The Joker, Batgirl and the specter of censorship in comics


When dueling perceptions of sexism and censorship are spilled on the canvas of creative expression, the result is not a pretty picture. Last week, DC Comics elected to cancel the variant cover of the latest issue of Batgirl after an online preview was met with disgust and outrage from a small, but vocal, contingent of […]

ASB offers immersive experience


My first coherent thought during my spring break was “Where am I?” At 5 a.m. on the first Saturday of break, I crawled into a van with six strangers and promptly fell asleep. I didn’t fully wake up until late afternoon, surrounded by towering red rocks and fading sunlight. The theme of “Where am I?” […]

Study abroad gives unexpected lessons


Before I packed my bags and set off on my semester-long Parisian adventure, I did what almost every student who is about to go abroad does: I read a Buzzfeed article about studying abroad. In my case, the post was titled, “43 Reasons Studying Abroad In Paris Destroys You For Life.” Contrary to how the […]

Homestay central to studying abroad


Ever since high school, I pictured myself spending the second semester of my junior year abroad in Spain, finally becoming fluent — or, at least being able to hold a solid conversation in the language I had been learning since middle school. Yet, when it came time for me to apply, there was one part […]

Colorful Randyland sculpture intrigues passersby, neighbors


Randy Lawrence’s home immediately stands out as you drive up the windy, hilly roads of Echo Park’s residential community. Colored glass bottles, brightly painted handprints and depictions of the Virgin of Guadalupe distinguish the home from rows of unassuming tan bungalows, set back from the road and obscured by foliage. The home is easily recognizable, […]

Madonna stakes continued claim in pop world with album


Madonna is pop music’s matriarch. Since her explosion into music in the ’80s and her “Like a Virgin” era, she has continually reinvented herself to last through wave after wave of music. Her newest release, Rebel Heart, has the veteran unapologetically asserting dominance in her genre. To start, Madonna managed to get some of the […]

Marvel aggressively promotes films


There are some evil geniuses behind the marketing for Avengers: Age of Ultron. This past Wednesday, they posted the following promoted tweet: “It’s go time, Marvelites: Tweet using #AvengersAssemble to unite & unlock an epic new #Avengers #AgeOfUltron Trailer!” And, on cue, thousands of faithful Marvelites flooded the website with what amounted to free publicity. […]

Blomkamp takes aim at resurrecting Alien franchise


With the exceptions of George Lucas and the late Stanley Kubrick, no filmmaker has done more to popularize science fiction than Ridley Scott. His two greatest achievements, Alien and Blade Runner, are universally acknowledged as classics of the genre, pop cultural touchstones whose thematic and stylistic influence cannot be overstated. Both movies are due to […]

Leimert Park overflows with community and culture


Leimert Park began and ended differently than all of my other column adventures thus far.  Usually, I have a specific place or event to write about, somewhere I’ve been before or extensively heard about. This week was slightly different.  There was no specific place or event I wanted to feature, just a general area I’d […]

Skrillex, Diplo unite for impressive EDM album


If you’ve listened to the radio at all in the last few years, you’ve probably heard the names Diplo and Skrillex. The two DJs are among the most influential artists in their genre, with a slew of accomplishments, and their collaborative project, Jack Ü, furthers their influence in electronic dance music. Their first album as […]