Black Panther: A Moviegoer’s Guide to the Moviegoer

**Note: There will be some stereotyping in this post (denotative meaning) to achieve a lighthearted and fun (connotative meaning) tone. (In other words, get the heck over yourself, and have some fun! It’s Black Panther week!)**

With not just the highest pre-sales record for a Marvel® movie, but now the highest pre-sales record for any superhero movie, Marvel Studio’s Black Panther® moviegoers are not just going to be the typical comic book/superhero nerds that went on the first weekend of X-Men® way back in 2000. (Almost 20 years ago! Gah!) And since I have seen every deconstruction of the every trailer that I could possibly see, why not look at this movie from a different angle? Here’s a moviegoer’s guide to the audience you may see at your Black Panther screening this weekend.

If you are a…

Regular Moviegoer (read: maybe into action movies or maybe dragged to this movie by a significant other, probably White or oblivious to the struggle) So, you have no idea what wonders await you in Wakanda. In fact, you probably don’t even know what a Wakanda is (and no, it’s not a big snake). But that’s okay, there will be others there that don’t know what Wakanda is either.  You are not alone.

What you need to know about everyone else: There will be excited fans with various Black Panther and Avenger-themed t-shirts, African cultural wear, and maybe some in all-out costumes. Do not worry about being underdressed: you will be, but no one will care. For the fans, this is all about the movie. You will see rogue snacks, fast food, maybe even plastic containers with homemade food that have mysteriously slipped by the ticket taker. You will hear a lot of cheering and talking to the screen. Someone may be filming.  Do not be disturbed by what you see.  Just sit back and enjoy the antics on screen as well as in-theater. Some of us have been waiting for this movie for a long time. This is a very big deal for many reasons. It’s okay to learn the handshake. But if you want to leave when the credits start, do it quickly because Marvel movie geeks stay through the end of the credits.

Psyched Non-Nerd Moviegoer (read: socially conscious, just happy to see black people on screen but not really into comic books, probably Black or down with the cause) So, you’ve been waiting for this movie for a while. A serious black superhero movie with a mostly black cast! (No, Meteorman and Blankman don’t count.) Showcasing us at our best!  You’ve heard about the movie, seen some trailers (most likely during your favorite shows), and you’ve managed to score a ticket for opening weekend!  But, what’s a Wakanda?

What you need to know about everyone else: Well, all that stuff above for the regular moviegoer applies here. PLUS: While you may have seen the many Coming to America memes about what people are going to wear, comic book moviegoers are a t-shirt and jeans crowd. We don’t do stilettos, lots of jewelry, or suits. Don’t worry about being overdressed; people may look at you strange, but once the movie starts, no one will be paying attention to you. If you see some moviegoers in various level of cosplay, it’s normal here, so don’t call them out. Try not to scare the white folks with Bojangles® boxes or In-and-Out® burger bags.  And if your theater has reserved seating, please be in the right seat and have your ticket stub ready. Some theaters have been sold out for weeks, and well, nerds are nerds. Today, this is their turf!

Comic Book Nerd/Superhero Geek (read: Big Bang Theory type of nerd) So, you know where Wakanda is (yes, it’s a place!), you know about vibranium, and you know this is not Black Panther’s first appearance on the big screen. This is a must-see movie for you for 1 or all of these reasons:

  1. It’s right before Avengers: Infinity War, and you need this to complete the circle.
  2. You never miss a Marvel Movie in its first weekend.
  3. The action and effects from the trailer are so awesome, you’ve gotta see it!
  4. Something to talk about when you meet up with friends at the comic book store later.

What you need to know about everyone else: If you haven’t bought a ticket for NEXT weekend (or 2 weekends later), then you will need another one. Why? Because you will miss some Easter eggs and some comic book tie-ins, and you may be annoyed that you did (because you’re a nerd). People are not going to laugh in the right places or get some of jokes. Some people aren’t going to spot Stan Lee.  Some people will not understand your cosplay. The thing to remember here is not  to be affected by the surroundings. The big screen first-week Marvel experience will be new for a lot of people this weekend, many who could care less about superheroes, but felt the need to represent at THIS movie. And what you don’t get this first weekend, you will see in the second screening in March when the diehard fans re-emerge.

Black Comic Book Nerd/Superhero Geek  (self-explanatory) We’ve been psyched since the first trailer came out, and this is how we reacted when we saw it: (click here) (So now you know where I fit in!)

What you need to know about everyone else: You’ve already planned a second showing, because you will miss some Easter eggs and some comic book tie-ins, and you may be annoyed that you did (because you’re a nerd), but you will get over it (because you’re so happy this movie is out, you don’t mind seeing it again). There will be some people that won’t understand us. There will be some people asking us questions, there will be some people talking and annoying us. Try to spot them before the movie starts and sit far away from them (unless you have reserved seating. In which case, hopefully you’ve brought an entourage with someone that will trade seats with you). If you can’t, tell them to shut up. This is our turf; this is our movie. This is not high school; we own this theater for the next 2+ hours. If you have friends who’ve never been to a Marvel movie, please educate them NOW: Do not be late, we unobtrusively point when we spot Stan Lee (if they ask who Stan Lee is, stop being friends with them. You don’t need that kind of annoyance in your life), and plan to stay after the credits. This is an event we’ve been waiting for for months! Over a year if you start with Civil War sighting. Don’t let the newbs mess it up for ya.

Have a fun time at the movies! Wakanda Forever!

Career Self-Transition: Embracing being a Writer

Y. M. Nelson author Logo

Sometimes, you get to a point when a hobby is really not a hobby anymore.  You get to a point where you have to take yourself seriously if you want others to take you seriously. You get to a point where the work you put into something should be recognized, appreciated, rewarded.  I’m at this point again in my life with writing; I’m not just writing for fun or a few dollars here and there. I’m a published author, and I want to connect more with readers.  This has essentially become a career.

After I was spotted in the grocery store by local paparazzi, I realized I needed a strong author platform… I’m kidding. I’ve been thinking about this for a while (I’m a definite planner), years maybe. And even if I hadn’t been thinking about it, every professional piece of advice I’ve read on marketing a book says that you need a strong author platform. I’ve slowly started building my social media and internet presence as much as I can for next to no money, but just like with anything else, investing money and time is the the only way something good can become great. Or something unseen can be discovered.

So today, I’ve transitioned my writing blog to a fully customized website. This is the second major step I’ve made into my writing career, the first being buying some ISBN numbers. My author platform is almost complete. Now for what to write. . .

If you’re an author and you don’t know what an author platform is or can do for you, do an internet search on Author Platform; you’ll find a lot of resources. I’ve found some helpful ones at IngramSpark, Publisher’s Weekly, and Writer’s Digest. Author platforms are a must if you want people outside of your immediate circle to read your writing.

Things I’ve Learned:

  1. You’re working on an author platform; so is every other writer.  So what does that mean? You have to be different. You have to make yourself stand out as a writer. It’s not always about standing the tallest or being the loudest, sometimes it’s about being the most “you” that you can be: finding your own voice.
  2. Not everyone is in your audience.  Not even every reader.  Think about you as a writer: do you like writing in every genre? Do YOU even like reading in every genre? The takeaway here is knowing who’s going to buy your book so that you can put your energy and money into productive marketing.
  3. Targeting and focus is key to getting an audience to read your work. There is an audience that wants to read your book, whatever that book is. Knowing who they are is only step one. Now, you have to let them know that you exist. [Cue the MailChimp.] Whatever methods you choose make sure you’ve figured out what’s best for your audience, because mistakes here could mean lost revenue and missed opportunities.
  4. You can make mistakes here, so don’t. But if you do, you can fix them. There are lots of blog posts and guides and articles on how to create an author platform the right way. There are also articles that point out mistakes and fixes.  Take some time to research whether you’ve started working on your platform or not.

I’m still planning and learning a lot about how to market my books and myself (author platform). But I can’t be successful if I don’t put any actions behind my plans. Hence, this new website. Welcome.


Sometimes Change DOES happen

One thing we can certainly count on other than death and taxes is change. If you’re in a career transition, trust that the eventual change to end that transition will happen.

Author #AnaSpoke has certainly been through a lot of change in life and career. But her latest blog post shows that a happy outcome to a career transition is possible.

Read her post here.
Daily Prompt: Inevitable

Interviews Aren’t Just About Looking Good

I found this blog article from  Dana Manciagli on LinkedIn as one of today’;s featured posts. This is a great checklist of reasons why you may not have gotten an interview callback. All of these reasons have to do with what you say, how you say it and why you are saying it. Our mouths can get us into a lot of trouble, including tanking some otherwise good interviews. I have seen these in action (and committed some of these blunders myself).

Read Dana’s article here.

Climbing Up the Corporate Christmas Tree: From “Adopting James”

Great blog article about the ways of the workforce from Andrew Toy.

You’ve likely worked for bosses or managers who just don’t understand. I’m not talking about the inability to sympathize. I’m talking about a literal inability to understand…

Source: Climbing Up the Corporate Christmas Tree

Writing Career and Academic Job Frustrations

I found a personal essay about the search for an academic writing job by Emilia Phillips in today’s Practicing Writing blog post from Erika Driefus. This personal essay captures the essence of the process of finding a writing job, a professorship, or both.  It’s a well-written emotive account of the struggle and the sacrifice writers and writing professors have to make to achieve their dream career.  It’s the essence of what I blog about here (and the motive behind why I blog here).

Here’s the direct link to “The Cost of the Academic Job: A Personal Narrative”


Reinvention is hard

Today, I felt the need to revisit my previous post on career stereotyping and how you can overcome it. I’m  in the well-known place of needing to figure out how to remarket and re-brand myself  (since the last time worked out so well–sarcasm) to try to garner that elusive writing job my career so desperately longs for. The first thing that came to mind was to consult my own advice.

For those who need to re-brand themselves to garner employment (or sales ), this one is for you. Career Stereotyping link