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5 Stages of a White Person Trying to Write a Person of Color

5 Stages of a White Person Trying to Write a Person of Color published on

This article first appeared as a Chick on the Draw column Nov 7, 2014 at Luna Station Quarterly

Read the Flippin Manual Sneaky VFX
Sneaky VFX: Read the Flippin’ Manual

I am white. I make drawings and stories. I get some of these published. I take up bandwidth. So I try to make those drawings and stories reflect the people who are stuck looking at them. Continually I discover the areas in which I could be better at this, particularly when it comes to representing people of color.

Drawing a person of color is one thing. If a character doesn’t have solid anatomy, expression, and appeal, it’s a failure of skill, not empathy. Plus, in the cartoony style I tend toward, disbelief is suspended, character conflicts are simplified, and if my comic strip characters express no diversity in their food choices, observed holidays, language, or beliefs, I have a handy “it’s just a cartoon” blanket to hide under (despite all I’ve said about why cartoons matter.)

But in writing every word matters. Every omission matters. Each character makes decisions informed by their experience, or they don’t. There are no big eyes or Dreamworks smiles to smooth rough edges. There’s no blanket.

Continue reading 5 Stages of a White Person Trying to Write a Person of Color

Dan Brown angel fanfic

The Five Days of Rehash – If Famous Authors Wrote Fanfic

The Five Days of Rehash – If Famous Authors Wrote Fanfic published on

While I am AFK this week, you may enjoy this category from the vault: If Famous Authors Wrote Fanfic.

What if Dan Brown worked on his Angel headcanon?

Dan Brown angel fanfic

In the splendid dome of the Taj Mahal, a beautiful young blonde reached out for him.

“Angel! You are as slow as your 240 years would indicate!”

Angel laughed laughingly. He tried to catch up with her, but the tiled room began to tilt. He looked up, and the beautiful woman had been replaced with a ravening Fook-Demon!

Angel Angelus awoke with a start from his troubling nightmare. Before he could gather his mental thoughts, slim but athletic Cordelia walked in with the morning’s folded newspaper.

“Angel,” said Cordelia, tossing her lustrous but professional hair. “We have a problem.”

Or if Ayn Rand shipped Buffy?

Buffy turned to him in stark disbelief.

“You can’t be serious,” she said, like a child just informed that her family was moving to the Midwest and could not, no not even if she was very good, take their cat. “You’re the most powerful vampire that ever lived. The sire of all sires. You cannot… you simply must not go on strike! Why would you leave when Sunnydale needs you most?”

Angel crossed the room before her and leaned against the desk. The room was dark and silent as he withdrew from its pack a black cigarette with a foil gold band. He lit it deftly with a match, not flinching at the sulphur or the flame as it set in relief the gaunt angles of his face. The room filled with the smell of cloves.

He spread his palms, not with condescension, and not without pity, but with the mien of a periodontist whose patient’s surgery could have been avoided through regular flossing.

“Who is Anya Harris?” he said, a plume of smoke encircling his sculpted cheekbones.

Man, I need to watch more Buffy.

Hope you’re having a lovely day.

The Baby Mimic in Crowded Magazine #2

The Baby Mimic in Crowded Magazine #2 published on

Crowded #2 is out!
Crowded #2 is out!

Australia-based, crowd-sourced digital and print-on-demand Crowded Magazine released its second issue of speculative fiction on Saturday.

The issue includes my contemporary sci-fi story “The Baby Mimic”: a couple struggling to adopt are approached for a high-tech experiment.

Be advised reading Crowded Magazine may cause feelings of euphoria, inspiration and desire to participate.

I hope that you will dig it.

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