For nerds, geeks, gamers, cosplayers, collectors, and artists, two words lay at the heart of fandom- Heroes and Dreams. I love this above quote from Action Comics #175, where Superman claims how dreams save us, lift us up, and transform us into a world of dignity, honor, and justice. Whether in comics, TV, web, or film, I believe there is something greater that we resonate with beyond capes, laser swords, and super powers. We live in a cynical world where evil seems to lurk around every corner. There are times where in my life I felt it would just be easier to just retreat back in my corner, say nothing, and just mind my own business. However, the ideas of heroes and dreams won’t let me do that. Whether fictitious or real, heroes inspire us to rise above the cynicism and believe in a dream that is greater than any one person. My biggest dream in life can be best articulated in what Martin Luther King Jr called the ‘Beloved Community’:
“Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.” -Coretta Scott King, The King Center
This Friday at Portland Comic Con, I will hosting one of my most favorite panels that I do at cons. Formerly known as the ‘Battle for Multicultural Heroes”, this panel will be humourously called “The Most Racist Panel Ever!“. With artist and creators, I will facilitate a conversation about the ever changing landscape of the industry in regards to race and stereotypes. Typically, this panel attracts some VERY passionate fans on this subject and leads to a deeply and enlightening discussion. One panel can’t change the world, but it could shape and inspire one person’s perspective. This is my small way of living out my dream. I’d like to think that if Martin Luther King was a nerd and at a con, he would enjoy this panel :). If you are in the area this weekend, it will be this Friday at 4:30 in room B110. On this MLK Day, I hope it is a significant one for you. Don’t just take the day off or enjoy a shorter commute on the way home, but take this opportunity to reflect on heroes and dreams. How will you be heroic in your life? What do you dream about that inspires others? On that searing August day, 52 years ago, a hero stood up and shared his dream. It shaped a generation and changed the course of the future. Watch his 17 minute speech below. It’s a reminder that what we dream about and who we become matter in this world.