The Geeks OUT Podcast: Loki What We Have Here

The Geeks OUT Podcast

Opinions, reviews, incisive discussions of queer geek ideas in pop culture, and the particularly cutting brand of shade that you can only get from a couple of queer geeks all in highly digestible weekly doses.

In this week’s episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined by Sammie James, as they discuss the new trailers for Loki, Cruella, Pose, & Star Trek: Discovery and celebrate all the winners for the GLAAD Media Awards in This Week in Queer.

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BIG OPENING

KEVIN:  Regé-Jean Page responds to racist reasons he wasn’t cast on Krypton
SAMMIE: New trailer for the final season of Pose

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DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: Thunder Force, What Lies Below, Them
SAMMIE: Creepshow, Wynonna Earp, What Big Teeth

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STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

New Cruella trailer

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THIS WEEK IN QUEER

Winners announced for the GLAAD Media Awards

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CLIP OF THE WEEK

New teaser for Star Trek: Discovery

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THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

• New trailer for animated Batman: The Long Halloween
• Taika Waititi releases new animal rights short film Save Ralph
• New teaser for Ghostbusters: Afterlife
• New Stephen King Rules Dollar Baby Film Festival announced
• New trailer for The Night House
• New trailer for Things Heard & Seen
• New trailer for The Woman in the Window
• Paramount announces a new Star Trek movie coming in 2023

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TV

• New trailer for Jupiter’s Legacy
• Fox gives Duncanville and early season 3 renewal
• New trailer for Girls5eva
• Peacock orders a reboot of Queer as Folk
• Teaser for Star Trek: Picard teases the return of Q
• New trailer for Star Trek: Lower Decks
• New trailer for Loki
• HBO Max orders a Magic Mike competition series

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VIDEO GAMES

• Intel introduces the possibility to monitor/censor hate speech at GDC
• Lil Nas X introduces new Twerk Hero game

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SHILF

• KEVIN: Brainy
• SAMMIE: Dreamer 

Interview with Author Liselle Sambury

Liselle Sambury is a Toronto-based Trinidadian Canadian author. Her brand of writing can be described as “messy Black girls in fantasy situations.” She works in social media and spends her free time embroiled in reality tv because when you write messy characters you tend to enjoy that sort of drama. She also shares helpful tips for upcoming writers and details of her publishing journey through a YouTube channel dedicated to helping demystify the sometimes complicated business of being an author. I had the chance to interview Liselle, which you can read below.

Congratulations on your debut! Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming book, Blood Like Magic?

Blood Like Magic is about a family of Black witches living in a near future Toronto, and in particular, sixteen-year-old Voya Thomas who is given the horrifying task of either killing her first love or losing her family’s magic forever.

What drew you to writing? Do you remember the first stories/authors that inspired you to write or simply strengthen your love of reading?

There wasn’t anything specific that drew me to writing, I just wanted a way to vent my feelings and tell stories that distracted me when I was having a hard time, and writing ended up being that medium. I honestly didn’t even read much. I volunteered in the library in elementary school because I wanted to be indoors during recess. I was that kind of kid. But I did love to go to the public library, and I would basically pick out anything that interested me. I was a big fan of the Saga of Darren Shan which was a gruesome vampire series. I devoured those books so it’s not surprising that I hopped right on the Twilight train when it came around. 

As a writer, where do you find your sense of inspiration and what sources do you draw on to refresh your creativity?

I find that books, TV shows, and movies are fantastic fuel for my inspiration. Books so often make me think ‘wow I wish I could write something like this’ and spur me on that way because I’m so invested in trying to create an experience like that, or, like in the case of Blood Like Magic, trying to add to an experience I didn’t get when I was younger. With TV Shows and movies though, it’s often that there’s an aspect unexplored that nags at me, and I have to write that unexplored premise. Anime is usually where I discover a lot of different ways of telling a story that I’ve never seen or heard of. Some anime just blows my mind with the sorts of narratives they weave, and that’s also incredibly inspiring.

Your debut book is said to feature a magic system with strong New Orleans roots. Could you tell us something about that?

The magic in the book doesn’t draw from anything existing in New Orleans purposely because I truly don’t know enough about those cultures and that history. Those practices that have real ties and significance in that region, and I don’t know enough to write it into my work. However, I was familiar with some of the historical events during the period of slavery that happened in New Orleans when it was the U.S. Territory of Orleans. The particular event that stuck out was the revolt that occurred nearby, led by slaves in sugar plantations. With the combination of the history within slavery and of African folk magic in that area, it just felt like the right place for the Thomas witches have ancestors from.

I actually tried to dig into my ancestral history to see if I could pinpoint where my ancestors were from when they were slaves in the U.S. to use that location, but due to the nature of colonialism and records, I unfortunately wasn’t able to find anything.

Your protagonist, Voya Thomas, comes from a Trinidadian-Canadian background like yourself, correct? Was it always your intention to have this aspect mirrored in your fiction, and what are your thoughts on Caribbean representation in the YA world today?

I had always intended to write Voya as Trinidadian-Canadian because I really wanted to put that experience into a story. Prior to Blood Like Magic, I hadn’t explored that in my fiction and thought it would be fun to show that experience. I was truly putting a lot of myself into the story and that’s such a huge part of me.

I think we’re starting to see more Caribbean rep in YA now which is really exciting like Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart and Where The Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass, which are both coming out this year. I haven’t read a lot of stories with Caribbean rep in YA so I’m really happy to add my voice. Especially within a Canadian context because I find that to be less common in YA as well.

Since Geeks OUT is a queer centered website, could you tell us a bit about the LGBTQ+ characters that will be featured in your book, including the main character’s love interest who is a trans man?

Of course! Luc, the love interest is trans man and he’s my snarky genius. Voya’s cousin Alex is a trans woman, and she’s the fashionista of the family with a talent for sewing and design. Voya’s other cousin Keisha is lesbian and demiromantic, does modelling part-time, and never holds back her opinion. Johan is the head of a family with close ties to the Thomases and he’s gay. One of his sons, Topaz, is also gay, but it’s not explicitly said until the second book.

Aside from witches, are there other magical/mythological/ spiritual backgrounds you are drawn to?

I am a big fan of ghosts which is hilarious because I’m actually really fearful of death and have no desire to ever experience a ghost sighting. But I think there’s something super intriguing about the idea of unfinished businesses and the world beyond death that can be explored in really interesting ways. I loved Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour because she took the idea of ghosts and created a completely unexpected story that was so beautiful.

What’s a question you haven’t been asked yet and wish you were asked (and your answer to that question)?

I don’t actually think that I’ve asked who the easiest and hardest character to write were, but I love that question. I have found that Voya is the hardest for me to write because I frequently struggle with getting her motivation as a character just perfect, and it’s hard to make a character who has difficulty with decisions active in the narrative. I’m so dedicated to telling her story right that I tend to spend a lot of extra time with her. On the flip side, I find her cousin Keisha the easiest and the most fun to write. I have no idea why. I think she just asserted herself as a character with a really strong voice and so it just flows. I absolutely love her.

Are there any other projects or story ideas you are currently nursing and could tell us about?

Right now, I’m working on my first novel-length adult project which is currently uncontracted. It’s going to be a horror, but no ghosts this time. It’ll edge on thriller and include discussions about toxic workplace environments and culture.

What advice would you give for writers who are exploring their own creativity and looking to step up their game?

I would highly recommend reading and writing craft books. That’s something that I do a lot even now and there’s so much you can learn from them. And I would say to read a variety because you may find some you agree with that work for you and some you don’t. They also often have exercises that you can do to experiment with your writing and find what works best for you. I just find that guidance to be so helpful. 

Finally, what are some LGBTQ+ stories you would recommend to the readers of Geeks OUT?

I would definitely recommend Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas which is about a trans brujo who accidentally summons a ghost who won’t leave. A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth about four queer fae teens solving a murder mystery (also set in Toronto!). Sweet and Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley which is a fantasy about a girl cursed to live without love and a girl trying to save her father who makes a bargain. And finally, Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass which is about teens escaping from a conversion camp and has such an amazing use of atmosphere and dread.

The Geeks OUT Podcast: Space Jammed Full of Properties

Geeks OUT Podcast: Space Jammed Full of Properties

In this week’s episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin (@Gilligan_McJew) is joined by Aaron Porchia (@Porchia) as they discuss the new trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy which is packed full of IP’s, Charmed adding another trans actor to the cast, and celebrate FX’s new docu-series Pride in This Week in Queer.

In this week’s episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined by Aaron Porchia, as they discuss the new trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy which is packed full of IP’s, Charmed adding more trans representation to the cast, and celebrate FX’s new docu-series Pride in This Week in Queer.

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BIG OPENING

KEVIN:  DC Comics announces new possible comics, including Justice League Queer, if the fans vote for it
AARON: New trailer for the documentary The Year the Earth Changed

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DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: Godzilla vs. Kong, Resident Alien, The Real World: Homecoming
AARON: Degrassi, Detransition Baby (Torrey Peters)

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STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

The new Charmed adds second trans actor as recurring character

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THIS WEEK IN QUEER

FX announces new Pride docuseries coming in May

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CLIP OF THE WEEK

New trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy

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THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

• Warner Bros. decides to pull the plug on New Gods and The Trench movies
• New trailer for The Suicide Squad
• Director of Logan boycotting Georgia, ViacomCBS condemns voting law
• The Thundercats movie now has a director
• New trailer for Spiral: From the Book of Saw
• New trailer for The Mitchells vs. The Machines
• Netflix shells out big bucks for Knives Out 2 & 3
• New trailer for Black Widow

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TV

• Fox cancels Bless the Harts
• OG Charmed writer opens up about why she left
• CBS officially orders CSI revival/sequel
• Jordan Fisher joins The Flash as Bart Allen
• New trailer for Star Wars: The Bad Batch
• New trailer for season 5 of Rick & Morty
• New trailer for Shadow & Bone
• Starz cancels American Gods
• More cast members announced for Obi-Wan Kenobi series

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COMIC BOOKS

• Vault Comics expands on their new Cover Artists in Residence program
• John Lewis’s memoir Run, the sequel to March, is coming out in August

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SHILF

• KEVIN: Josh Duhamel/The Utopian
• AARON: Homelander 

Interview with Spirits Podcast Co-Hosts Amanda McLoughlin and Julia Schifini

Amanda McLoughlin is the creator and CEO of Multitude, an independent podcast collective and production studio based in New York City. Multitude produces original shows, publishes free resources for podcasters, and helps clients of all sizes create, market, and grow great shows. A YouTuber and small business advisor before starting Multitude, her career is dedicated to helping other creators make a living by making great stuff online.

Twitter: @shessomickey

Website: amandamcloughlin.com

Podcasts: Join the Party, Spirits, NEXT STOP (EP)

Julia Schifini is a historian, voice actor, sound designer, and lover of all fancy foods. She is a co-host and producer of Spirits, a co-host of Join the Party, and the Community Manager of Multitude. She loves world-building, professional wrestling, fancy cheese, and all things creepy and cool. You can hear her sound design on podcasts like Janus Descending and Valence, and voice acting on Tides and What’s the Frequency.

Headshot Credit: Danielle Salerno Photography

Twitter: @juliaschifini

Website: juliaschifini.com

Podcast: Spirits, Join the Party, NEXT STOP (AD)

I had the chance to talk with Amanda and Julia about Spirits, which you can read below.

First of all, how did you come to know each other and how did you come to decide to work on a podcast together?

JS: We jokingly refer to ourselves as “companions from the cradle”, but we met in elementary school. Our weirdness just jived since the beginning and we stayed friends all through school and past college. After we both entered the workforce, we would meet up at bars and lament how draining our jobs could be. We realized that we needed a way to make time to see each other and talk about things that we normally would talk about anyway. So naturally, having drinks and talking about death and mythology seemed like the perfect excuse. 

Can you explain your thought process behind the title Spirits?

AM: Fittingly enough, it came to us in a bar! The double entendre of ghost spirits and alcohol spirits was too good to pass up. It’s easy to say, spell, and search for, and coupled with our cover art by Allyson Wakeman, tells people they can expect a lot of both on our show.

Where did your interest in folklore and mythology come from? What were some early stories you were drawn to growing up and why do you think it resonates with so many people?

JS: I picked up a copy of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology arguably WAY too young, and it really struck a chord with me. The stories of Athena, Artemis, and Persephone felt empowering before I realized that was something that was missing from the books I was reading and the shows I was watching. But nowadays it is the universality of the stories of mythology from around the world that keep me interested – seeing how human beings explain the world around them, no matter where they are on the globe.  

AM: I mainly learned my Greek myths from Julia reading library books on the playground, so not a lot has changed! Since starting the show, I’ve gotten even more interested in all things mythology. I try to read really widely about both historical and contemporary cosmologies and folkloric traditions from around the world.

Listen Up Portland podcast festival in Portland, Or. (photo by Casey Campbell Photography)

A large component of your podcast includes discussing LGTBQIA+ topics in fiction and mythology, bringing a queer lens to otherwise straight narratives? Can you expand on this?

AM: It’s been a priority from the beginning to center the stories of queer people, women, survivors, and other people whose stories have been erased, minimized, or villainized in the retelling. But at the same time, as queer people we can’t help but bring a queer lens to the stories we share. Julia does a great job selecting stories that I’ll find a way to connect with, and we try to create an environment where both of us and our guests can bring our whole selves to that connection. 

What are some topics you haven’t covered yet but that you would love to cover in the future?

JS: We are working on bringing on some more Indigenous and African guests to talk more about their respective traditions and folklore! 

As someone who has just admittedly gotten into podcasts this year, what do you think draws you in about this medium? What are some of your favorite examples?

AM: People celebrating niche interests is my favorite genre of podcast—and the whole mission of Multitude, the podcast collective of which Spirits is a founding member. Podcasting really lends itself to unexpected intersections of people, topics, and styles, resulting in shows like Exolore (astrophysicist/folklorist Moiya McTier examines worldbuilding in all kinds of fictional universes), One to Grow On (agriculture is political and fascinating), and Advice for/from the Future (what to do if your partner wants to go to Mars, and other advice for futuristic problems).

What advice would you have to give for people who are interested in creating and promoting their own podcast?

JS: Find something that makes you unique, and something that you will be passionate about. There are a lot of podcasts out there (I think a recent study said that in 2020, there were 885,000 new podcasts, which is two new podcasts every minute), so you need to figure out what you are bringing to audiences that they haven’t heard before. 

AM: Check out the dozens of free resources Multitude publishes! Everything you need to get started is at http://multitude.productions/resources

What’s a question you haven’t been asked yet or wish you were asked?

AM: I’m always really interested in how other creators make a living. I write and talk a lot about the business of podcasting, from how we depend on audience support via Patreon to the intricacies of sponsorship booking for podcasts. I wish money wasn’t such a fraught topic to discuss openly, but in the meantime, if anyone out there wants advice or support setting rates or negotiating with a company, hit me up

Finally, what are some LGBTQ+ media (i.e books/ comics/ podcasts/etc.) you would recommend to the readers of Geeks OUT?

JS: Here’s my top LGBTQ+ books from the past year: The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis, Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, and Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey. 

AM: I’ve gotten really into romance novels over the last year, and my favorite LGBTQ+ books in that genre so far include Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole, the Feminine Pursuits series by Olivia Waite, and Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall. I also love the podcasts Friendshipping, Queery, Gender Reveal, and Bad Queers! Finally, gotta plug the other fantastic members of the Multitude collective. Head over to multitude.productions to learn about them!

The Geeks OUT Podcast: Promising Young Witch

The Geeks OUT Podcast

Opinions, reviews, incisive discussions of queer geek ideas in pop culture, and the particularly cutting brand of shade that you can only get from a couple of queer geeks all in highly digestible weekly doses.

In this week’s episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined by Jon Herzog, as they discuss the newly announced Comic-Con coming to San Diego Thanksgiving weekend, the new red band trailer for The Suicide Squad, and celebrate the new writer announced for the Zatanna movie, Emerald Fennell as our Strong Female Character of the Week. 

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BIG OPENING

KEVIN:  San Diego Comic-Con announces a Thanksgiving Comic-Con Special Edition
JON: Disney moves Black Widow and will stream it and Cruella on Disney+, Pixar’s Luca to skip theaters and stream exclusively on Disney+

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DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: The Craft: Legacy, Invincible, The Irregulars, Genera+ion, Alien
JON: Veronica Mars Rewatch + Books, Falcon + Winter Soldier, Drag Race UK, Steve Orlando Martian Manhunter run

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STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

Writer/Director of Promising Young Woman, Emerald Fennell to write Zatanna

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THIS WEEK IN QUEER

DC releasing a 2-issue Superman & The Authority featuring 3 queer members written by Grant Morrison

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CLIP OF THE WEEK

New red band trailer for The Suicide Squad

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THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

• A new different Transformers movie is being developed
• WB exec states there is no future DC Snyderverse
• Pierce Brosnan joins Black Adam as Dr. Fate
• Keanu Reeves comic BRZRKR to become a Netflix movie & anime series
• New trailer for Stowaway

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TV

• New special celebrating 50 years of Sesame Street to introduce new black family
• CW orders Wellington Paranormal, spinoff of movie What We Do in the Shadows
• New trailer for the final season of Supergirl
• Wallis Day joins the cast of Batwoman as new Kate Kane
• New trailer for The Nevers
• New trailer for Made for Love
• New trailer for THEM
• Disney developing a Hawkeye spinoff around Echo

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COMIC BOOKS

• DC announces Milestone comics coming out in print in June
• Marvel breaks with Diamond for new partnership with Penguin Random House

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SHILF

• KEVIN: Omni-Man
• JON: Sebastian Stan 

The Geeks OUT Podcast: Hellfire Gala Toots & Boots

https://geeksoutpodcast.libsyn.com/geeks-out-podcast-hellfire-gala-toots-boots

In this extended episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined by Bobby Hankinson, as they discuss all the hawt lewks Russell Dauterman designed for Marvel’s Hellfire Gala, check out the new trailer for Cruella, and celebrate the new queer Captain America being introduced by Christopher Cantwell, Josh Trujillo, Jan Bazaldua, and Dale Eaglesham in This Week in Queer.

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BIG OPENING

KEVIN:  Marvel unleashes Hellfire Gala fashions
BOBBY: New vocal cast announced for Rugrats reboot

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DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: Minari, Servant, Watchmen, Blown Away
BOBBY: Justice League: Snyder Cut, Falcon & Winter Soldier, The Muppet Show, Fortnite

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STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

New trailer for Birdgirl

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THIS WEEK IN QUEER

Marvel introduces a new queer Captain America from queer creative team

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CLIP OF THE WEEK

New teaser for Cruella

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THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

• The 2021 Oscar nominations announced
• New trailer for Arlo the Alligator Boy
• The Venom sequel has been pushed to September

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TV

• Ryan Murphy confirms the name of season 10 of American Horror Story
• New trailer for Cruel Summer
• First look at Eclipso in season 2 of Stargirl
• Syfy renews Resident Alien for season 2
• Peacock orders mystery series Poker Face
• New trailer for Rutherford Falls
• New trailer for The Irregulars
• New teaser for the revival of Behind the Music
• First poster released for Loki
• Sneak peek at season 2 of Tuca & Bertie

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COMIC BOOKS

• Marvel announces Gamma Flight series featuring trans lead from trans writer

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SHILF

• KEVIN: Daddy Falcon
• BOBBY: Daddy Affleck 

Interview with KaiJu

Jen Xu and K. Rhodes, also known as KaiJu, are a couple of comic artists working together to create projects close to their hearts. They are SVA graduates and debuted with Chromatic Press in 2014 with The Ring of Saturn. Their next work, Mahou Josei Chimaka, won a DINKy award in March of 2016. Their short comic Inhabitant of Another Planet, was also nominated for a DINKy the following year. The two-headed monster is currently working on their webcomic, Novae, and their middle-grade graphic novel duology HAVEN and the Fallen Giants. I had the chance to interview KaiJu, which you can read below.

What does the title, Novae, mean? What drew you to this word, and did the story evolve from the title or vice versa?

KaiJu: When we were first starting to write Novae, we didn’t have a particular title in mind. We were calling it the very wordy “The Necromancer and the Astronomer’s Apprentice” for the longest time before deciding on Novae. 

Novae means a nova within a binary star system. It’s a phenomenon where one star becomes bright due to an explosion of energy taken from another star. We thought it was a fitting title for our story—as it revolves around two characters that become “locked in each other’s orbit”, and bring brightness into each other’s lives.

Your name, KaiJu, is both a play on Japanese mythology and your names, correct? How did KaiJu come to be and how would you describe your collaboration process together?

KaiJu: Yes! Though the word kaiju is more associated with the Japanese film phenomenon nowadays than mythology. The word carries the meaning of strange beasts, sometimes used to describe dinosaurs in the early 1900s.  We were trying to combine our names into something coherent and we kept landing on KaiJu. It just seemed like a cute idea. We like to think of ourselves as a two headed creature that creates worlds, instead of destroying them.

As far as how our collaboration process goes. We write the script together. We each take on the persona of different characters in the dialogue. It’s a really fun way to write since we never know how the characters might react to each other during the drafting process. We also each storyboard different pages, and pencil our own set of characters. Kate does backgrounds and color, while Jen inks. We get a lot of help from our assistant color flatters as well. It’s very much a collaborative project from start to finish.

In a field like historical fiction, which has been noted for its absence of people of color (as well as LGBTQ+ characters in an era where queer language hasn’t evolved the way it has today), how did you develop the diversity as seen in Novae? What resources did you consult for historical/cultural accuracy?

KaiJu: We borrowed quite a lot of books from the library when we were first writing the script for Novae, and it’s prequel Inhabitant of Another Planet. A particularly useful title was In the land of the Christians, which is a collection of Arabic travel writings from the 17th century. However, the information on people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals was very limited from what we could gather. We try to be as accurate as we can, but in the end the character’s experience is very reliant on their individual circumstances. 

As you mentioned, queer language had not evolved the way it has today, so it’s hard to make a direct linguistic correlation between a persons identity and our modern terminology. But of course, LGBTQ+ folks still existed and felt the same way many individuals do today.

Novae leans towards alternative history, so we don’t intend for it to be a perfectly accurate representation of historical figures or events. Though, we do try to incorporate some historical events in a way that suits the narrative of Novae.

We hope that Novae reflects the diversity that has always been present in history. In truth the lack of diversity in historical fiction is an inaccurate representation limited by narrow perspectives. Though ultimately, the idea of “accuracy” should not limit representation. No one should feel like they have to justify the inclusion of LGBTQ+ and POC characters.

Within the comic, one of the main characters is revealed as mute and shown to communicate nonverbally using a combination of Tactile fingerspelling and sign language. What kind of research do you implement in creating a character with this type of disability in this time period?

Jen: For Sulvain’s character, I looked up articles about non-verbal individuals and how they communicated with their loved ones before established sign language. I found that personalized sign language, writing and fingerspelling were a common way to communicate during the 17th century. For Sulvain’s sign language I watched a lot of Instructional videos on ASL and other world sign languages. Then I mixed and matched to make something representative of Sulvain’s experience. I plan on finding an ASL adviser as Sulvain uses more sign language.

What are some of your favorite elements of webcomics/graphic novel medium? What craft elements/techniques stand out to you the most?

Jen: I love how the visual elements of webcomics/graphic novels convey emotions and freeze moments. It’s different from film and other forms of visual media, that it allows the readers to absorb these moments in their own time. For example, a contemplative scene in a film plays for five seconds— and the scene changes. But with comics, I can choose to dwell on a panel, on a page, or on a scene for as long as I like and really experience the content at my own pace. 

I think comics give you the ability to inhibit space and the minds of the characters, allowing emotions to brew.

Kate: I love the drama that can be conveyed in comics. I also love that the nature of the medium, the ability to create without a big budget, allows you to pursue big ideas with a smaller audience. I love to see the unbridled creativity that comes purely from an individual’s brain.

Techniques that really stand out to me are paneling and framing, and the ability to draw an emotion out of a reader through expressions. I love it when I can immediately feel something just by looking at a few panels. 

Are there any other stories (whether already published or upcoming) fans of Novae could check out from you? 

KaiJu: Yes! We have the prequel for Novae called Inhabitant of Another Planet as well as some other short stories you can find on the Novae website’s about page

As far as upcoming work, we have a middle-grade graphic novel called HAVEN and the Fallen Giants slated to come out with Viking Children’s in 2022. It’s a silk road inspired fantasy adventure with a good mix of fun world building and confronting important social issues. 

Finally, what LGBTQ+ books/comics would you recommend to the readers of Geeks OUT?

KaiJu: Oh gosh, we read quite a lot of LGBTQ+ comics that are really great but we’ll highlight just a few here.

We really love the energy in Sammy Montoya’s comics. Sammy does a lot of shorter comics and they’re very addicting. They’re great at pulling the reader in right away and making the characters and conflict very engaging.

You can find some of Sammy’s comics here

Cunning Fire by Kaz Rowe is a great example of a LGTBQ+ webcomic that focuses both on character relationships, as well a complex urban fantasy plot. Kaz uses a lot of great cinematic techniques that are really fun to read. You’ll definitely find yourself rooting for the characters.

Castle Swimmer by Wendy Lain Martin has great world building, characters and spot on humor. If you’re not reading it already you have to check it out.

Tiger Tiger by Petra Erika Nordlund is a super creative and intriguing fantasy comic set on the high seas. Every visual detail in Petra’s comic is a delight.

If you’re looking for a really sweet comic with a healthy relationship that also features a partially nonverbal character, you should definitely check out #Muted by kandismon. 

You can read it here

My Broken Mariko by Waka Hirako is a incredibly well done and heartbreaking manga that just came out recently. I’m not sure if this one is considered LGBTQ+ but I think it can certainly be read that way. It’s worth checking out just to marvel at the emotional power of Hirako’s work. 

There are many more we would love to talk about but these are the ones we’re currently reading.

The Geeks OUT Podcast: Marvel vs. DC – The Pride-Off

The Geeks OUT Podcast

Opinions, reviews, incisive discussions of queer geek ideas in pop culture, and the particularly cutting brand of shade that you can only get from a couple of queer geeks all in highly digestible weekly doses.

In this week’s episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined by Eric Green, as they discuss the final trailer for the massively built up “Snyder Cut” of Justice League, DC’s big campaign announced for Wonder Woman’s 80th anniversary, and celebrate all the queer artists and writers announced as part of DC Pride in This Week in Queer.

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BIG OPENING

KEVIN:  Netflix is testing out a new crackdown on password sharing
ERIC: Bob Iger and Bob Chapek chair Disney’s Diversity Councils

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DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: Promising Young Woman, Moxie!, Genera+ion, Resident Alien, Super Mario 3D World
ERIC: X-Men (as always), All My Relations, Extremity, Raya and the Last Dragon, Lego VIDIYO

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STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

DC announces “Believe in Wonder” campaign for Wonder Woman’s 80th anniversary

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THIS WEEK IN QUEER

DC announces new DC Pride anthology and variant covers 

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CLIP OF THE WEEK

Final trailer for Justice League: The Snyder Cut

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THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

• HBO Max confirms that Batgirl and Zatanna movies still in development
• Pepe Le Pew removed from Space Jam 2
• New trailer for Vanquish
• New trailer for The Unholy
• Movie theaters in Los Angeles can reopen at 25%

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TV

• The History Channel is releasing a docu-series celebrating 55 years of Star Trek
• Peacock developing series based on George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards
• Netflix cancels/expands Special season 2 to 30min
• Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit being developed into a musical
• Michelle Gomez joins season 3 of Doom Patrol
• HBO Max adapting comic Slam! into animated series
• New trailer for book 4 of Infinity Train
• Cast reveal for The Powerpuff Girl live-action pilot
• New trailer for the Kung Fu reboot
• New teaser for Amazon Prime’s Them from Lena Waithe
• First look at Starz’s Heels
• Ducktales living on as a podcast, This Duckberg Life
• New trailer for Falcon & The Winter Soldier

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COMIC BOOKS

• New The Nice House on the Lake horror comic coming from James Tynion IV
• Marvel announces Marvel Voices: Pride #1 plus

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SHILF

• KEVIN: Jason Momoa
• ERIC: Henry Cavill

Interview With Emery Lee

Emery Lee is a kid-lit author, artist, and YouTuber hailing from a mixed-racial background. After graduating with a degree in creative writing, e’s gone on to author novels, short stories, and webcomics. When away from reading and writing, you’ll most likely find em engaged in art or snuggling cute dogs. Find em online at emeryleebooks.com. I had the chance to interview Emery, which you can read below.

How would you describe yourself to people who haven’t met you yet?

I’m an author who writes stories about marginalized kids having fun, falling in love, and discovering themselves. I always shoot to do things a little unconventionally and bring something new to the table that I desperately needed as a teen but have yet to really find. 

What are three facts that you would want people to know in particular?

I’m a YA author, an anime nerd, and a huge fan of boba tea.

How did you come to realize you wanted to be an author? 

I never actually planned to be an author. I started writing when I was really young just for fun and to satisfy my chaotic imagination and all the things I felt weren’t resolved in the media I was consuming. I used to carry notebooks around and scribble whole books in them, and when I was maybe ten or eleven, I started sharing them with friends and classmates, and it just became a universally accepted truth that I was the class author and would go on to write a million books one day.

Where did the idea for Meet Cute come from? Was anything about it inspired by real life?

It was inspired by a road trip I went on with my best friend! In Colorado, she had what we called a “near meet cute” and I turned to her and said, “if this were a book, you’d be marrying that guy right now”, and it just struck me that it would be such a fun idea to write about a character who just took every real-life run in like that and wrote happily ever afters to them.

In your book, you discuss neo-pronouns and other examples of gender inclusive language we don’t often see enough of yet in fiction? Would you care to discuss that?

So I use neo-pronouns (e/em/eir) and a common issue I run into is people just straight up telling me they didn’t realize they were pronouns at all. Just asking people to use they/them is really difficult for some people, so introducing these words that people think are brand new or made up (all words are made up, and most neo-pronouns have been around for 30+ years) just really trips them up. I wanted to put a book out into the world through a major publisher that just treated these things as normal. I wanted to help show teens that you can question your identity and change your labels and cycle through as many as you want, and the only limits are the limits you have on your own language. But it was really important for me to emphasize in the book that normalizing these things should start early, and that ultimately, it’s not hard to pick up gender inclusive language and changing your identifiers doesn’t have to be hard or miserable. It can actually be really fun and freeing.

Title aside, you seem to be a big fan of romance tropes. What are some of your favorites, and which ones can we expect from the book?

My all time favorite trope is enemies to lovers, but I love most romance tropes, as long as they’re used well—childhood friends to lovers, only one bed, fake relationships, marriage of convenience, etc. MEET CUTE DIARY obviously calls on meet cutes and fake dating as major plot elements, but I also throw in some hate to love, mutual pining, friends to lovers, and forced proximity.

Hypothetically speaking, if the characters of your books or you yourself could interact with characters from any other fictional universe, where would they be from? 

I’m gonna say the characters from Becky Albertalli’s Simonverse because I feel like Noah would really have a great time making friends with so many great queer characters!

What’s a question you haven’t been asked yet or wish you were asked?

“Which boba tea flavor would each of your characters be?” or “Who would win in a fight? Your main character fighting Katsuki Bakugou in which both of them have a quirk? Or if neither of them have a quirk?”

What are some trivia facts about the characters in Meet Cute that you would love to share with our readers? As a self-professed anime/manga fan, what are some of your favorite examples?

oah’s an anime fan, his favorites being My Hero Academia and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Devin hates sprinkles and really love the scent of lavender. Becca has a Yorkie named Noodles. Drew’s favorite show is Rick & Morty.

As a debut author, what advice can you give to aspiring writers, both in terms of creativity and promotion?

I think writing and promotion can often feel at odds with each other. Sometimes it feels like the more you look to sell yourself, the harder it is to write or the more you focus on writing what feels right, the less marketable you become. Ultimately, I think the key is learning when to turn off the noise. It’s good to learn from other people and incorporate what they do well into what you do, but learning how to take a step back when things become too much and go back to that place where you can just be you and just write what you love and not have to think about it too much is a vital skill to surviving publishing, and I think it’s a good one to start learning early.

Are there any new projects you are working on right now and are at liberty to speak about?

I’m currently working on a short story that’ll appear in the ALL SIGNS POINT TO YES Anthology edited by Candice Montgomery, Cara Davis-Araux, and Adrianne Russell. My story’s all about a reclusive brujo who has to help the school jock get over a bad breakup only to realize he’s developing feelings for him, and that comes out in 2022. I’m also working on several other novels, but those can’t be revealed just yet.

Finally, what are some LGBTQ+ books or authors you would recommend to the readers of Geeks OUT?

I highly recommend anything by Ryan La Sala, Phil Stamper, Kacen Callender, Claribel Ortega, Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli, and Aiden Thomas. I also really loved FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES FROM THE SUN by Jonny Garza Villa which releases this June!

The Geeks OUT Podcast: Raya Gotta Be About Asians

The Geeks OUT Podcast

Opinions, reviews, incisive discussions of queer geek ideas in pop culture, and the particularly cutting brand of shade that you can only get from a couple of queer geeks all in highly digestible weekly doses.

In this week’s episode of the Geeks OUT Podcast, Kevin is joined by Kate Moran, as they discuss Disney’s newest movie, Raya and the Last Dragon, debate whether more inclusion in Hogwarts Legacy washes away J.K.’s TERF past/present, and celebrate Alan Scott, the Green Lantern, coming out in a new story from James Tynion IV in This Week In Queer. 

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BIG OPENING

KEVIN:  San Diego Comic Con is canceled for virtual event and a smaller IRL one in November
KATE: Upcoming Hogwarts Legacy gives the option to play as transgender character

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DOWN AND NERDY

KEVIN: Coming 2 America, Debri, For All Mankind, The Real World Homecoming, Wiccan & Hulkling, DC’s Infinite Frontier
KATE: Sims 4 Kits disappoints again, Wandavision Finale, Raya, Super Mario in Animal Crossing

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STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

Watch Raya & the Last Dragon on March 12th for less than premiere access & support a non-profit

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THIS WEEK IN QUEER

The original Green Lantern, Alan Scott comes out

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CLIP OF THE WEEK

New teaser for HBO Max series Made for Love

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THE WEEK IN GEEK

MOVIES

• New trailer for the documentary Operation Varsity Blues
• New study shows Netflix is better at inclusion than traditional studios
• New trailer for Thunder Force
• New trailer for Voyagers
• New look at Space Jam 2

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TV

• New trailer for AppleTV+ series Calls
• Fox renews The Simpsons for two more seasons bringing them to 750 episodes
• Fox’s Animation Domination extends to Monday
• The CW renews Superman & Lois after airing one episode
• CBS orders a pilot based on Sarah Cooper’s book
• New trailer for South Park’s vaccination special
• First look & reintroduction to The Proud Family
• Sony secures showrunner for new Silk series
• The Golden Globes address their lack of diversity during broadcast
• Starz is working on a Party Down revival

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VIDEO GAMES

• New Switch system coming in time for the holidays
• Act 1 of Hamilton was recreated on Animal Crossing

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SHILF

• KEVIN: Vision
• KATE: Agatha