* Frank Ocean's sophomore album
Best Posts in Forum: Books, Comics and Graphic Novels
- Thread: My Spider-Man is Black!!!
Today, Sony has debuted the first trailer for Lord and Miller’s animated Spider-Man film, starring Miles Morales and very possibly some other Spider heroes along the way.
Into the Spider Verse will be in theaters Christmas 2018, and will star Miles Morales in what the promo material is calling a “fresh vision of a different Spider-Man universe.” The elegant visual design of the trailer, with its realistic CGI environments and wiry, acrobatic Miles Morales, certainly feels fresh. The trailer doesn’t contain much except for a showcase of Miles being an excellent young Spider-Man, though it continues Black Panther’s fine tradition of soundtracking Marvel trailers with Vince Staples.
The film will star Shameik Moore as the voice of Miles Morales, with Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) voicing his father, Jefferson Davis, and actor Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) voicing Miles’s uncle, Aaron Davis, aka The Prowler.
Watch the trailer below. This is officially the Marvel movie I’m most excited for.
“At 28 years old, seven years out of college, I was so convinced that my voice outed me as a fag that I had stopped speaking to people I didn’t know. The silence left a mark, threw my whole body into a slouch, with a concave chest, as if trying to absorb impact. I’d spent seven years in an all-boys school: 2,000 adolescents in the same khaki uniforms striking hunting poses, stalking lunchrooms, classrooms, changing rooms, looking for boys who didn’t fit in. I bought myself protection by cursing, locking my lisp behind gritted teeth, folding away my limp wrist and drawing 36-double-D girls for art class. I took a copy of Penthouse to school to score cool points, but the other boys called me ‘batty boy’ anyway — every day, five days a week. To save my older, cooler brother, I pretended we weren’t related.”
Gay Jamaican Novelist Marlon James Wins the 2015 Man Book Prize
Every time I read about experiences like those of Marlon James it reminds me that as unpleasant as my experiences was growing up as a black gay man in the USA. We have it far worse in majority black countries like in the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. It also makes me think of how many smart and talented people these societies waste and the lost human potential because of their superstitions and backwards prejudices.
Marlon James’ New Fantasy Trilogy Is Inspired By ‘LOTR’ And African Epics
Fantasy and sci-fi stories take place in faraway lands or alternate universes, but they still suffer from the same failures of representation as many 21st-century Hollywood films. Whether the setting is Middle Earth or Winterfell, almost everyone is white.
An upcoming trilogy by author Marlon James will bring some much-needed diversity to the fantasy genre.
The Dark Star Trilogy by James, winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, is billed as the “African ‘Game of Thrones.’” The bookswill follow three characters ― the Tracker, the Moon Witch and the Boy ― as they decipher what went wrong in a search for a missing child.
The main characters are three of eight mercenaries who were hired by a slave trader to track down a kidnapped kid. The book takes place nine years after that fact, when five of the mercenaries as well as the missing child are dead ― and seeks to put together the missing pieces using not-quite-reliable witness testimony. Expect mer-creatures, underworld darkness, magical techniques, a mysterious dwarf race and far more unadulterated geekery.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, James explained how his frustration with the lack of characters of color in existing fantasy books led him to create his own.
“Originally it came from a fight that I had with somebody. I think it was when they announced the casting for ‘The Hobbit,’” James recalled. “I remember saying, ‘You know, if an Asian or a black hobbit came out of the Shire, nobody would have cared. We would have just moved on.’ And my friend said, ‘Well, Lord of the Rings is all this British and Celtic mythology.’ And I said, ‘Well, you know ... Lord of the Rings isn’t real.’ It just turned into one of these arguments we have about diversity and inclusion.”
The writer summed up his stance in Man of the World magazine: “I realized how sick and tired I was of arguing about whether there should be a black hobbit in Lord of the Rings.”
The works that helped shaped James’ trilogy are a multifarious spread, ranging from Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber to Marvel’s “Luke Cage,” Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea to the paintings of Salvador Dalí. Yet James was particularly influenced by African epics like The Epic of Son-Jara and The Epic of Askia Mohammed, created around the same time as Beowulf.
“It made me start to think about the fantastic African epic traditions — some of the stories I grew up with, like ‘Anansi the Spider,’” James told EW.
“I just realized that there’s this huge pool of fantastic stories to draw from. It’s sort of like my being a scholar of African history and mythology, and my being a total sci-fi/fantasy geek who rereads things like The Mists of Avalon, they just sort of came together.”
James is aiming to finish the books by the end of 2017, in time for a Fall 2018 release. At that point, 12-year-old sci-fi-heads and avid literature fans can finally join together and “geek the fuck out.”
Marlon James' New Fantasy Trilogy Is Inspired By 'LOTR' And African Epics | The Huffington Post
- Thread: Book Club for Black SGL Men
Building on what you just stated I think Kelly B. Douglas Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective is also a great book that speaks to the mis-interpretation of biblical scriptures when it comes to sexuality in the church. Btw I do both e-book and hard copy, but I lean more towards e-books.
"I'm young and pretty and I represent the youth in America and speak to them in a way no one can at this time. I AM the American Idol, bytch and I like to Cliiiimb and FLY through the sky, bytch. And I would look OVAH in the Spider-Man outfit, HUNTY!"
I'm sorry, but soon as I read his statement, I heard the "Gay Voice" smh. LOL!
In advance of the upcoming 2018 Cypher Avenue Winter Reading List, I’ve been copping some new fiction and non-fiction books. One that arrived today that I’ve already felt was a good buy (for me, at least) were “personal growth” books on the subject of Perfectionism.
Perfectionism really isn’t about thinking you and everything you do is perfect, its actually the opposite. I think everything I do is never really that good, usually because one (or a few) things are off. This applies to this website, my creative work and even myself. No matter how much people tell me I look good, I only see the flaws. No matter how much people compliment my work, I only see the flaws.
An early page in one of the books, “Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies To Crush You Inner Critic and Create A Life You Love,” spoke right to me:
In basketball terms, I’m the solid sixth man who constantly compares myself to Jordan, Kobe and Lebron (three of the best to ever play the game) so I hardly ever see myself as being any good at all.
Anyway, I’m still just digging into the books. Will give an update by the time we compile the Winter Reading List. You can view the 2017 Winter Reading List here:
The Cypher Avenue Winter 2017 Reading-List
Might be time to have an official Cypher Avenue Squad Member Approved Reading-List on the site. In this thread everyone can either tell us what they are currently reading or suggest books that they’ve read in the past.
It can be either fiction or non-fiction, but the only requirement is that the books have to be either highly recommended or something you think the squad might really enjoy.
The books seen in the photo above are new additions to my library. On a whim, I was motivated to search for some “self help books for men” and came across these as top contenders.
Since I haven’t yet read them all, I’ll give quick reasons why I pulled trigger on each one.
1.) The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden: Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Self Esteem. Like many people, I go through bouts in which I’m super confident then in a moment’s notice become an insecure bag of meat. Then I look at so many people thirst trapping and bragging on social media and wonder if those are displays of high self esteem or just disguised cries for help. So I wanted to do a little research on the topic. This book was suggested by many others.
2.) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey: When I look back at my life I know that I’ve accomplished a decent amount in my 40 years here on Earth. However, I know that I could be doing so much more, not just with my career but also my personal life.
3.) Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins: I always viewed Tony Robbins as a quack motivational speaker but this book was highly recommended as actually having very good advice and self help tools.
4.) You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero: I’m a sucker for books with curse words in the title. Sometimes even I need reminders of just how fuckin’ dope I am. The reviews of this book suggested it would help.
5.) The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson: Again, curse words in the title! Seriously though, as many regular readers already know, there’s already a lot that I don’t give a fuck about. All of the many positive reviews on this book suggest that it offers great counter-intuitive advice on finding personal happiness and fulfillment.
6.) How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie: I bought this classic book not only to gain tips on gaining and growing even more adult friendships, but also to help with my various business endeavors that involve interacting with people.
7.) The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane: Say what you will about his music, the man def has an interesting life story. A New York Times Bestseller and massive critical acclaim, this was a no-brainer for me.
I’m still only halfway through the book so I haven’t reached the part where he talks about being cloned while in prison.
8.) Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a Fuck: Even more curse words in the title! Lately I’ve started eating healthier and considered adding at least a few vegan dishes to my options when cooking at home. This book stood out because it had tons of photos and seemed to have the type of recipes that looked appetizing to even non-vegans.
And how could I say no when it features a black kid drawing comic books?
What books would you add to the Cypher Avenue Reading List?
List it below and tell us about it!
- Thread: Book Club for Black SGL Men
- Thread: Book Club for Black SGL Men
Love this thread! Good shit @scooter !!
This book used to be one of my favorite popular fiction novels. It's sequel "Deception, Lies, & the Truth" wasn't all that great, but it does keep the narrative going and wraps up some of the plot lines.
Here's a great collection of work from one of the first black gay writers who said whatever the hell he wanted to say.
I enjoy novels, but to be honest I feel that some of the most daring work in African American and American literature comes from black gay poets. Yet, poets don't get the same kind of engagement and readership as novelists, for a whole host of reasons... So here's a full length collection ([Insert] Boy) and chapbook (Black Movie) of contemporary poetry written by my boy Danez.
So y'all wanna find/agree on a book and talk about it soon?!
- Thread: Birth Month Super Hero Battle
Well, the only non-heteronormative black gay fiction that I've read all fell under the erotic fiction category. They were usually about a gay guy who was supposedly straight until he started noticing guys for the first time. So I guess from the "Top Whore" perspective.
There was also a mystery/thriller novel that I reviewed for the site years ago called The Messiah.
CYPHER AVENUE ESSENTIALS: The Messiah – A Novel by Lee Hayes
Synopsis: Struggling to revive his stalling career, investigative reporter Dante Graves works to break the case of the Messiah serial killer, teaming up with the murderer’s only known survivor, and discovers clues leading to his own lover, a respected doctor.
- Thread: X-Men vs. Justice League
Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes To Those Who Create It by Charlamagne tha God (gov't name: Lenard McKelvey), (NYT Bestseller & debuted at #6 on the charts) - highly recommended non-fiction book.
I have read most of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People while in college. I had an advanced biochemistry professor suggest it to me because he said he saw something in me and felt like the book could take me to the next level.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson was recommended to me by @Infinite_loop and another fellow Cypher Avenue friend who lives here in ATL that loves reading books. I will have to check it out someday.
Right now during the winter, I want to get into 'Think and Grow Rich' by Napoleon Hill (self-help; non-fiction) and also 'Lives of Great Men' by Chike Frankie Edozien (non-fiction). The latter book is a collection of short stories from Nigerian gay men which is looking to be pretty interesting. S/O to @Infinite_loop for gifting me with the book.
- Thread: The BlaX-Men??
Dude seems cool. I first saw him on Viceland's Desus & Mero.
When he said it was very difficult getting his book sold cos he kept getting 'You are Gay and black', translation 'Wyte ppl don't care and black ppl are too Homophobic'. smh
That could really discourage a person, glad he pushed through.
Black Mask Studios had a successful campaign raising over $95k earlier this year to help create their new comic Black. From their website Black is described as X-Men meets The Wire. They do on further to state:
“In a world that already hates and fears them – what if only Black people had superpowers? After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it’s safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free.”
Reviews so far have been positive:
“A young black person gets shot by police. This time, he gets up, discovering that he’s more powerful than he ever could have imagined. In a time when the African-American community’s fraught relationship with the police is making headlines across the world, BLACK is shaping up to be a superhero comic ripped right out of some of modern America’s biggest social issues.”
“BLACK follows Kareem Jenkins, a young black teenager who gets racially profiled and gunned down by police only to discover that he is one of many black people with superpowers.”
“A story like BLACK is still important, and necessary… It may attract one demographic more than others, but it parallels current events – so it is a universal story.”
The Washington Post
“There is, unfortunately, no better time for a comic book like BLACK to be announced and created than right now, because the visual of the young Black man wearing a hoodie and being confronted by the gun(s) of police officers is burned into our collective conscience. It is the image of one of the most prevalent and gross generalizations of our times.”
Comic Book Resources
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- Thread: The BlaX-Men??
- Thread: Preview: Aliens: Defiance #1
Battling demons from her past while fighting for her life, Colonial Marine Private First Class Zula Hendricks, in the company of Weyland-Yutani synthetics, is forced to question her strength and loyalty when the discovery of an insidious alien species on a derelict hauler sends her on a dangerous journey across the stars.
- Thread: Book Club for Black SGL Men
Post a book that is on your reading list this winter or summer. I will start with the one I am reading its titled, Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South: An Oral History by E. Patrick Johnson. Its been on my reading list for quite sometime since grad school ended for me. I have picked it up and put it down over the past few months due to prior engagements. However, now that things have calmed down in life just a bit, I am going commit to reading it and its entirety. I am sure it will carry me well into the summer months, but you can read an excerpt of the book by clicking on the hyperlink above if you are trying to decide if want read the book. Peace and respect my brothers!
- Thread: READ COMICS FOR FREE!
I got good news and bad news. I have so many comics I want to catch up on but don’t have the money to pay for them sh!ts. Than the Lordt guided my browser and I found HelloComic.com were you can read comics for FREE. That’s the good news.
The bad news is you gotta deal with some annoying redirecting ads, BUT I think I found a slight trick to avoid most of them. When you click on the page of the comic you want to read, the website will attempt to redirect you to one of their sponsors. It will do this for every 2-3 pages of the comic you're reading, again this will get very annoying (be warned). However as soon as you are finished reading one page and click the arrow to go to the next page, the second that next page looks like it is about to finish loading, click the “X” button on your web browser bar to stop the page from fully loading.This will also stop the site from redirecting you to the ad. It doesn't work all the time but does work most of the time (for me).
Man I been reading comics all night AND I got to keep my money in my pocket. They have a HUGH selection of comics from all the publishing companies.
So comic readers, if you just want the story and don't care about having the actual comic in your hands, this might work for you.