Wednesday, October 21, 2015

MisSpelled: The Witchy Web Series Everyone Should Watch

Five actresses of color can tell you what casting directors think when they see them:

A bully, the background friend, a massuese, manicurist, prostitute, thug, young mom, maid, the sassy best friend. Added is the concept that none of these characters offer any real depth. This is commonly, if not always, actresses of color who are burdened with these suffocating depictions. One can imagine bleak claustrophobia when it comes to anything genre-related. Even a Oscar award winner is confined to a CGI alien in the new Star Wars movie. Assessing this landscape and deciding to take the extra step in creating your own content to map your own vision in our digital age takes a lot of patience and hustle. If we get products such as web series MisSpelled, than this is a welcomed trend.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

#SciFiSunday: The Water Phoenix

When betrayed by her lover, a mermaid held captive in an Aquarium must find her way out alone.

A black mermaid. I don't think I've ever seen one which makes this project pretty remarkable. The Water Phoenix is about "empowerment and rising above heartbreak" and the few descriptions I've seen leave much to the imagination in a positive fashion.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Z Nation's Roberta Warren: TV's Best Heroine

SyFy channel's flagship zombie epic Z Nation is a light-hearted yet bleak, self-aware series that centers itself in a universe with its own set of rules. While most scenes play like a first person shooter video game, there's a healthy mix of cinematic competence, off-comedy and drama that delivers a story that relies on the eccentricities as well as emotional honesty of its main characters. Zombies run and the infection is instantaneous. There's no wasting time with the correlation between the government and the exploitation of civilians in an attempt to acknowledge it as a virus and the mission for a cure.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Black Women In Zombie Film & Television History

Madame Sul-Te-Wan as a housekeeping
mammy in Revenge Of The Zombies (1943)
There are many interpretations and realized concepts of the zombie in decades of consumed media. What we're told today by cash grabbing spin off's and zombie-themed cruises (which still floors me) is that the creature is more pervasive than ever.

Zombies, as a concept have roots in non-fiction; "depictions of Voodoo and zombies drew on first-hand accounts written by Europeans and Americans." The 1929 travelogue, The Magic Island by William Seabrook is a rather one-sided, racist account of his two year time in Haiti living with a Voodoo priestess where he apparently is let in on "the secret formulas for bringing forth the undead". His credibility was received because of his maintenance of the status quo: white supremacist declarations of Black religious practices as essentially evil.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Graveyard Shift Sisters Turns 2!

My first and only niece turned two on September 30th this year. And while I've spent a considerable amount of time with her and remember holding her receptive presence in my arms when she was only a few hours old, she's a pretty wise tiny human for someone still very much growing.

This mirrors the station that paints Graveyard Shift Sisters now at the same age. Ripe yet undoubtedly still growing. I'm alright with having no precise design of exactly what the future of this space is. I only hope people continue to discover more women of color in the genre and their work. If there's one goal I can promise, it's to bring y'all completely unique content to the horror journalism landscape.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Black Women In Horror Comics: Regine Sawyer's Eating Vampires

Talented, creative writer and life long lover of comics, Regine Sawyer is the owner/creator of Lockett Down Productions Publications, "a multi-media company specializing in comic books and promotional apparel". Additionally, Sawyer is the coordinator and founder of Women in Comics NYC Collective International and an all-around convention attending, exhibition planning, and panel guru going strong for nine years and counting.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Black Women Horror Writers: Interview With Constance Burris

On the blog today is author Constance Burris, whose story, Black Beauty, is her first in the horror realm. Black Beauty follows a mysterious woman named Jade who makes contact with three Black youths grappling with issues of identity and beauty who discover that her mysterious powers are fact and not myth.

Burris explores the issues we as black women can face with accepting our beauty on its own terms. These aren’t issues that only adults deal with; Black Beauty is listed as a children’s book on Amazon. It shows that identity issues and standards of beauty are ingrained early on in kids. And the real horror is the lengths these teens will go to achieve that so called beauty. I’m sure any parent will want to reassure their children that they are strong and beautiful after reading this story and that beauty comes in all forms.

Black Beauty is a timely, refreshing, yet cautionary story peppered with some chilling events. As it is marketed toward younger people, there isn’t a visceral, gory storyline, but it is disturbing in its message. When Jade’s identity begins to show through, another otherworldly danger is revealed. I will let you know that Black Beauty ends on a cliffhanger, as it is The Everleaf Series Book 0.  But Book One is available and is titled Coal, which also happens to be Jade’s son’s name. I’ve also read Coal but it isn’t a horror story, so I won’t be reviewing it here (I’ll do that on my blog) but it is an engrossing read, full of elves and magic, swordplay, and high fantasy action.

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