Midwest BSFA Celebrates Its Second Anniversary!

We made it around the sun once again and today, the Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance celebrates its second anniversary! This has been a whirlwind of a year, full of programs and conversations and debates and friendship building and I look forward to more in 2017!

Here’s a short recap of what we got up to this year:

  • In April, we chatted with University of Cincinnati Professor Charles Jones about Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness, the book he co-edited with Reynaldo Anderson, co-founder of the Black Speculative Arts Movement. I also made my second appearance on the BLKBOARD podcast.
  • In May, we had a table at the Cincinnati Library Comic Con at the main branch. We did trivia on the show’s black recurring characters and guest stars.
  • In June, we hosted the 2nd Queen City Black Comix Day, showcasing local and regional comics artists and creators. We were also featured on Ghettoblaster Magazine‘s website.
  • In September, we had a table at MECCACon in Detroit and hosted a steampunk character building workshop for adults.
  • In October, we hosted a sci-fi short film night in honor of Black Speculative Fiction Month.
  • In November, we hosted a panel on cyberfunk at Pandoracon, a three-day sci-fi convention in Cincinnati. I also served as the Queen of Diamonds for the event.

Thanks to the rest of the Midwest BSFA crew for making these last two years so much! I look forward to doing bigger and better programming with you in the years to come!

Interview with Artist Avy Jetter

avy jetterTrapped. Scared. Disoriented. Four friends lock themselves in the store room of the corner store. A liquor store that mostly sells candy to neighborhood kids. Is this real? Are people really eating each other? Just on the other side of the freeway, just past downtown, something is happening, something is making people crazy, something is making people feed. Feed on each other. This is the introduction to artist Avy Jetter’s zine Nuthin Good Ever Happens at 4 A.M. Jetter has only been officially doing zines for four years and her work is thoroughly compelling. Midwest BSFA talked to her about her influences and the enduring attraction to zombie narratives.  Read More

Interview with Jermaine Dickerson of the BLKBOARD Podcast

jermaineThis week, I talked about cosplay, steampunk, speculative fiction and more on the BLKBOARD podcast, run by college buddies Mike Tré Randall and Jermaine Dickerson (pictured), so in turn, we’re doing interviews with the podcasting duo here on the Midwest BSFA blog! (Check back for Mike’s interview on April 15.) We recently talked to Dickerson about mainstream vs. indie comics, the importance of representation and the broader definition of being “nerd.”  Read More

Do You Know What Today Is?

Frobot at the library
That’s right, it’s our anniversary! A year ago today, I posted the first entry on this blog and started working on something that has become near and dear to my heart. Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance has allowed me to indulge in programming and conversations that have expanded my imagination and fed my spirit. I can only hope that it’s done the same for our members and those around us.

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Success at MECCACon!

We had so much fun at MECCACon in Detroit on Sept. 19! We met some really cool people and came away with some more artists and creators to feature here on the blog in coming months. The steampunk character building workshop was well received; hope to see some of you folks at Motor City Steam Con next July. Big shout out to Maia “Crown” Williams for putting on a fantastic event. The drive up from Cincinnati was definitely worth it!

Steampunk Character Building Workshop at MECCACon!

steam-sistas-5Want to get into steampunk but not sure where to start? Ofeibea Loveless of Airship Ashanti and the Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance will discuss the film short Steamfunk and Rococoa: A Black Victorian Fantasy (steampunk as it pertains to people of color) and lead a steampunk character building workshop at MECCAcon 2015! Airship Ashanti comes at steampunk from a West African perspective, which is rare in the steampunk community, and Ofeibea’s presentation will touch on steampunk from a non-Victorian perspective. Admission: $6, Sept. 19, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Detroit Public Library – Main Branch, 5201 Woodward, Detroit, MI 48202. 

Maia “Crown” Williams, Creator of Detroit’s MECCAcon

image4Maia “Crown” Williams is a busy woman. In addition to founding and running MECCAcon, Detroit’s newest black arts and comics convention, Maia also owns three other businesses (Amonyet Enterprises, Crown’s Royalties and Cooking Ciphers), working year round to build her entrepreneurial empire in the Motor City. Midwest BSFA recently caught up with her during a (small) break in her schedule to found out what motivates her, artistically speaking. (Spoiler alert: it’s independent comics and art.) Read More