clarify why we should sympathize with Bakugo–and it’s still difficult.

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“My Hero Academia” puts the spotlight on side characters with original content in newest episode

“Battle On, Challengers!” My Hero Academia Episode 21

The storyboards for the previous two episodes of My Hero Academia have departed widely from the original manga’s panels. Some departures have been successful, such as the different framing on Todoroki’s hand against Izuku’s face, and some have been disappointing, such as the loss of the image of Izuku standing over the defeated Shinso. Overall, these departures have helped prepared viewers for this episode, which is probably the first one in My Hero Academia to have original content–ignoring the OVA (itself written by series creator Kohei Horikoshi).

This episode was necessary. With such a large cast, and such a lengthy battle arc, the pace can slow down, look at characters other than the main five (although one duel focuses on Iida), and function more as a series of animated shorts, tied together with Ochaco’s internal struggle and Izuku’s analysis.

This is the first episode this season that is an adaptation of only one chapter of the manga–which makes sense: with so many duels taking place, the episode would waste the opportunity to take more time putting these battles in action. The manga benefits from wrapping up the battles in just a few panels–not too long to bore readers with endless issues of one-on-one battles, and because each panel can contain within it so much information, while animation depends on tracking the movements. Studio BONES does not skimp on the animation in this episode: there are few frozen images to just hint at what took place–we actually see the battles occurring. Most impressive, however, is how this episode lends some character development to Ochacho and Mina, as well as setting up Momo’s future stories, however disappointed I am with how Momo has been handled.

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Fandom Report for May 18 2017: Why aren’t you watching “Bungo”?

Anime, Manga, and Sentai

Lupin comes to Toonami.

Yuri on Ice comes to cinemas.

The Code Geass trailer arrives.

Dragon Ball gets McDonald’s toys.

Detective Conan beat Guardians of the Galaxy.

Shout Factory has an online Sentai marathon.

More images of the Tokyo Ghoul play are out. And then more.

Bungo Stray Dogs and JoJo get mobile games.

Legends of the Galactic Heroes get a new cast.

Mamoru Hosoda goes back to time travel with a new film.

Death Note producer talks whitewashing in Netflix adaptation.

CrunchyRoll and Kotaku look at declining Shonen Jump sales…which someone already covered.

Marvel Comics

Deadpool gets animated.

Marvel still doesn’t get diversity: they’re ending Black Panther.

DC on TV (Spoilers)

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Fandom Report for April 20, 2017: “Where in the world…?”

Anime, Manga, and Japanese Art

Anime Expo’s academic panels are accepting abstracts until May 19.

Another Yu-Gi-Oh series premieres May 10.

Anime and manga retailer Animate creates an international store.

TV Japan will carry the newest Kamen Rider series in the United States.

The live-action Ghost in the Shell is still a thing–so here’s Adam Savage talking about Weta’s design work.

My Hero Academia is now a puzzle game.

Shameless plug: I reviewed the newest My Hero Academia episode, and it is the best one yet. Check out the review for comparisons of manga panels to anime screencaps, as well as a GIF tossed in.

My-Hero-Academia-S2E3---Izuku's-mother-cries-(GIF)

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Send your questions for “The Pop Culture Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe” here! (#NeMLA17 #S411)

Today at 8:30 AM Eastern, we’re talking Edgar Allan Poe’s continued influence on popular culture.

Watch the slideshow here (where you can submit questions as well) or on Twitter hashtags #NeMLA17 #S411.

#GeekGuide: Comics, Video Game, and Fan Culture Panels at #NeMLA17

Each year, the Northeast Modern Language Association’s (NeMLA) annual convention features presentations on comics and graphic novels, already long accepted as media worthy of critical analysis. And this year’s convention at the Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, Maryland, March 23 to 26, also features sessions on related topics in anime, manga, video games, and fan culture.

And I would know–I’ve been proofreading this program repeatedly as part of my job at NeMLA.

I’ve compiled as many comics, video game, and fan culture presentations that I could find in the online schedule. I encourage you, if you are attending the convention, to check out these sessions and share your thoughts on social media. And check out the program online for more sessions!

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