Superheroes speak to the part of us—and we all have it—that hopes, deep down, that we’re special. — Entertainment Weekly
What if we told you a tale about a quiet, unassuming guy with black hair and thick glasses? He’s an immigrant, who’s done his best to fit in to a world that isn’t his—one very different from the land of his birth. He’s got a hidden side to himself that he can’t quite bring himself to show, not even to the popular girl he’s got a huge crush on. If only she knew who he really was—what he could really do—she’d be amazed, he thinks. If only she knew. If only everyone knew…
For many Asian Americans, this chronicle is a familiar one, because many of us lived it. But this also happens to be the story of a mild-mannered reporter named Clark Kent, better known to the world by his alter ego: Superman. And it’s just one example of the parallels between the cultural narrative of Asian America and the mythic foundation of the comic book superhero.
These parallels, along with the burgeoning array of Asian American creative talent in the mainstream and alternative comics industries, are what have led New York Times best-selling author Jeff Yang; independent comics creator Jerry Ma; comics education specialist Keith Chow, and actor Parry Shen to team up to edit Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, the first-ever graphic novel collection of original stories exploring the universe of masked marvels and caped crusaders from the perspective of the nation’s fastest-growing and most dynamic emerging community. The book was published in trade paperback by The New Press, one of the nation’s leading independent publishers, hitting bookshelves in Spring 2009.