Lucas Bros. Moving Co., the surrealist stoner comedy airing on FOX’s Animation Domination HD programming block, is a refreshing twist from such animated farce like The Simpson’s and Family Guy. Created by Kenny and Keith Lucas and following the lives of two twins Kenny and Keef as they run their own moving company these ten minute shorts go from zany to plain bizarre in a matter of seconds. From being stalked by a Michael Jordan bobblehead to finding their long lost father in a town of deadbeat dads laughs are not a rarity. Featuring guest appearances from Danny Brown, Tyler the Creator and Michael K. Williams LUCAS BROS. MOVING CO. offers deadpan comedy and mishap whether you partake of the grass or not.
As the nineties rolled around children’s television saw a big boom in business. With cable television now in most homes throughout the culture channels like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network provided quality children’s programming outside of the Saturday morning lineup offered by the major networks. Along with the changing times came a call for diversity within these programs. The greatest example of this is HEY ARNOLD!. The long running Nickelodeon show told the story of boy living in a diverse area reminiscent of New York. Of all the characters encountered during the shows tenure the coolest was Arnold’s best friend Gerald. The smooth talking voice of reason Gerald was down for anything. Graphic tee brand JUNK FOOD has decided to immortalize this friendship in a shirt. Available at Urban Outfitters the Hey Arnold! Handshake tee is the perfect piece of late 90’s nostalgia.
Taking the same Afrofuturistic stance seen in his previous book BLACK SPACE: IMAGINING RACE IN SCIENCE FICTION FILM Adilifu Nama attempts to carve a purpose for the Black superhero emergence during the late 60’s and early 70’s. Casting aside the thought of white writers, under pressure to diversify, writing token black counterparts Nama places the significance of the black superheroes in relation to the period in which they first appeared. The late 60’s were an empowering time for African Americans as chant of Black Power rang out in the streets black people were beginning to recognize the power they held and in turn characters like Storm, Black Panther and Luke Cage among others became the literal embodiment of this power. Published in 2011 by University of Texas Press SUPER BLACK: AMERICAN POP CULTURE AND BLACK SUPERHEROES is available on Amazon.com and booksellers nationwide.
As the first African American cartoonist to be published in Mainstream press E. Simms Campbell, educated at the Art Institute of Chicago, got his start as a waiter in a railroad dining car. After a customer saw one of his drawings he was offered a job in a St. Louis Art Studio. From there he transitioned to major publications like Esquire where he originated “Esky” the pipe smoking gentleman mascot. Active for over thirty years Campbell acheived a major feat for a cartoonist let alone an African american cartoonist. Though most of his work for the mainstream publications featured white characters Campbell served as illustrator for the Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps children’s book PoPo and Fifina. Years later Bontemps featured Campbell in his 1945 book WE HAVE TOMORROW which profiled those who as Bontemps explains in the introduction "are doing what was never done by Negro Americans before; they are working in fields which for a long time seemed closed to members of their race. They are doing what couldn’t be done—until they did it. They are working as Americans, not as Negroes, and they are making a success of it."
Ousmane Sembene’s 1966 tragedy Black Girl is a startling take on colonialism and its effects on Africa. Featuring Mbissine Thérèse Diop as Diouana a Senegalese woman who accompanies her french employers back to France. While in Senegal Diouana worked strictly as a governess watching after the couple’s child. In France however, things have changed and she is expected to not only watch the child but to cook and clean as well. Overworked and unappreciated Diouana begins to see her situation not as the opportunity she thought it would be. Expressing many ideas about colonialism and it’s effect on not just the continent but the indivuals within both European and African, Black Girl brought new attention to African film and turned Sembene into the continent’s premier filmmaker. Black Girl is available on DVD and instant streaming on Netflix.
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Devin Troy Strother a mixed media artist from California has made shock waves all over. His vibrant paintings and sculptures with titles that are as entertaining if not more than the art itself have made him a burgeoning fixture in the art world. His latest show entitled “Look at All My Shit” opened to rave reviews at Richard Heller Gallery in September and was accompanied with profiles in Bullett Magazine and other publications.
Originally published in 1993 and re-released in 2005 King of the Cats by award winning journalist Wil Haygood has proven to be the seminal biography of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Powell. The son of Adam Powell Sr. minister of the iconic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, Powell Jr. would soon become a force to reckon with in New York politics. Never a stranger to controversy, often stemming from his arrogance and flamboyant manner, Powell made headlines often. Haygood provides an easy to read chronicle of the ups and downs Harlem’s King. King of the Cats is available on Amazon.com and booksellers everywhere.
A new take on their famous Tiger Sweatshirt Kenzo is back on the scene with the Flying Tiger Sweater. The sweater, made from 100% lambs wool and bearing the brightly colored side profile of a snarling tiger, is available from Kenzo.com
In 1971 under the influence of artists like Alice Cooper three brothers from Detroit, David, Bobby and Dannis Hackney formed a band. In 1974 Death, as the band was now known, recorded songs meant for their debut album when the process was halted because of the band’s refusal to pick a marketable name. Years later their music was rediscovered and an audience was found. The movie directed by Mark Covino and Jeff Howlett premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June and is now available on instant video services like Netflix, Amazon and iTunes.