Blerds just want to have fun and DC FanDome has two events primed for exactly that – with a panel celebrating the women of color in the DC universe, as well as a virtual after-party hosted by “Club Quarantine” mastermind DJ D-Nice.
“I’ve always been a Blerd — I was into comic books growing up and I loved video games,” D-Nice tells Variety in advance of Saturday’s events.
But even though his favorite superhero is Batman, don’t expect him to DJ in a full Batsuit; he’s opting to wear a DC t-shirt instead. “It’s too hot, so no cosplay for me, but of course I’m going to represent,” he laughs. “I’ve got to be part of the spirit of what we’re celebrating.”
The virtual presentation of the AT&T Dream in Black “Blerd and Boujee” Hall of Heroes after party is just one of the pivots convention organizers have made in creating the fan event celebrating DC’s properties across film and television.
At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, WBTV hosted the first annual “Blerd and Boujee” party with the “Club Quarantine” DJ as the headlining performer. The bash was the first-ever party hosted by a major studio/network celebrating blerd culture and was the brainchild of WBTV’s Leshelle Sargent and Wendy Berry.
Thrown on a yacht docked in the San Diego harbor, the packed bash featured a mix of DC and Marvel talent — with “Luke Cage” (Mike Colter) dancing with Mr. “Black Lightning” (Cress Williams), while Estelle hopped on stage to perform an impromptu set. And though this year’s party is virtual, D-Nice hopes to recreate those spontaneous vibes as much as possible.
“It’s difficult to try to replicate a feeling like that because the feeling last year was extremely special,” he explains. “I’m going to ask some of my friends to jump on [Instagram live] with me. It’s going to be a different approach. Last year we were limited to just a yacht. But this year, the capacity is unlimited and more people should be able to experience that we had and be able to dance with their families. I’m excited that people can share their love of comics with their families.”
“One of the things I’m most excited about is integrating some of the original theme songs — the ‘Wonder Woman’ beat alone is super fire,” he adds. “I just want to add a little spice to it, make it fun and funky. That’s one of my favorite themes, just that base line alone, kind of reminds me of LL Cool J’s ‘I’m Bad.’ Now, I might mix those two together.”
And before the renowned DJ gets into party mode, D-Nice will co-moderate the “Bawse Females of Color in the DC Universe” panel, which boasts DC superheroes like “Shazam!” actor Meagan Good.
Teasing what’s to come on the panel, Good says, “It was cool to like see just like all these women of color, from different walks of life come together and to be celebrated and to have a conversation about just what that journey has been to see more women of color, in general, represented across all platforms [within the] DC Universe. I love the fact that we’re celebrating that and we’re talking about it and that little girls can see themselves in every single shape, size and shade.”
Good knows the power that imagery has personally, saying that landing the role of Darla in “Shazam” marked a full-circle moment.
“I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and I dealt with a lot of racism,” Good recalls. “And so, for me, watching television, cartoons and all that stuff [was] the only way to really see myself, outside of my own household, represented. And growing up the only Black superheroes we had were Catwoman and Storm.”
“I saw myself in them and I wanted to be like them,” she continues. ”It showed me that there is somebody who is like me and that I can achieve that as well. So, growing up, that was always a goal of mine as an actress; I was like, ‘I want to be a superhero.’ … Then to get [the role of] Darla, it’s been a dream fulfilled.”
Good says that before being asked to join the panel, she didn’t realize just how many women of color are now present in the DC Universe. And when she met DC’s new Batwoman, Javicia Leslie, Good says, “I almost felt like I was going to burst out crying, I was so excited for her.”
“To see this beautiful brown-skinned woman [and] just hearing her speak – she’s so fierce and confident and she’s thoughtful and she’s intentional about the character that she’s playing and the opportunity that she has as a woman and a woman of color,” Good says, praising Leslie, who makes her first public appearance as the character during the fan convention after taking over the mantle from Ruby Rose.
Joining Good and Leslie on the panel are “The Flash” star Candice Patton, “Titans” actors Damaris Lewis and Anna Diop; “Black Lightning’s” Nafessa Williams and Chantal Thuy; and Tala Ashe from “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.”
DC FanDome: Hall of Heroes kicks of Aug. 22 at 10am PT/1 pm ET, with the “Bawse Females of Color in the DC Universe” at 12:40pm PT / 3:40pm ET and the AT&T Dream in Black “Blerd & Boujee” After Party at 6:30pm PT/9:30pm ET on D-Nice’s Instagram (@dnice).