Skip to Content

Local Blogs

How comics conventions helped me embrace my geekdom IRL

Borderzine - 2 hours 14 min ago

I have been a geek since I was a kid. I love comic books, I love video games, I love superhero movies and I love dressing up like my favorite characters. I love being a geek.

Although this lifestyle may seem odd to some people, it brings a lot of fun and joy to geeks like me and those around them.

When I was young, I was criticized by many people for being a geek, but now I am encouraged to embrace the nerd within.

The many superhero movies in the last few years have people geeking out and showing off their fandom by cosplaying.

Spider-Man and Spider-Man Noir coming together at EP Comic Con.

When someone cosplays, the person dresses up as a character from a movie, TV show, book or comic book or video game.

I’ve seen many cosplays where people have invested hundreds or thousands of dollars in an elaborate costume.

Though that kind of spending might shock some people, including myself, it shows how much people love their favorite characters.

But fans don’t need to invest a fortune to demonstrate their devotion. I spent less than $40 putting together my very own cosplay of Spider-Man Noir from the hit film, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018).

Spider-Man is one of my favorite superheroes and I always wanted to find a costume that I could pull off with my limited resources.

Truth be told, I never would have thought El Paso has so many cosplayers like me but I discovered them at El Paso Comic Con and Soldier Con.

People talking exploring the wonders of EP Comic Con.

Events like these really bring out not just the geek community, but El Pasoans of all ages for fun and new connections.

I attended EP Comic Con in 2018 and 2019 and attendance continues to grow every year which makes me feel amazing.

At EP Comic Con 2019, I dressed up as Spider-Man Noir and the reaction to my cosplay was very unexpected.

People had me taking pictures with them and had long conversations with me on comics, anime, movies and video games.

These gestures made me feel accepted, loved and welcomed because I used to be bullied for doing stuff like this.

I’ve made some close friends collaborating with them by playing multiplayer video games and we also get together in person.

I’ve been reading comic books and watching superhero cartoons and movies since I was a kid. The thing that really unleashed my inner geek though has been the release of all these new superhero movies.

I used to be embarrassed to ask someone if they saw the new superhero movie and when someone asked me first, I thought they were trying to mess with me.

However, when they told me about a specific part from the movie that they really enjoyed, and I knew immediately they wanted me to express my fandom.

It may seem strange to see an adult dressing up in cartoon or superhero costumes , but it shows that geeks are not afraid to be who they are; they are not ashamed of it.

Geek culture is becoming a phenomenon, and it can lighten up a person’s day in many ways, like it has for me; no one should be ashamed to embrace who they really are.

Click hear to read How comics conventions helped me embrace my geekdom IRL

Categories: Local Blogs

The Democrats Are Helping Donald Trump

EPN - Border Analysis - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 10:00pm
Party politics in the United States has killed democracy. American voters do not have direct access to their […]
Categories: Local Blogs

The Supreme Court Should Take a Field Trip to California

US Immigration Reform Forum - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 6:04pm
The Supreme Court Should Take a Field Trip to California

Immigrants want to take part in the census, a basic exercise in our democracy. But many are afraid.
Source: [url=
Categories: Local Blogs

When anger turns to job losses and higher taxes

Refuse the Juice - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 1:53pm
Our friend Max Grossman and some of his friends went down to the County Commissioner Court today to cheer on a move to declare all of El Paso a historic district only to be used for wild west reenactments. JUST... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs

Closed meetings violations

ElPasoSpeak - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 5:00am

The other day we wrote about apparent open meetings violations that the city committed recently.

The next day in a regular city council meeting their agenda contained the following after showing a portion of the meeting would be in executive session:

“Discussion and action on the following:”

The agenda then listed 12 items that they planned to handle in executive session.

The problem here is that they cannot take action in executive session.  They must do it in open session, which is open to the public.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Mexico Kowtows to Trump on Immigration

EPN - Border Analysis - Sun, 06/16/2019 - 10:00pm
Andrés Manuel López Obrador colloquially known as AMLO kowtowed to Donald Trump. No amount of spin will make […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Democrats Have Never Been More Pro-Immigration, Thanks to Trump

US Immigration Reform Forum - Sun, 06/16/2019 - 5:12am
Democrats Have Never Been More Pro-Immigration, Thanks to Trump

Source: Democrats Have Never Been More Pro-Immigration, Thanks to Trump

Reason Magazine Immigration Feed
Categories: Local Blogs

Father’s day greeting

ElPasoSpeak - Sun, 06/16/2019 - 5:00am

Today is Father’s Day.

I found this quote:

Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father” – Barack Obama

Happy Father’s Day.


Categories: Local Blogs

RumpToons No: 137

EPN - Border Analysis - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 10:00pm
I hope you enjoy RumpToons No: 137!
Categories: Local Blogs

The Raptors Win, and Canada Learns to Swagger

US Immigration Reform Forum - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 6:38pm
The Raptors Win, and Canada Learns to Swagger

On Thursday night, ?We the North? became more than just a slogan.
Source: The Raptors Win, and Canada ...
Categories: Local Blogs

Fathers need to care for themselves as well as their kids – but often don’t

Borderzine - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 7:26am

By Derek M. Griffith, Vanderbilt University and Elizabeth C. Stewart, Vanderbilt University

If you had to choose, which would you rather have: a healthy father or a good father?

Studies suggest men often choose being a good father over being healthy.

Becoming a father is a major milestone in the life of a man, often shifting the way he thinks from being “me focused” to “we focused.” But fatherhood can also shift how men perceive their health. Our research has found that fathers can view health not in terms of going to the doctor or eating vegetables but how they hold a job, provide for their family, protect and teach their children, and belong to a community or social network.

As founder and director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health at Vanderbilt University and as a postdoctoral fellow from Meharry Medical College, we study why men live shorter lives than women, male attitudes about fatherhood, how to help men engage in healthier behavior – as well as what can be done to reduce men’s risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Work, sex and health

Working with men to try to get them to be more physically active, eat healthier and maintain a healthy weight, we found that for many, their own physical and mental health is not high on their list of priorities. Men, we found, treat their bodies as tools to do a job. Health is not always important or something they pay much attention to until poor health gets in the way of their ability to go to work, have sex or do something else important to them. These roles and responsibilities are often the ways they define themselves as men and how others in their lives define their worth.

While many aspects of gender roles have changed, we have found that many men still recognize they are often defined as good or successful if they have paid employment that is enough to take care of their children and other responsibilities. Fathers generally aspire to be able to look after their children, spouse, partner or other loved ones. That may mean less sleep, longer hours at work and less free time for hobbies and exercise.

Wanting to be a great dad can motivate men to push themselves to work longer and harder than they may have thought possible, but these choices can come at a cost, particularly if they also are not making time to take care of themselves.

We have seen evidence of despair, such as depressive symptoms, having thoughts of suicide, heavy drinking and marijuana use, among adults in their 20s and 30s. These behaviors tend to be higher in men during the time when they tend to become fathers for the first time. Consistent with this pattern, unintentional injuries and suicide are leading causes of death for men across racial and ethnic groups in their 20s and 30s. This is not the case for women.

By age 45, heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death for all groups of men. These chronic diseases can be prevented, to some degree, by not smoking, eating healthier foods and drinking less alcohol. Also, improving sleep, sitting less and moving more are important behaviors for good health.

Rather than trying to restart these behaviors after taking a break from them for a number of years, studies have found that it is important to help men keep healthy behaviors a part of their lives as they age.

Men’s health needs and the relationship with their children change as they age.
Monkey Business Images/

As men age, they may not make deliberate choices to engage in less healthy behavior, but they may just do so because their lives and environments make unhealthy choices easier than healthy ones. Policymakers have to think about how to make it easier to make healthy choices in men’s daily lives and to incorporate health into the time fathers spend with children and family or at work. Men don’t have equal access to healthy foods or the same opportunities to go to the doctor, be physically active or earn a living wage, and yet, if asked, they all want to be healthy and have a positive influence on their children and families.

Where does making time for their own mental and physical health fit into dads’ busy, stressful lives? We have found that it will be different for every father, but loved ones have to help them find a way. Based on our research, we believe that families, particularly women in men’s lives, can play an important role in encouraging fathers to eat healthier and take better care of their health.

Wives in particular often provide emotional support, offer advice, facilitate men going to the doctor and promote healthy behavior. Wives, daughters and other women in fathers’ lives are important sources of information about men’s health, and they often play a key role in helping fathers and other men better understand and cope with stress.

As we celebrate fathers, it is important to recognize that fathers, generally speaking, may not place health at the top of their priorities. Many fathers gladly sacrifice to see their children happy, safe and successful. The problem is that if fathers think only about these goals, their own health can often suffer.

[ Thanks for reading! We can send you The Conversation’s stories every day in an informative email. Sign up today. ]

Derek M. Griffith, Professor of Medicine, Health & Society and Founder and Director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health, Vanderbilt University and Elizabeth C. Stewart, Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Click hear to read Fathers need to care for themselves as well as their kids – but often don’t

Categories: Local Blogs

Through ‘Homecoming’ Beyoncé hits chords on cultural pride and her teachings reach new learners

Borderzine - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 7:17am

I am Mexican-American – more Mexican than American if I’m being honest – living in a city where we don’t really experience racism because it has a predominantly Hispanic population. My culture tends to have a lot of machismo where women are seen as less than the man. So when I started following Beyonce’s work, I was woken up with topics I was unaware of related to racism, police brutality against Blacks, white privilege, and feminism.

I’ve been a Beyonce fan since 2008. Through her work I have learned what being a feminist means and the history, the struggles and the pride of African-Americans. Although I would like to talk about all the ways she has inspired me, I’m only going to focus on her most recent piece of art.

Beyonce debuted as a director and producer when her film Homecoming premiered on Netflix on April 17, 2019. It showcases a combination of her two performances at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival as well as parts of her journey to create one of the best performances in Coachella’s history. It was released just around 2 a.m. And yes, I stayed up to watch the premiere. It lasts two hours and seventeen minutes, so I went to sleep around 5 a.m., but the sleep deprivation was worth it. It has become the most celebrated concert film according to several sources. But what really made it special was her feminist approach and her celebration of black excellence. Something to admire from Beyonce is that not only does she try to be the best as a performer, but she’s also an activist and uses the platform she has created to influence and make an impact in today’s society.

“When i decided to do Coachella, instead of me pulling out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella,” Beyonce says.

Below are three things I learned that made “Homecoming: a film by Beyonce” not just a concert film but a celebration to feminism and black culture.

1. First African-American Women To Headline Coachella

Originally, Beyonce was supposed to perform in 2017. But she got pregnant with twins and had to cancel all her shows from that year. A disappointment for us, her fans, but it gave Beyonce and her team another year to plan and perfect what has become known as ‘’Beychella.”

“Coachella thank you for allowing me to be the first Black woman to headline Coachella,” Beyonce says right before she started signing “Run The World (Girls).”

Since I started listening to her music, Beyonce has always been a strong feminist and she is known for encouraging girl power in her songs. Throughout the two hour show, she made sure to hype up all the audience but especially women by asking things like “Ladies, are we smart? Are we strong? Do we have any strong women out there tonight?” And by making a “suck on my balls, balls” step performance that showcases feminine strength. Although she’s an icon, a living legend, she is still a human being with her own struggles.

The Queen B talked about her difficult pregnancy and how hard it was to get back into shape for this performance. It was her first big appearance on stage after giving birth to Rumi and Sir and she wanted to create her own homecoming. “I definitely pushed myself further than I could,” the singer says. I felt that as the strong feminist woman she is, she wanted to demonstrate that she can be a mother, a wife and still one of the greatest living entertainers.

2. Black National Anthem & Important Black Figures

Coachella is known to have a predominately white audience. Therefore Beyoncé, being the first black woman to headline the show, had to make a statement, just like she did back in 2016 when she performed Formation at the Super Bowl. Right after she sang Freedom, she performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” that says “Let our rejoicing rise, high as the list’ning skies, let us march on ‘till victory is won.” At first, i thought it was a beautiful song she cover for the concert, but then I found out this song is known to be a Black national anthem in the United States.

She also used references of important black figures I was unaware of, like an excerpt from Malcolm X’s 1962 “Who Taught You To Hate Yourself” and Nina Simone when she talks about blackness:,

“Giving out to them that Blackness, that Black power, that Black pushing them to identify with Black culture; I think that’s what you’re asking. I have no choice over it; in the first place, to me we are the most beautiful creatures in the whole world, black people. My job is to somehow make them curious enough or persuade them, by hook or crook, to get more aware of themselves and where they came from and what they are into and what is already there, and just to bring it out. This is what compels me to compel them and I will do it by whatever means necessary.”

I think Beyonce in a way feels the need to represent her culture, her people, her roots just like Nina Simone. And she is doing it. She is reaching to all kinds of people, especially at a music festival of this magnitude and using a platform like Netflix to showcase her work is a clever way to reach another type of audience.

3. Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

Queen B’s performance had a theme for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and she talks about the meaning behind it. “I always dream of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny’s Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher,” Beyonce says as images and videos of the rehearsals pass by. She wanted to give us not just black culture, but black college culture. Yonce wanted a full homecoming experience and in order to do that she and her team got the best, a full on marching band, a drum line, a choir, steppers, and a lot of dancers. “I wanted a Black orchestra, i wanted the steppers, i needed the vocalists,” Beyonce says.

Over 100 people were on stage with her, including musicians, dancers, and other performers. Many were former HBCU students. She had five different outfits, and the second costume she wore a cropped hoodie with the Greek letters BAK. When i first saw this i didn’t know what it stand for, so i had to Google it and I found out it that fraternities and sororities are usually named after three Greek letters so the singer created her own paying tribute to Divine Nine, the Black Greek letter organizations. “So many people who are culturally aware and intellectually sound are graduates from historically black colleges and universities, including my father,” she says. “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

In my opinion, Homecoming is more than just a concert film. To me it is an exciting performance with drops of education about black culture, while for African-Americans is a celebration for black pride. Beyonce says, “It’s hard to believe that after all these years, I was the first African-American woman to headline Coachella. It was important to me that everyone that’s had never seen themselves represented felt like they were on that stage with us.”

Click hear to read Through ‘Homecoming’ Beyoncé hits chords on cultural pride and her teachings reach new learners

Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

ElPasoSpeak - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 1:28pm

It’s Saturday.

What are you thinking?

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

On the border situation

ElPasoSpeak - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 5:00am

Alligators ‘n Roadkill has an interesting post about the border situation.

You can read them here.

We deserve better



Categories: Local Blogs

The American Traitor

EPN - Border Analysis - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 10:00pm
Stop making excuses or spinning the truth behind the smoke and mirrors of “fake news” because the fact […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Jury Refuses to Convict Scott Warren for Showing Kindness to Immigrants

US Immigration Reform Forum - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 6:06pm
Jury Refuses to Convict Scott Warren for Showing Kindness to Immigrants

Source: Jury Refuses to Convict Scott Warren for Showing Kindness to Immigrants

Reason Magazine Immigration Feed
Categories: Local Blogs

SoldierCon: Comic books and cosplay for the troops

Borderzine - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 7:03am

FORT BLISS, Texas – Sgt. Joshua Rodriguez dresses up in his Texas National Guard uniform every day but at the recent SoldierCon, he dressed up as an Umbrella Corporation mercenary from the Resident Evil video game series.

Rodriguez has served in the guard for six years as a transportation operator and this is the first year he attended SoldierCon – a convention that invited plenty of cosplay, where comic book super hero fans dressed up as their favorite character.

“It has given me a new outlet to explore my cosplay. It’s amazing to see the creativity,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez always has been a fan of cosplay, and he says that SoldierCon ties the El Paso community together because people enjoy dressing up.

SoldierCon was a family-friendly event filled with vendors selling comic books, action figures, toys and unique art. Photo by Adam Guajardo,

Many of the attendees put a great deal of time and thought into their costumes. The February 2019 SoldierCon was organized as a way to show appreciation for men and women serving in the military.

Rodriguez isn’t the only soldier who dressed up for this event. U.S. Army Sgt. Major Jason Leeworthy attended the event dressed up as Storm Shadow, a character from G.I. Joe.

“This one is I think pretty successful … with everything right here, the cars are right here, all the people are right here, hopefully it’ll get better as the years go on,” Leeworthy said.

SoldierCon brought in some famous cosplayers like Timmy Byland, Christina Dark and others.

SoldierCon was a family-friendly event filled with vendors selling comic books, action figures, toys and unique art .

“Just being able to like bring to life certain characters for young kids and they just enjoy it like: ‘that guy,’ I love that feeling,” said Timmy Byland, who dressed up as Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy.


Click hear to read SoldierCon: Comic books and cosplay for the troops

Categories: Local Blogs

Call for articles

ElPasoSpeak - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 5:00am

From time to time I like to remind the readers that the blog is open to posts from contributors.

Feel free to email me at

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

El Chapo and the Secret Immigration Deal

EPN - Border Analysis - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 10:00pm
Ever since the immigration deal with México to avert the punitive tariffs Trump had threatened was announced, Donald […]
Categories: Local Blogs

Smart people taking some dumb positions

Refuse the Juice - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 4:02pm
I really like Rich Wright because he's a really good guy and usually doesn't take, or create, bullshit. However, this time he's way off. Read his post HERE. He's talking about the new code of conduct the council had to... Brad Kanus
Categories: Local Blogs
Syndicate content

by Dr. Radut