Thursday, May 28, 2015

Black Women in Comics: Horror With Fat Bat Dana

Peanuts Gang, Cathy, and The Boondocks are the origins of my enjoyment that arises from comic strips. I appreciate the art of it deeply. It's the kind of doodling I really took to as a hobby when I was younger. One such lady whom I've recently connected with has maximized her youthful efforts by creating an extremely impressive array of comics guaranteed to appeal to an audience seeking the dry humor, intelligence, and cynicism of the strips I still call my faves.

Schooled, drawing, and residing in France, illustrator Calyn Pickens Rich has set her aim to "represent the underrepresented" with highly imaginative illustrations and  strips, creating lively characters with a sharp wit.Upon a budding universe of characters, Calyn uses her web comic to educate as well as entertain with wit directed towards the irony of adulthood. You know, all those things we hate about it that failed to enter our minds when we imagined how great it would be to stay up past 10 or not have a curfew. And the bigger twist: the burden of knowledge. While self- liberating, can also be a pretty heavy burden while we manage to balance it all out with Netflix binges.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Girls Will Be Ghouls Podcast: Episode 3

Introduction: Ashlee says go forth and follow The 7 Magpies - The first all African American female written and directed horror anthology created by filmmaker L.C.Cruell (@Cruell) on Facebook, Twitter, and check out the website!

Horror List: Ashlee & Zena's Favorite Doll Horror Films

Film Discussion: Gallowwalkers (2012)

Zena & Ashlee's Recent Watch Recommendations

Questions, comments, donations? Send ALL to GirlsWillBGhouls@gmail.com

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Black Women in 80s Horror Films

Horror in the 1980's saw its most economically prosperous boom ever with droves of young audiences flocking to the theaters each weekend to catch the latest mainstream fare and the independent circuit got the taste of dollar returns with VHS technology, video rental stores, and small film companies not yet chewed and swallowed by the landmark Telecommunications Act in 1996. The abundance of films were endless. So much so, myself and other horror aficionados are still combing purposely through the virtual racks to find untapped treasures, and others we don't remember by name. Unsurprising, diverse character representations weren't entirely a part of this equation.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wicked Rewind | American Horror Story: Coven

I was late to the party in regards to any engagement in the American Horror Story series. After a trepidacious turned immense enjoyment of FOX's Glee (seasons 1 and 2 only), it was hard to envision series creator Ryan Murphy with a vision for horror that I found palatable. Many additional factors went into that assumption but foremost, it was, and remains for me an extremely difficult task to commit time to serial television on a weekly basis, even in the advent of streaming. It takes a tremendous amount of coaxing to convince me a series is worth my time. Film is an equally intense rather less time consuming habit to invest, a TV show can put me in a whirlwind of fandom for years, filled with endearing nostalgia and (slightly) terrifying devotion. My past has showed me this: when I loved a show, I loved hard. As an older gentlelady, those passions have simmered as I had to 'grow up' a little. A professor once said in my critical television class, "Being in television fandom is like a part-time job." Ask any of us there during the dawn of internet message boards.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sci-Fi Sunday: Talking Comics & Film At ECBACC 2015

For the second year in a row, I was fortunate enough to attend The East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention or, ECBACC in Philadelphia. It's "an annual gathering of comic book artists, writers, their fans, and retailers who are interested in discussing, buying, and selling comic books, sci-fi, action figures and related material by and / or about Black superheroes / super-powered characters / adventures" with a community/youth literacy focus through comics.

This year was particularly special to me as I am a student of comic book culture but lean towards leadership in regards to film. ECBACC's chosen theme this time around was the fusion of films, filmmaking, comic books, and superheroes. What fueled many of the conversations was the condition of the Black presence in each of those spaces and how crucial it is that we continue to break down barriers, stereotypes, and encourage our youth if they're interested to take part in this industry as creatives and business-minded individuals.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Black Women Horror Writers: Kenya Moss-Dyme

I seem to be on a roll of finding short stories to read lately. I love to pick up a book and when I only have a short amount of time before going to sleep or when I’m procrastinating from writing my own work. (Bad Eden!)

Daymares is a creepy collection of seven tales of terror by author Kenya Moss-Dyme.

Moss-Dyme has a handle on what women fear. While there are stories that will appeal to the core of any person—being alone, not being taken seriously by your partner, not being able to get ahead no matter how much you try—there are undertones which speak specifically to horrors women face.

In “Baby Mine”, a woman faces a difficult choice after a passion-charged night with a lover. Her decision puts her on the path of a horror-filled experience no woman wants to have. Moss-Dyme has mastered how to incorporate various cultures in her writing without succumbing to flat, clich├ęd phrases, which puts this story into the most disturbing of the collection. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Is Respectability Politics Killing Black Horror?

Still from Welcome To My Parlor 2 featuring
my character Abel Worthy
For the past 7 years I’ve been trying to make a horror film. Along the way I’ve met a few potential producers and the conversations usually go something like this: First, they’re impressed because I’m articulate and passionate about the art of filmmaking. Then they finally ask me what my film is about and become immediately turned off when I say, “horror”. Plus I usually make the double taboo of adding “comedy” onto the end of the phrase. “Horror comedy!?” they say with a face like that of someone who stepped into the empty subway car on a crowded train. I then explain that this horror-comedy will ultimately be a commentary of my own personal experiences with racism and violence. They tell me to think about writing a biopic or a civil rights story instead.