Monday, December 11, 2017

Stan Lee’s Daughter Promotes Diversity and Peace at SF Comic Con

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I have not been contacted by the Bay City Beacon and seem to no longer be writing for them. I'm really proud of this article and as such, am publishing it here so that I know it's available. You can still view the Bay City Beacon version here.

Legends of the comic book world are working to amplify their central message of love and unity.
In the midst of the mayhem at San Francisco Comic Con, one particular kiosk stood out: Stan Lee’s “Hands of Respect”campaign. Like many Hollywood creators, producers, and stars, Stan Lee, creator of Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, Spider-Man, and a host of other Marvel Comics properties, created “Hands of Respect” as a positive message in a world of increasing hate and division.
Chadwick Boseman, who plays T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War and in the upcoming Black Panther full length, spoke at the Stan Lee handprint and footprint ceremony on behalf of the organization. Boseman discussed the Marvel franchise and Black Panther film as one that empowered black people and portrayed them as having “secrets and powers that few others knew.”
Stan Lee has been extremely active in Marvel Comics films, appearing in them even when they weren’t produced by Marvel Studios. Even so, his daughter JC was critical of the films, many of which can be pretty gratuitous and violent. “I wasn’t on the set for any of them,” she said. “I don’t know if these movies, all the blow up, kick out, kill, destroy, have really been good for the world.”
In an interview, JC emphasized that diversity and understanding wasn’t a new idea for comic books, but one that her father had put forth decades before, with creations like Black Panther. In her view, Marvel’s various shifts in brand identity often diluted her father’s original inclusive message. “My father started this and I’m continuing. We came a long way but we’re not quite there yet,” she added. “We can be different races, different religions but we don’t have to be exclusive to each other.”
JC’s new comic, A Little Faithfollows a set of friends, including a Jew, a Hindu, a Muslim, an outspoken atheist, and a very much believing Christian who, after seeing a shooting star, is able to explain how the true message of Christmas speaks to all faiths and peoples.
JC’s father was and is very much Jewish (as were much of the artists in the Golden Age of Comics), while her mother exposed her at an early age to the traditions of the Church of England. “I realized that my parents’ true religion was love,” she said. “I find the comics are a really easy way to get the message across. I feel that people need faith. My desire was not just to do a Christian comic, but to hit all of them. Comics don’t threaten people.”
Lee didn’t mince words about the social climate within the United States and its role in inspiring both A Little Faith and “Hands of Respect.”
“We are in such terrible times now,” she said, “it’s nice to share what our people are really about, not all this nonsense. It’s all about love, We’re just very far removed from it now. We’re just getting further and further divided. I hope that somehow Dad, through his ‘respect’ pin and with who he is, and I can bring unity or at least help mend things.”
She added that, despite a climate that speaks to people’s worst natures, she still believes people can be good and smart. “The people who are here [at Comic Con], who read your articles, aren’t stupid. They’re silly today and they’re greedy today but they aren’t stupid.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Pictures from Dia De Los Muertos in San Francisco 2017

I took these during the Dia De Los Muertos celebration in San Francisco this year. Please donate so that I can continue this work.