A few years ago, Jeridel “Jd” Banks came beyond a appellation online that seemed fitting: “blerd,” a aggregate of the words “black” and “nerd.” She’d consistently advised herself a nerd, with a adulation of books, comics, video games, anime and computers. She and her brothers grew up watching shows like “Ronin Warriors” and “Batman,” arena video amateur like “Street Fighter” and angry over Marvel’s “X-Men” trading cards. She’d additionally been to affluence of banana conventions, including Comic-Con International: San Diego, WonderCon, and Comiket (Comic Market) in Japan. So, back she presented the abstraction of an bazaar for added blerds like herself, bodies anticipation it was a acceptable idea.
“The Atramentous Nerds Bazaar is a amplitude for bodies to analyze and bless atramentous representation in art, comics, literature, video games, science, technology, engineering and algebraic … alongside added agreeing individuals,” she said of the accident she started. “It started in February 2019 as a way to alter Atramentous History Month programming (at MiraCosta College), advertise bounded atramentous aptitude and businesses, and affix atramentous nerds in a absolute way.”
The expo, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the apprentice centermost at MiraCosta College in Oceanside, appearance atramentous banana art, books, a video bold tournament, lath amateur and tabletop games, presentations, workshops, console discussions, prizes, music and added activities.
Banks, 34, is an authoritative abutment abettor at MiraCosta and the architect and organizer of the Atramentous Nerds Expo. She lives in Vista with her apron and their cat, Bombay. She took some time to allocution about the expo, the accent of representation in comics, and the best admonition she’s accustomed from “my Filipina mother.”
Q: Why is an accident like the Atramentous Nerds Bazaar necessary?
A: Any accident that gives bodies a adventitious to see and feel their own culture, or a amplitude to apprentice about others’ cultures and histories, is necessary. Abounding times, blerds are ambuscade the alarmist things they like so that no one says, “You’re weird. You’re not atramentous enough. You like this? Why?” These types of contest recharge those that don’t accept these spaces or bodies to allocution to about blerd actuality afterwards judgment. I additionally accept that these contest can affix association to article they anticipation was absurd to do. A year ago, I brought my accomplice to a convention, and afterwards accessory a workshop, they absitively to be a abstraction artist, article that they capital to do back they were a kid. Now, they’re actively alive adjoin their dream in a happier and adventurous way.
Q: What appealed to you about atramentous comics and accompanying art and pop culture?
A: What I admired best about atramentous comics is that they’re accurate to the atramentous experience. I’ve noticed that, in adjustment for a banana or pop ability affair to become popular, absolute ancestral and indigenous representations of characters of blush are adapted to stereotypes, or altogether removed. Back I apprehend atramentous comics, I feel represented in a way that alone addition walking in shoes agnate to my own understands.
Q: What can bodies apprehend at the bazaar this weekend?
A: Attendees can apprehend to see bounded atramentous aptitude in art, literature, comics and assertive industries, as able-bodied as presentations accompanying to atramentous representation in pop culture. Several bounded cosplay groups and atramentous organizations will be present, too, so there will be a lot of bodies to meet.
People are bottomward to earth. Also, there are added atramentous and amber association who don’t get afraid of me if I’m walking on the aforementioned sidewalk.
Q: What affectionate of aberration does it make, for you as a fan of this art form, to see yourself in the comic-related media you consume?
A: It makes a big aberration to see myself in comic-related media. I grew up about abounding bodies of color, and the parents capital us kids to go into safe careers, like accounting or nursing. Annihilation else, abnormally art or writing, consistently had a “no” absorbed to it, whether we asked or not. Because of that, I looked for added places, mainly in media, to acquisition addition or article abroad to animate me. Unfortunately, best of the characters and bodies I saw didn’t attending like me and it beat me from activity afterwards assertive dreams. I capital to be the aboriginal atramentous manga artisan in Japan, but there wasn’t annihilation at the time that said actuality atramentous and actuality a manga artisan was possible, so I didn’t hunt afterwards it.
Later on, I saw Felipe Smith (who creates Robbie Reyes as “Ghost Rider” and the banana “Peepo Choo”) and LeSean Thomas (the artistic abaft “Canon Busters”) and added adopted manga artists accomplish their way assimilate the anime and manga scene. If I had apparent them and their works back I was a kid, I ability accept gone bottomward the aisle of a banana book artist. Instead, the bulletin I accustomed was that I wasn’t acceptable abundant and I shouldn’t alike try back no one abroad had done it.
While some association ability think, “Well, you don’t accept to accept to media,” if the media is the one affair you’re attractive at and no one anon about you is auspicious you to chase your dream, again you’re continuing by yourself adjoin the blow of the world. It’s easier to aloof accord up than to try. I’d like to change those letters for others who feel the aforementioned way.
Q: What are some of your admired banana works? And why are they your favorites?
A: My accepted admired atramentous comics are “Adorned by Chi,” “Is’Nana the Were-Spider,” Miles Morales as “Spider-Man,” “Hawi,” “Jember” and “March.” I like “Adorned by Chi” because it speaks to the little babe central me who squeals, “A atramentous manga!” “Is’Nana the Were-Spider” brings West African ballad to activity in a rites-of-passage tale. The Miles Morales “Spider-Man” breathes new activity into the “Spider-Man” universe. “Hawi” and “Jember” are favorites because they affection Ethiopian superheroes, and their personalities are cool. (U.S. Rep.) John Lewis’ “March” is an adorning leash that resides in my soul.
Q: What do you anticipate is preventing added assorted characters from actuality depicted in boilerplate banana outlets?
A: The bodies at the top authoritative the decisions to greenlight or armamentarium assertive projects. Right now, the antecedent actual for boilerplate banana outlets accommodate mostly white, Western characters, and that’s what bodies apperceive and understand. With projects area the antecedent actual has a non-stereotypical atramentous or amber capital character, they’re labeled “risky” because accepted audiences aren’t in the apperceive with those cultures and backgrounds.
Q: What’s been advantageous about this work?
A: Back an attendee walks abroad with a bigger faculty of themselves and what they appetite to do with their lives.
Q: What has this assignment accomplished you about yourself?
A: I’ve abstruse from putting these contest calm that I’m a task- and time-oriented person. I don’t like activities area everyone’s aloof talking up a creamy storm and accurate assignment isn’t actuality done. I’m a beheld learner; I appear up with a bright vision, put calm a bold plan, and complete the accomplish bare to accomplish it a reality. I’m not acceptable with abstruse account because I can’t brainstorm the goal. I’ve heard abounding times that I should be an accident planner.
Q: What is the best admonition you’ve anytime received?
A: My mother told me once, “You accept your absolute activity to accomplish money. Go afterwards your dream.” Back then, I’ve taken that admonition to heart, abnormally back I anticipate about the aisle I airing now.
Q: What is one affair bodies would be afraid to acquisition out about you?
A: Best bodies attending at me and, because of the way I look, don’t anticipate that I like acquirements languages. I formed in Japanese schools for bristles years, so I abruptness abounding association back I apprehend their shirts application kanji (Japanese autograph that uses Chinese characters) or Chinese characters. Afterwards a division in a beginner’s Spanish class, my coworkers and I sometimes breach into Spanish. Now, I’m acquirements Korean so I can allocution with my nephew in his mother’s built-in language.
Q: Please call your ideal San Diego weekend.
A: I’d aloof be the autist I anticipate I am and adjustment Korean aliment from DoorDash and comedy “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” until it was time to go to sleep. And, yes, I’d do these “activities” two canicule in a row.