Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology

Overview

There’s this guy we know—quiet, unassuming, with black hair and thick glasses. He’s doing his best to fit in, in a world far away from the land of his birth. He knows he’s different and that his differences make him alien, an outsider—but they also make him special. Yet he finds himself unable to reveal his true self to the world. . . .

For many Asian Americans, this chronicle sounds familiar because many of us have lived it. But it also happens to be the tale of mild-mannered ...

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Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology

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Overview

There’s this guy we know—quiet, unassuming, with black hair and thick glasses. He’s doing his best to fit in, in a world far away from the land of his birth. He knows he’s different and that his differences make him alien, an outsider—but they also make him special. Yet he finds himself unable to reveal his true self to the world. . . .

For many Asian Americans, this chronicle sounds familiar because many of us have lived it. But it also happens to be the tale of mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, better known as Superman. And the parallels between those stories help explain why Asian Americans have become such a driving force in the contemporary comics renaissance as artists, writers, and fans.

Yet there’s one place where Asians are still underrepresented in comics: between the four-color covers themselves. That’s why, in Secret Identities, top Asian American writers, artists, and comics professionals have come together to create twenty-six original stories centered around Asian American superheroes—stories set in a shadow history of our country, exploring ordinary Asian American life from a decidedly extraordinary perspective. Entertaining, enlightening, and more than a little provocative, Secret Identities blends action, satire, and thoughtful commentary into a groundbreaking anthology about a community too often overlooked by the cultural mainstream.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Beyond awesome! . . . This book made me feel like I could leap over tall buildings in a single bound." &#8212Margaret Cho

"Criminally overdue, but well worth the wait, Secret Identities is a treasure trove of an anthology. These stories are as rousing, uplifting, tragic, and funny as our deepest secret fantasies." &#8212Dwayne McDuffie, founder of Milestone Comics and writer of Justice League of America

"Wowee!!! What mind-blowing superheroes exploding out of the pages of Secret Identities! As a kid who grew up on comics in the ’40s and ’50s, for the first time in my life, I recognized, identified, and became a comic book hero." &#8212George Takei

"These Asian American superheroes knocked me out! I wish I had known these superheroes when I was a kid—I’d have traded my entire comic book collection for this butt-kicking, death-defying, and brilliant anthology." &#8212Helen Zia, author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People

Publishers Weekly

This anthology about Asian superheroes drawn exclusively by Asian comic artists is a noble concept, but the submissions very greatly in tone, concept, length and overall quality. The book is broken down into sections by theme-historical concepts, one-page hero pitches, a section on "girl power" and another focusing on "ordinary heroes" (some of whom happen to have supernatural powers). Many works in the book, such as "The Hibakusha"-Japanese children born after Hiroshima who gain superpowers-take themselves very seriously. The highlight is "The Blue Scorpion & Chung" by Yang (American Born Chinese) and Sonny Liew. In a thinly veiled parody of the Green Hornet, the Blue Scorpion's chauffeur is a talented Korean man doing most of the work for his alcoholic employer. The 12-page short effectively confronts race with just the right amount of humor and cynicism, while simultaneously telling a satisfying story. The fake comic cover "The Y-Men" says everything many of the short stories are trying to, but does so with more effective humor in just one page. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595583987
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 3/24/2009
  • Pages: 194
  • Sales rank: 1,068,879
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Jeff Yang founded the pioneering Asian American periodical A. Magazine, writes the “Tao Jones” column for the Wall Street Journal, and is a regular contributor on NPR. With Keith Chow, Jerry Ma, and Parry Shen, he is a co-author of Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology and a co-editor of Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology, both published by The New Press. He is also the author of Once Upon a Time in China and a co-author (with Jackie Chan) of I Am Jackie Chan and (with Dina Gan and Terry Hong) of Eastern Standard Time. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Parry Shen, best known for his lead role in the movie Better Luck Tomorrow, has appeared in numerous television shows, including Criminal Minds and General Hospital. He has spoken at more than one hundred universities, sharing his experiences as an Asian American in the media with college students across the country. He has been profiled on Entertainment Tonight and Extra, as well as in Rolling Stone, People, and the Wall Street Journal. With Keith Chow, Jerry Ma, and Jeff Yang, he is a co-author of Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology and a co-editor of Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, both published by The New Press. He resides in Southern California with his wife, Kim, and daughters Avery and Kori. 

Keith Chow, an educator and comics journalist, is a co-author (with Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, and Jerry Ma) of Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology and a co-editor (also with Shen, Yang, and Ma) of Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology, both published by The New Press. He lives in Towson, Maryland.

Jerry Ma is the founder of the indie comics studio Epic Proportions. With Keith Chow, Parry Shen, and Jeff Yang, he is a co-author of Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology and a co-editor of Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, both published by The New Press. Ma lives in New York City.

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