Features

Your Native American Cosplay Is Racist AF

Every spring, as Coachella wraps up, I breathe a quick little sigh of relief knowing that it’ll be a while before my Twitter feed fills up again with white kids in Urban Outfitters headdresses, Party City chokers, buckskin bikini tops, and Revlon war paint. You know, redface. Also known as cultural appropriation. And sure, that might not be the biggest problem you can think of right now—after all, you might think that of all the kinds of genocide out...

With Infinity War Almost Here, It’s Time to Revisit Marvel’s Villain Problem

With Avengers: Infinity War rapidly approaching, I’ve found myself thinking far more about Marvel movies than I ever thought I would. In fact, originally I didn’t expect to even like them that much at all. I’ve never been the biggest fan of action movies—I enjoy them as much as the next guy, but they don’t really tend to leave the theater with me, and for a while, that was how I approached the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well. I...

A Look Back on the Troubled Yet Iconic Dragon Ball Super

On March 25, 2018, Dragon Ball Super came to an end after 131 episodes. Discussion of its finale lead to DBS trending at the number-three worldwide spot on Twitter, and multiple municipal governments in a half dozen Latin American countries sponsored public viewings of the final two episodes—some places drawing more than 10,000 attendees. People love Dragon Ball. And as a hardcore fan of the franchise myself, I thought now would be the perfect time to go back and look...

A Minnesota-Created Book Series Uses DC Superheroes to Teach Character Lessons

As a parent trying to ensure my child has an understanding of how her actions affect the world around her, it’s always helpful to have examples to make an abstract concept more concrete. If those examples can include things she finds relevant or interesting, then it’s even better. Fortunately, Minnesota publisher Capstone has recently released a series of books aimed at young children that use DC Comics characters to illustrate positive character traits. The books are wonderfully illustrated by...

Minicon Proves There’s Life after Bloomington

Minicon 53, which was held March 30 through April 1, 2018, was especially notable in two ways. First, it was the 50th anniversary of the first convention (there were two in 1971 and two in 1974, which is why we’re on convention 53). And second, it saw the convention leave the DoubleTree Bloomington, otherwise known as the Radishtree for its past as a Radisson and a Sheraton, for the DoubleTree Park Place in St. Louis Park. The guests of...

In Spite of Pennywise, Performers Keep the Art of Friendly Clowning Alive

Clowns from around the globe gathered in Bloomington, Minnesota, last month for the annual convention of the World Clown Association This wasn’t your garden-variety clown gathering—it was the whipped cream of the crop, professional clowns young and old, new, improved, and veteran, coming together to learn from one another and embrace their passion of clowning. Over the years, the profession of clowning has dwindled somewhat as the world has moved towards superhero birthday parties and clowns have been repeatedly portrayed as maniacal, dastardly,...

For Nonbinary Geeks, Representation and Acceptance Can Be Hard to Find

For many people, both inside and outside of the trans community, the word transgender is seen as referring to people who were assigned male at birth (AMAB) and transitioned to a female identity or people who were assigned female at birth (AFAB) and transitioned into a male identity. Sometimes this includes physically transitioning with surgery and hormones, and sometimes it does not. This idea, however, is missing a whole slew of folks under the trans umbrella: many people, whether...

How the Simple Magic of Photography Lets Me See the World through My Daughter’s Eyes

I hadn’t thought that my daughter might be interested in making her own vacation memories until we took a trip to Disney World. As we moved from place to place in the parks, she kept asking if she could take pictures with my camera. Since she was four at the time, I was hesitant to trust her for an extended period of time, but did allow her some occasional chances to take a picture or two. Looking back at...

American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year Shoots for the Stars

American Girl, the brand known for bringing history-based 18-inch dolls to bunches of kids over the past 30 years, has been releasing a special Girl of the Year each year for the past decade or so. Each of these characters generally has a specific interest, such as baking or dance. Over the course of two to three books (it varies from year to year), her story related to that interest evolves, and she overcomes various challenges along the way....

How to Beat the Housebound Winter Blues

As some of my readers know, I use a wheelchair most of the time when I leave the house. I also use wheelchair-accessible public transportation, which is faulty even in the best of weather, so in the winter it can be downright unbearable. Plus, traveling with a wheelchair anywhere in the winter is a hardship. So what’s a gal to do to preserve her mental health and stay in touch with her geeky community? The first thing is to...
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