SIUniverse Blog Parade Day Two: 8Asians

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

Originally posted at 8Asians.com
———————————-
by Koji Steven Sakai

When I was a kid, I LOVED comic books. I bought every X-Men comic I could get my hands on. I was obsessed. This was a long time ago and back then the idea of Asian American superheroes was pretty much unheard of. This is not to say that Asian/Asian Americans weren’t in comic books. The one prominent one I remember reading was Sunfire.

Here is the Wikipedia description of him:

Sunfire is a temperamental and arrogant Japanese mutant who can generate superheated plasma and fly. Not suited for teamwork, Sunfire was only briefly a member of the X-Men and has kept limited ties to the team since. He has had some presence in the greater Marvel Universe.

storm shadows and quick kick 300x212 Why Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities) is ImportantNot someone I could get behind.


The only time I really felt the lack of Asian American representation was when I watched/read G.I. Joe. I rooted for the two Asian/Asian American guys, Quick Kick (Right) and Storm Shadow (Left).

You might recognize Quick Kick as Angry Asian Man’s logo but I vaguely remembered him as a child. The character I always rooted for and played with was Storm Shadow. And even though he was a bad guy, when I played with him he always became a good guy. And I secretly imagined the guy under the mask actually looked exactly like me.

Now that I think about it, that’s kind of depressing.

secret identities asian american superhero anthology jeff yang paperback cover art Why Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities) is ImportantThis is why when I first heard about Secret Identities: The Asian American Superheroes Anthology, the first anthology of Asian American superheroes created/drawn by Asian Americans, way back in 2009 I was super excited. I submitted a story (“Meet Joe”) and was honored to be included in the first book.
419nkKNYB+L. SL500 AA300  Why Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities) is Important
Three years later, the second book, Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities), is coming out next week. This book features villains. Not just any villain, but Asian American ones!

When I found out about the subject, I was super excited. Superheroes are fun but villains are way way way way more interesting to think about. I created this character and the amazingly talented artist Deodato Pangandoyon made it come to life:Alien kid 41 463x600 Why Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities) is Important
You’ll have to buy the book to find out who this character is but I’ll give you a hint. It’s based off my 8Asians article: Series of Web Pages Convinced Asians are Aliens from Outer Space.

I’m glad my son has been born at a time when books like this can come out. As Asian Americans it is important that we support these kinds of projects. And when I say support, I mean buy it, like it, post it, and tell your friends about it. And I’m not just saying that because I’m in it (I don’t make any money off the book sales).

For more information about the book and to find out where you can see them on tour, go to the Secret Identities home page.

To read more behind the scenes info about Shattered, visit Jenn Fang at reappropriate.co, who will be posting an article tomorrow (Wednesday).

Finally, Adam Warrock wrote about working on Shattered as well.

What are you waiting for? Buy the book already.

SECRET IDENTITIES: The Traveling Art Gallery (Part One!)

So, we’re collecting original artwork from the book (as well as brand new, never before seen pieces created by Secret Identities‘ mega-talented artistical crew) to bring with us to the various museums and galleries we’re going to be visiting over the next few months—and the pieces have started to roll in! Herewith, as displayed on my living room sofa, are the first six submissions:

  • Alex Joon Kim‘s original pages from Tanuj Chopra’s hilarious “S.O.S.”!
  • Two takes by Martin Hsu on Dragon Boy, star of his sweetly elliptical fantasy “Long”!
  • An all-new, beautifully rendered and inked sketch by Vince Sunico of Captain Matthew Kim, from Daniel Jai Lee’s “Heroes Without a Country“—here seen fighting the good fight against the Nazi super-creeps known as the Ubermenschen!
  • Another all-new sketch, inked and watercolored by A.L. Baroza—this one a crossover piece featuring a selection of the book’s female heroes: Karin from “Meet Joe“; Candace “Tin Candy” Koh (in mecha outfit) and Val “Pretty Super Schoolgirl Valentine” Chang from “A Day at CostumeCo“; Hellen Jo’s Brazen Raisin (in background); June Park from “Sampler“; and Ting “Scarf Girl” Lee from “You Are What You Eat“! And robots!
  • Yet another all-new sketch, rendered and inked by Benton Jew, of Jimson Fo and the young John Henry, from “Driving Steel“…hammerlicious!
  • And finally, the original color artwork of Yul Kwon’s Cataclysm, as gorgeously painted by Deodato Pangandoyon…which Deo sent to us already framed. Wow…you really didn’t have to, Deo! (But it looks fantastic…)

Many more pieces are on their way. Pieces from the “Secret Identities” Traveling Gallery will be on display at Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, WA on May 14; the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, CA on May 30 (and possibly longer); the Museum of Chinese in the Americas in New York, NY from July 11; and in the New York headquarters of Time Warner from May 11 through the end of May.