Check out SIUniverse and Epic Props at NYCC

We are just one day out from New York Comic-Con, and if you plan to be in the Big Apple this weekend, be sure to stop by booth #2010 to find the SIUniverse at our joint booth with Epic Proportions! It’s a bittersweet occasion since Jerry has announced this will be his last con as an exhibitor. But don’t fret! You’ll still find him in Artist Alley in the near future. In the meantime, we’re going to help Jerry go out in style and make this the biggest con ever for SIUniverse and Epic Props!

Continue reading “Check out SIUniverse and Epic Props at NYCC”

SIUniverse Blog Parade Day Five: Angry Asian Man

my very own superhero in shattered: the asian american comics anthology
Originally published at Angry Asian Man
by Phil Yu

My fellow comic book geeks! Next week marks the official launch of Shattered, follow-up to the groundbreaking Asian American comics anthology Secret Identities, from editors Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow and Jerry Ma.

While the first collection focused on the conventions of traditional superhero comics, this new volume explores some darker and edgier genres to subvert and shatter Asian stereotypes.

The book features an impressive lineup of contributors, including leading comics creators Bernard Chang, Sean Chen, Cliff Chiang, Larry Hama, Sonny Liew, Takeshi Miyazawa, Christine Norrie, Greg Pak, G.B. Tran, Gene Yang and more, as well as folks from the film and literary world like Tanuj Chopra, Michael Kang, Jamie Ford, Gary Jackson and Bao Phi.

I managed to slip something in the book too.

I had the great privilege of contributing a short piece for Shattered’s character gallery, with the visuals supplied by the artist/editor Jerry Ma. My character: Angry Asian Man, of course. I actually have to thank Jerry, who had been bugging me since the first anthology to contribute a character.

So I relented and went with the obvious, drawing a few traits from my own life and throwing a wink at what I do here. The trick was to create a compelling superhero out of a dude who basically sits in front of a computer all day. Yup, that’s me. Here’s the finished version of Jerry’s awesome art:

You’ll have to pick up the book to read the full text explaining this character, as well as all the other great Asian American comic stories in the anthology.

Some of my fellow Shattered contributors have also blogged this week about working on the book (yes, this is coordinated). Check out their posts:

Adam WarRock:

Why Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities) is Important

Angry Girl Comics:

Secret Identities, Shattered: My Relationship with Comic Books, and the Genesis of PUSH.

Order your copy of Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology from Amazon. For further information and updates about Shattered, go to the Secret Identities website here and the Facebook page here. 

Secret Identities Volume 2, BURN…

Originally posted on the Epic Proportions blog For What It’s Worth


So It’s finally begun.  Or rather….I’ve finally begun to do some drawing on the BURN story I’m working on with my brother for Secret Identities Volume 2.  Just thought I’d post the pencils I’ve done for page 1.
These are semi tight pencils for me.  I’m leaving a lot of the detail work to be done when I ink it.  I didn’t want to waste any time penciling in the different textures and stuff.
The original for this is an odd size.  It stands at 10×12.5″ due to the 8×10″ page size of the graphic novel.
So I had a little trouble adjusting to that as it through off my whole “scale” in terms of close ups and far shots on the page.
But am hoping it came out alright.
I also did not use a ruler to do any of the drawing besides the panel borders.  For some reason, I just wanted to keep this loose and just kinda “wing” it.
Just the pencils for this page took me about….5 and a half hours to draw.  As pathetic as this sounds, inking generally takes me a little longer.
Yeah….I’m pretty slow.
Anyway, I won’t be posting every page I draw here, but thought it’d be fun to post the first one.
I’ll definitely post the ink and grey tones of this page when I finish each stage just so you can see how much more detail I intend on adding.

An Interview of Epic Proportions

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen this interview posted already. But what’s one more place, huh?

I sat down with my man Jerry Ma over at to talk shop. We discuss everything from Jerry starting Epic Proportions, joining Secret Identities and charming the ladies. If you haven’t seen it already, check it out here!

And after you read the piece, head on over to Epic Proportions and enter “KEITHCHOW” in the promo code field and receive $3 off any t-shirt purchased through the site. That’s right. I’m a coupon, yo!

SI Draw Off! The Optimus Prime Meme

So, for some odd reason, we your humble Secret Identities editors decided to each do a rendition of the iconic Autobot leader Optimus Prime. This all started because Jerry posted a quick sketch of Prime that Parry did and shared it with all of his Facebook friends.

Here’s how Parry explains the drawing:

“I was looking over some of the sdcc photos that Marcy took of the iron fist you tattoed on my arm and noticed she called him a ‘transformer’ because you were originally supposed to draw an optimus prime for me.

Then I remembered you sketching him out on a napkin at Nobu and being amazed at you recalling all his little details.

So I too, starting sketching him out to see if I could rememeber as well (see attached) and [Parry’s daughter] Avery came up and asked if I was drawing a robot – to which I proudly replied ‘Yes, it is!’.

Avery: Are you practicing so you can draw me a robot someday?

Me: Yep.

Avery: I’ve never seen you draw a robot before But Jerry could probably draw me a better one.

Me: Muther #!@* “

Seeing that Parry had left out Prime’s trademark horns, I started sketching out my own version and sent it to Jerry and Parry. Thus, challenging the rest of the crew to a draw-off. If you look closely, you can see that I sketched this on the back of another document. (I didn’t have any blank paper on hand). I did this from memory, but needed help on the Autobot symbol. That thing is hard to draw!

Optimus used to be one of my go-to doodles whenever I was stuck in a boring meeting or class, so I had t o come correct. Only later did I realize that by challenging a group of people that included Jerry Ma, my Optimus was going to get served pretty handily. (More on Jerry’s later.)

Up next in the Optimus Gauntlet was our Editor-In-Chief himself, Jeff! I think this is the first time I’d ever seen any of Jeff’s doodling. (I’ve seen Parry sketch a few times. He even did our contribution to the “signing wall” at the Chicago comic shop Challenger’s!). Jeff did his sketch freehand and in crayon. He claims his five-year-old son Hudson loves it though. Even if he did draw Optimus with lips (just like the Michael Bay movie). Personally, I think the blue crayon is a nice touch!

Rounding out the editorial team is our Art Director Jerry Ma. Of course he had to go and hand everyone their a**es with his “five-minute” sketch. I think he cheated. For one, well, Jerry’s actually an artist, so that’s not fair. And #2, okay, so there is no number two. But I guess Parry’s daughter Avery was right after all. Jerry “could probably draw a better one.”

Up next, artists Bernard Chang and Jef Castro throw down the gauntlet as they transform and roll out their own five-minute Primes.

Next Angry Asian Man Contest Winner: The Sneak

Also posted at angry asian man.

Here’s the second installment of the winning entries from the Secret Identities Superhero Contest, where readers were asked to submit their own original idea for an Asian American superhero. This is THE SNEAK by Kevin Cheung, as envisioned b Jerry Ma. Here’s are all the details…


And now, The Sneak. We really liked the idea of a B-boy hero, and thought Kevin did a good job of establishing the character; the main things that we felt needed tweaking here involved tightening up the origin story (originally Richie just finds his super-powered sneakers in an alley–gotta amp up the drama a little more than that!) and shaping the powers a little. In Kevin’s submission, Richie’s powers involved transmuting and manipulating surrounding objects based on his emotions; we changed them to blades that project Richie’s emotions into similar kinds of energy (anger generates heat, etc.). The energy blades also tie back to Richie’s B-boy name, SAM or Samurai.

Meanwhile, SECRET IDENTITIES art director Jerry volunteered to bring The Sneak to life as soon as he saw the outline. Here are his own thoughts on the hero:

“As a big fan of Planet B-Boy and America’s Best Dance Crew, I really wanted to draw this character—especially since I’m actually working on my own B-Boy type of comic as well right now. Unfortunately I’m NOT a graffiti artist…which should be painfully obvious here. But I thought it was necessary for the character to have a ‘street’ type of logo. So whenever The Sneak becomes big time, he can get a real street artist to redo that for me. Maybe my boy John Franzese (artist for the story MEET JOE in SI) would like to take a stab at that, eh? Lastly, I thought after watching Planet B-Boy again to get into the mood for this drawing, that the ‘big’ hair was like…necessary. And since he’s dubbed ‘Sam,’ I thought it’d be cool if he wore one of my samurai tshirts. Hope this sketch captures what Kevin had in mind when writing up this character!”


The Sneak by Kevin Cheung

It’s the early Eighties, and while the suits and labels haven’t discovered it, the underground hip-hop movement is going strong. Richie Leung, an incoming freshman at the University of New York, encounters this rich new culture by accident, when he — literally — runs into a B-boy in performing his moves for a small crowd on the sidewalk in front of his dorm; accepting the awestruck Richie’s apology, the B-boy invites him to a jam in the South Bronx, where he watches a dominating crew known as The Fresh Ones crush the competition. After the battle, he asks to join the crew and learn their moves. They reluctantly agree, giving him the B-boy name “Samurai” — or SAM for short.

A few years later, Richie has become one of the crew’s leaders, having spent all of his spare time learning, practicing and creating innovative moves. His passion has made him a master, but it’s also led to his flunking out of UNY.

When his perfectionist immigrant father discovers that Richie has been spending his time dancing rather than studying, he calls his son home for an epic confrontation. During the fight, his father takes the shoes Richie removed before coming into the apartment — at least there’s one Chinese tradition Richie has continued to follow — and hurls them out the window, telling him he’s ashamed of him, and disowning him from the family. Richie tells him he doesn’t care; he has a new family anyway: his brothers in the crew.

But as Richie seeks out his fellow Fresh Ones at their respective homes and hangouts, hoping for somewhere to stay — and to borrow a fresh pair of shoes — he’s horrified to find each of them dead… murdered, without a clue or explanation as to why. Is it jealousy? Revenge? Something else? All Richie knows is that he’s the sole survivor of his brothers — and he’ll only stay that way if he can keep one step ahead of whoever’s been hunting them down.

And then, Richie finds himself attacked by dark, faceless figures. Fighting them off with modified B-boy moves, he races through the city, using his skills to dodge and acrobatically avoid his pursuers. Then he makes one bad move — running down a treacherous blind alley into a dead end. His feet are bloodied by the full speed chase; the alley is full of broken glass and jagged pieces of metal, and the sound of his hunters is growing louder. That’s when he notices shadowy figure before him, standing in the buzzing glow of an overhead neon light. As Richie watches, his heart pounding, the figure kneels down on one knee and lays out a pair of sneakers — a brand new pair of Jags, with emblems on the side that he’s never seen before. And then the figure fades into the shadows. Just before his mysterious benefactor disappears, Richie catches a glimpse of his face. He could swear that he looks just like the B-boy who’d invited him to his first jam.

Richie pulls the kicks on, just as his attackers pour into the alley. As they swarm him from all directions, he feels fear in his heart — and there’s a flash as the emblems on his shoes glow with a sudden light, and a pair of dull green blades appear in his hands, which when he swings them against his attackers seems to paralyze them, sending them stumbling to the ground. His fear turns to excitement, and the emblems on his shoes and the blades in his hands turn yellow, and strike now with a shocking electrical charge. As his confidence grows, the excitement turns to anger — and the blades glow red with searing heat.

The attackers flee before Richie’s newfound ability to turn his emotions into energy. Now, as B-boy Sam turned superpowered street samurai The Sneak, Richie decides to turn the tables, tracking down his attackers, uncovering why they’ve targeted him and his brothers — and getting his revenge.

SDCC ’09 Jam Piece Winner

San Diego Comic Con 2009 was a huge success and 153 lucky people walked away with their newly purchased copies of Secret Identities.

With each signing we had everyday, an artist sketched either an existing Asian Superhero or one in “Secret Identities” as a part of a collage/jam piece to be raffled off to one lucky winner at the end of the convention (although Snake Eyes gets a pass on the Asian theme since hey, it’s a Larry Hama original and “Asian Hulk” in the b.g. by Bernard Chang as well — unless Hulk scribe Greg Pak writes it into reality at Marvel?).

However in order to get an entry, folks needed to first show us at least 10 collected signatures in their copy of “SI” from the 22+ contributors spread throughout the convention.

In the end, 30 folks had collectively compiled over 300 signatures/sketches and the winner is… Cecil DeClaro or Orange, CA. So thanks to everyone for playing along and great meeting you all!

Thanks to all the artists who jammed on this: Bernard Chang, Jimmy Aquino, Benton Jew, Tiffanie Hwang, Jerry Ma, Ming Doyle, Larry Hama, Gene Yang, Walden Wong and Sonny Liew.

AACC drawing for donation

Hey everyone. It’s been awhile since I last posted anything. As most of you hopefully know, I’ll be taking part at the AACC on July 11 along with a lot of other Secret Identities contributors.

Anyway, I was asked to donate a drawing to the show, which will hopefully help raise some money for the museum itself.

So I first did a drawing of Bruce Lee…and it really just didn’t come out too well. I mean…maybe it’s because I’ve just drawn the guy too much these past few months or something.

So I decided to draw The Monkey King instead. Who…was just one of my favorite characters growing up.

Anyway…here are both drawings. Hope everybody likes the Monkey King…and come to the show next week!
Hope to see you guys all there.



Hi everyone!
This is my first post on our SI blog. This is Jef, the Senior Artist of Secret Identities. For our upcoming Time Inc. A3 Panel, I designed this flier to promote the event. I hope you all can make it out… did I mention that this is a FREE event?

Here’s the 411:

A3 – The Asian American Association of Time Inc.
Celebrates Asian American Heritage Month

A3 Panel: Secret Identities: Asian Americans in Comics

Thursday, May 21, 2009
5:45pm to 6:30pm — 2nd Floor Gallery Reception – Original artwork
from the book will be displayed
6:30pm to 8:00pm — 8th Floor Auditorium – Panel Discussion, Q&A, Book Signing

Address: Time & Life Building, 1271 Avenue of the Americas (50th & 6th Ave), NYC

*This Event is FREE
*Please RSVP to with “A3 Comics Panel” in the
subject line by Tuesday, May 19, 2009
(Photo ID required, Please arrive promptly)

The Secret Identities Universe Illustration…

This illustration took me a really long time. But it was important to me to do, as my fellow editors (Jeff Yang, Parry Shen and Keith Chow) have been talking for awhile about a drawing by one of our contributing artists of all the characters from the book.

So I thought to myself….well….why don’t I do it?

This illustration has atleast 1 character from each story. I wanted to put every single character in, but there simply wasn’t enough room on the page. The original drawing is done on a 2 ply smooth 14×17″ bristol page.

Anyway, I’ve gone ahead and posted the 3 different stages it took to complete this piece. The first being pencils, then inks, and finally the finished grey tone version. Just for the record, I used a 3H lead pencil. Which is a hard lead that helps create a sharp clean line. I then used micron felt tip pens to ink it. And I used a much looser “hand” to ink it with to help create a more organic sketch feel to it. And finally I used some prismacolor markers to add grey tones to it.

This original piece will be displayed at the Time Warner Building in New York May 21 (thurs) as part of the Asian Heritage Month art exhibit. There will also be other pieces from contributing artists from the book as well as another piece from me.

Anyway, hope that I was able to do “right” by all the other great artist’s on the book with this drawing.