Black Nerds Expo 2019

Black Nerds Expo 2019

 

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The Black Nerds Expo on Thursday, February 28 from 10:00AM to 2:00PM at MiraCosta College (1 Barnard Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056) is a space for attendees to explore and celebrate black comics, books, art, video games, and pop culture. This event is open to everyone! Register at http://blacknerdsexpo.eventbrite.com for free!

Here is what the expo will offer:

-Play games

-Meet people in the art, video game, and comic book industries

-Make new, local friends who like black pop culture

-Participate in opportunity drawings for active attendees

-Take Instagram-worthy photos at the photo booth

-Day-of point card to collect comics-related stickers and prizes

-Learn about upcoming projects and releases information in anime, manga, video games, media, and pop culture

FAQs

How much is it to attend the Black Nerds Expo?

It’s free! Just make sure to either pre-register or register on-site for entry.

Why is there a need for a black nerds event?

Could you name at least three black superheroes outside of Black Panther, Storm from the X-men, or Luke Cage? Could you name at least three black authors without searching on Google? Could you name at least one black artist outside of comics? Events such as the Black Nerds Expo is to make aware the existence of black pop culture that isn’t usually shown or celebrated in mainstream media.

 

If I’m a vendor, artist, or would like to table for the Black Nerds Expo, how can I make that happen?

Please email jbanks@miracosta.edu or complete an exhibitor application at https://goo.gl/forms/75SkViyzNwPSFptU2 to register a representative to participate in the Black Nerds Expo. There is limited space, so please contact Jd Banks as soon as possible.

 

How much is it to reserve a table?

It’s free! We don’t want tabling or exhibiting fees to be a barrier for exhibiting. Please contact Jd Banks at jbanks@miracosta.edu as soon as possible since space is limited.

 

If I can’t be there personally but I or my business would like to contribute, how do I do that?

Send any promotional materials (i.e. flyers, postcards, business cards, posters) to the following address by Thursday, February 14, 2019 to give them time to arrive:

ATTN: Jd Banks, Student Equity (MC: #10C)

MiraCosta College

1 Barnard Drive

Oceanside, CA 92056

 

Is it possible to sponsor something for this event?

Sure! We would like to do an opportunity drawing for attendees, so any swag items such as T-shirts, hats, buttons, wrist bands, DVDs, posters, cups, or figurines relating to black pop culture would be appreciated. In return, the Black Nerds Expo will cross-promote your brand on social media and other marketing materials. Please email Jd Banks at jbanks@miracosta.edu for information.

 

Are you providing any stipends or paying any fees for vendors, artists, or representatives to participate in the Black Nerds Expo?

No. Participants will only be provided a table, refreshments, and day-of logistical support.

 

What sort of things would be great to bring as a vendor, artist, or representative to the Black Nerds Expo?

If you are a comics vendor, comics and graphic novels concentrating on black superheroes such as Black Panther, Storm, Luke Cage, Black Lightning, Green Lantern, March, Miles Morales Spider-Man, Ironheart, Batwing, Cyborg, Mister Terrific, Vixen, Nubia, Rocket, XS, Tattooed Man, Afro Samurai, and more would be great.  Find a list of black superheroes at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_black_superheroes. Books from Toni Morrison, Ben Okri, Karyn Parsons, John Lewis, Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Obama and other black authors would also be great. Artwork can be fan-created artwork of current black superheroes and/or original artwork with black and African-American attendees in mind.

Black Nerds Expo Supporters

IDW Publishing

Right Stuf

Evoluzione Publishing

Black Sci-Fi

MiraCosta College

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Why I’m a Literacy Advocate

literacyadvocate

Happy International Literacy Day!

When I came home from school, my “friends” were always waiting for me. They dressed in primary colors—reds, blues, and greens—and stood at attention. As any old friend would do, they accepted me without judging me. Together, we smiled, laughed, and cried. I thought that they would stay with me forever. After I turned eleven, I never saw these friends again. We had to sell them to other children who needed them. I felt sad because we’d have to separate, but I accepted the fact that my best friends were books. There were more of them for me to find.

My relationship with books from an early age filled the void of being friendless. For whatever reason, I was too different from the other kids, so I read. I went into the books and played with the characters in a playground where everyone was accepted. I didn’t feel lonely or get angry at my situation. It was because no matter where I went, books were waiting for me.

Now as an adult, I support literacy, and I think all readers should be advocates for reading. It’s important for children to understand that they aren’t alone in a world that wants them to look like perfect images. Without that support, children fall into bad habits, destructive behaviors, and limitations. I know that if I hadn’t read books, I would’ve been a problem child who would turn into a problematic adult. Studies show that people who lack basic literacy skills are more likely to face health, financial, employment, imprisonment, and social problems in their futures (ProLiteracy,  Conference Board of Canada).  Adult readers and adults who have participated in literacy programs are generally better at getting and keeping their jobs, being unemployed less, earning more money, understanding their health problems and treatment better, and are less likely to go to jail (Lume Institute, LiteracyConnects). People can find benefits in improving their literacy skills through anything that gets them reading.

I think literacy isn’t limited to conventional trade backs and children’s books. Graphic novels, comics, manhwa, and manga are part of the reading circle. They stimulate imaginations which leads to better creative problem-solving skills that can be used in daily life. I know I exercise my creativity every day, especially since I have to make materials for Japanese kids who don’t know English. Even though I’ve left my original friends behind, they’re still inspiring me in all aspects of my life now.

Japanese Writers

When I first became interested in Japan, I was only interested in Japanese animation and manga. It wasn’t until college that I decided to read Japanese authors to get a better perspective of Japan. Although I think that anime and manga are great ways to learn more about a culture, books have a unique way of presenting cultural information in a gentle manner; the reader gets to walk in the footsteps of a Japanese person, not just look at drawings of Japanese people. The thoughts and mannerisms of a Japanese are ingrained in the writing–if readers can read between the lines.

Haruki Murakami

Murakami is one of my favorite writers in general, let alone, Japanese writers. His works are very famous around the world, and almost every book I’ve read by him has amazed me. His most popular books include 1Q84, Norwegian Wood, and Kafka on the Shore. Each of his stories deal with the surreal, whether they encounter dreams, ghosts, or the character’s own tormented psyche.

Banana Yoshimoto

Though I would say that Yoshimoto is a female version of Murakami, her works stand well on their own. She also writes surrealistic stories, such as n.p., Goodbye, Tsugumi, and Kitchen, but she focuses on a situation that leads the main character towards different relationships with people. What I like about Yoshimoto is that her work is really honest and straightforward, something that’s difficult to find in writers nowadays. Her work is easy to digest, but don’t be fooled. There’s always a deeper concept playing beneath the surface of her words.

Kenzaburo Oe

Nobel Prize winner, Kenzaburo Oe, is a well-known Japanese writer with many of his works translated around the world. A prolific writer with heavy themes, Oe captures the depth of human psychology while infusing existentialism into his stories. His works include A Quiet LifeThe Changeling, and A Personal Matter. Although his works are more difficult to read–his audience seems to be for people above a tenth-grade reading level–Oe’s works are worth reading, especially for readers looking to find the gritty side of the human soul.

 

Yukio Mishima

Though this writer, actor, poet, and film director was born in the early years of the 20th century, Mishima’s works still breathe of lives that face the same issues of loss, death, and reality. Similar to Oe’s dark-themed works, Mishima faces his readers with brutal honesty that isn’t easy to absorb sometimes. Still, his books like Death in Midsummer and The Sea of Fertility tetralogy are worthwhile reads.

Amy Yamada

Although Amy Yamada isn’t so popular like Murakami or Yoshimoto, Yamada’s books are engaging and interesting. Her books, like  Trash and Bedtime Eyes, appeal to older women–many of her titles embraces life as a Japanese woman in the U.S. and the relationships she engages in. What I like about Yamada is her confidence in writing about gritty subjects, like sexuality, racism, alcoholism, and interracial coupling. She’s not shy about the reality of relationships, good or bad.

Yasutaka Tsutsui

Author of popular stories that spawned multiple anime and movie titles, Tsutsui’s books are more suited for the complicated teenage mind. It’s not the plot lines that I would suggest books like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time for the teen-book section. Simply, the English versions I’ve read are written at a fifth or sixth grade reading level with the same level substance. Like Murakami and Yoshimoto, many of Tsutsui’s books have a surreal quality, but more fantasy or science fiction is weaved into the stories. Unlike Murakami and Yoshimoto, who use simplistic vocabulary, Tsutsui hasn’t mastered how to create depth in the stories. As I mentioned before, I would only suggest Tsutsui’s books for complicated teenagers.