A really cool article / review of 60 Black Women in Horror Writing …
Originally posted on Illuminite Caliginosus:
This book, 60 Black Women In Horror, is something of an eye-opener. Let’s face it: other than Octavia Butler and L.A. Banks, the number of black women known for writing anything other than Urban Romance and whatnot is mighty damn slim. I’ll admit to the shortcoming…
N.K. Jemisin, blogging on Describing Characters of Color for Magic District. (via audreymgonzalez)
Because so much of fantasy takes place in settings that in no way resemble the real world, featuring species that in no way resemble human, fantasy writers often have trouble dealing with regular people. This is something that, I think, isn’t as much of a problem for mainstream writers, because they can simply describe the world around them and come up with a reasonably accurate representation of humanity. They can also fall back on the plethora of real-world terms used to describe human beings, racially and otherwise. But using these terms makes no sense if you’re dealing with a world that doesn’t share our political/cultural context. You can’t call someone “African American” if your world has no Africa, no America, and has never gone through a colonial phase in which people of disparate cultures were forcibly brought together, thus necessitating the term in the first place.
That said, it’s equally illogical to populate your fantasy world with only one flavor of human being, which is what far too many fantasy stories default to. Granted, many fantasies take place in confined cultural spaces — a single small kingdom in a Europeanish milieu, maybe a single city or castle within that city. (But how did that castle get its spices for the royal table, or that lady her silks? What enemy are the knights training to fight? Even in the most monochromatic parts of the real Ye Olde Englande, I can guarantee you there were some Asian traders, Sephardic or Ashkenazic Jewish merchants, Spanish diplomats or nobles partly descended from black Moors, and so on.) I get that lots of countries on Earth are racially homogeneous, so it makes perfect sense that some fantasy settings would be too. But whiteness is the default in our thinking for Earth-specific cultural/political reasons. So while it’s logical for fantasy realms to be homogeneous, it’s not logical for so many of them to be homogeneously white. Something besides logic is causing that.
So. It’s a good idea for all fantasy writers to learn how to describe characters of color. And I think it’s a good idea to learn how to describe those characters in subtle ways, since they can’t always rely on Earth terminology. Now, doing subtle description increases the chance that the reader might misidentify the character racially — and to a degree, I think there’s nothing you can do about that. You’re working against a lifetime of baggage in the reader’s mind. But you can still insert enough cues so that when combined, they’ll get the idea across.
allergiesandadventure said: Are there any Asian-American Marvel heroines??
YES - quite a few! The only one who has her own ongoing is Ms. Marvel, though Jubilee is currently a member of the core team in Brian Wood’s X-Men, and Nico Minoru and Jennifer Takeda are in Avengers Undercover. There have even been a few Asian-American WOC in Marvel films and television.
Kamala Khan ("Ms. Marvel") is a Pakistani-American girl living in New Jersey. She is an Inhuman, as we discover when she gains her superpowers after being exposed to the Terrigen mists from Black Bolt’s terrigen bomb. She has shapeshifting powers.
Hisako Ichiki (“Armor”) was born in Japan. Currently an X-Man, she makes regular appearances in Wolverine and the X-Men. She can project a psionic suit of armor around herself.
Nico Minoru (“Sister Grimm”) is Japanese-American. She has magical powers (in the vein of Doctor Strange or Magik) that she channels through her staff. She is a main cast member of Avengers Undercover.
Melinda May is presumably of Chinese descent like her actress, Ming-na Wen.She is a badass ex-SHIELD agent in the TV show, Agents of SHIELD.
Blink is not Asian in the comics (Clarice Ferguson is from the Bahamas) - but in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past film, she is portrayed by Fan Bingbing, a Chinese actress. Blink is a mutant with the ability to teleport, and also to form weapons out of the energy that she manifests her portals out of.
Yukio is Japanese. She is an adventurer who is proficient in martial arts and several different weapons. She appears as an ally of Logan in the recent film, The Wolverine, played by Rila Fukushima.In the comics she was also an ally of Wolverine and is currently recovering from a wound from Deathstrike that left her in a wheelchair.
Jubilation Lee(“Jubilee”) is Chinese-American. She was a mutant but was depowered on M-Day. These days she is a vampire and has all the powers of one (such as super strength, turning into mists) but also all the weaknesses. She is a main team member of Brian Wood’s X-Men. She is portrayed by Katrina Florece in a cameo in the X-Men film.
Karima Shapandar (formerly “Omega Sentinel”) is Indian. She was originally a police officer who was transformed into the Omega sentinel, an advanced type of Sentinel. Recently she was possessed by Arkea, Sublime’s sister. After purging Arkea from her body Karima returned to be a normal human.
Noriko Ashida (“Surge”) was born in Japan, though she was discovered living homeless in New York City. She is a mutant with the power of electrokinesis. The gauntlet she wears helps her to control the force of her electric blasts. She was an important character in both New Mutants and New X-Men. She does not currently appear in any current ongoings as a main character.
Sooraya Qadir (“Dust”) is Afghani. She is a mutant with the ability to transform herself into sand. Unlike Sandman, she usually manifests as an airborne sandstorm. She mostly appeared in New X-Men and Young X-Men, and does not appear in any regular ongoings.
Monica Chang is the chief of SHIELD’s AI division and a member of Avengers AI. Based on her last name is likely Chinese-American though this hasn’t been confirmed. In the Ultimates universe, Monica Chang goes by the codename “Black Widow” and was an Avenger.
Colleen Wing is at least 1/4 Japanese on her mother’s side, and was herself raised in Japan by her grandfather for awhile.
Melati Kusuma (“Komodo”) is an Indonesian-American who was introduced during the Avengers: Initiative. She transformed in a lizard-like being after Dr. Connors allowed her to experiment with his serum in an attempt to grow her legs back. She retains herself while transformed and can de-transform at will. She has not appeared in Marvel comics for a few years now.
And, thanks to damnvers, Xi’an Coy Manh (“Karma”)is a Vietnamese-American mutant. She basically has the power to possess other people’s minds at will and control them, though there are negative consequences for both her and her subject if she does this for too long. She last appeared in Astonishing X-Men as a main cast member though she only appears sporadically nowadays.
It is also worth noting that there is an entire Marvel team of Japanese youths called Big Hero 6 - a book that is being adapted into a Disney-Marvel animated feature. The women on that team include Leiko Tanaka (“GoGo Tomago”) (who can transform into energy and move at high speeds), and Aiko Miyazaki (“Honey Lemon”), who has a purse with access to a different dimension. They have not appeared in comics for quite some time though I predict that they will at least get a one-shot when the new animated feature arrives.
Thanks to javi150190:
Jennifer Takeda (“Hazmat”) is a Japanese American mutant who can produce radiation using her own body. She now appears in Avengers Undercover.
There are probably some other women I forgot. - I left off Psylocke for body-swapping ick factor reasons, Skye because while Chloe Bennet is biracial, we actually have not met her parents yet (I have a theory that she is Kree ;) ) and I left out villainesses/love interests to keep it just heroes!
Thank you for not putting on Psylocke “white woman made Japanese ninja” because… yeah. not ok
3.13 Last Of The Time Lords (Part 3)
↳ Because the thing is, it’s like my friend Vicky. She lived with this bloke —student housing, five of them all packed in. And this bloke was called Sean. And she loved him. She did. She completely adored him. Spent all day long talking about him… Is this going anywhere? Yes! ‘Cause he never looked at her twice. I mean, he liked her. That was it. And she wasted years pining after him —years of her life, ‘cause while he was around she never looked at anyone else. And I told her, I always said to her, time and time again, I said, “Get out”. So this is me, getting out.