Why We Love Luke Cage

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Netflix’s Luke Cage is garnering rave reviews and fan reaction. Indeed, it is arguably the best show on Netflix-or, rather, on any entertainment outlet right now. What is the appeal to Luke Cage’s story? Any number of elements could be highlighted from the acting, cinematography, and directing to the social relevance, layered story-telling, and interpersonal relationships. Here are 5 reasons why we love Luke Cage:

1. Luke Cage is a reluctant hero. Cage is slow to use his powers. Although he secretly uses his strength for practical purposes (like moving washing machines or shielding people from bullets), he is reluctant to confront the criminal element plaguing the city. After the shooting death of a close friend and mentor, Cage gets involved but in a measured way. Cage is a contradiction to our culture that celebrates youth, bravado, and self-confidence. Cage is someone who could embody the height of all these ideals but demonstrates why humility is more appealing than arrogance.

2. Luke Cage confronts our historical and cultural ignorance. Highlighting civil rights figures like Martin Luther King or Malcolm X would be good but far too typical for a story featuring an African American lead.

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My Top 5 Kickstarter Indie Comics Picks

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My Top 5 Kickstarter Indie Comics Picks

I love indie comics. I love to see people’s passion projects. And I love entrepreneurship. Which is why I am a big fan of Kickstarter. Not only have I used this crowd-funding platform to finance and launch my first comic book (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1119064534/the-silence-1?ref=user_menu), but you can discover a lot of amazing, unknown talent that offer original content. Kickstarter is a great place to find new comics for those who are tired of the same old superhero stories. Below is a list of my top 5 current Kickstarter projects. Be sure to check them out soon as many will be ending their campaigns in the next days and weeks. Enjoy!

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1.Salvagers: The Wreck Raiders Part 2
Written by Bob Salley and illustrated by Chris Gevenois with additional art by Adelso Corona, Tyler Kirkham, and Eli Hix.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-4-20-25-am“After finding the recently salvaged battleship empty of all munitions, the KLANDARIAN PIRATES are hot on the trail of Captain Roenick and his crew of wreckers. They will stop at nothing to finish their task and build their supply of weapons in order to wreak havoc on the galaxy.

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Floyd Norman: An Animated Life

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screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-18-28-pmIn August 2016, the documentary, Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, was released to the public. This film tells the story of Floyd Norman’s life, the first African American animator hired at Disney.

Floyd Norman challenges how we think about the celebrity of art. Most of us can name several famous historical art figures—Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, Picasso, Warhol, etc. Yet, at the same time, few of us can name significant graphic designers, illustrators, or animators. What does this tell us about how we define art, success, and significance? An animator spends countless hours mastering human anatomy, animal structure, motion, mood, atmosphere, landscapes, and perspective to a degree that rivals the masters. Not only is this talent truly remarkable, but how much more considering the thousands of unknown artists who labor to release a multitude of films each year.

Floyd Norman also highlights what is unique about our humanity. Although animals produce remarkable structures to live in, display ingenious communication techniques, and contribute to the balance of nature, they do not cherish, relive, tell, or create stories, especially not stories constructed of thousands of pictures in sequential harmony.

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The Two Worlds of Kubo and the Two Strings

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Kubo and the Two Strings presents an immersive world filled with beautiful landscapes, layered characters, and visual artistry that is nothing short of magical. The story borrows from Eastern storytelling techniques and world-views providing a fresh approach for Western audiences. Supernatural elements are mixed with the mundane in a way that pokes at a common longing felt across cultures. And this is where we find the real story within the story of Kubo: we, like the characters in Kubo’s world, long for resolution. Death is jarring and unsatisfactory. The living characters in Kubo attempt to give the dead a peaceful resolution by helping their ancestors onward to find their spiritual rest. As well, the conflict between Kubo and the spirits of his ancestors is a battle for resolution; to put to rest generational injustices. What we find in this stop-motion animated film is a deeply thought-provoking story that invites us into two worlds: the mundane world we experience everyday and the supernatural world we either embrace, ignore, or deny that provides the framework for understanding it. 

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