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.
Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthologyby Jeff Yang
This groundbreaking graphic anthology brings together leading Asian American creators in the comics/i>
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Appealing to both comics fans and Asian Americans seeking to claim their place in American culture, Secret Identities makes brilliant use of the conventions of the superhero comic book to expose the real face of the Asian American experience.
This groundbreaking graphic anthology brings together leading Asian American creators in the comics industry—including Gene Yang (National Book Award finalist for American Born Chinese), Bernard Chang (Wonder Woman), Greg Pak (The Hulk), and Christine Norrie (Black Canary Wedding Special)—to craft original graphical short stories set in a compelling "shadow history" of our country: from the building of the railroads to the Japanese American internment, the Vietnam airlift, the murder of Vincent Chin, and the incarceration of Dr. Wen Ho Lee.
Entertaining and enlightening, Secret Identities offers whiz-bang action, searing satire, and thoughtful commentary from a community too often overlooked by the cultural mainstream, while showcasing a vivid cross-section of the talents whose imagination and creativity is driving the contemporary comics renaissance.
"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." —Dwayne 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." —George 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." —Helen Zia, author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People
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Meet the Author
Jeff Yang was the founder of the pioneering Asian American periodical aMagazine. The author of three books and the biweekly column "Asian Pop" for the San Francisco Chronicle, he lives in Brooklyn, New York. Parry Shen, best known for his lead role in the movie Better Luck Tomorrow, lives in Southern California. Keith Chow, an educator and comics journalist, lives in Maryland. Jerry Ma, the founder of the indie comics studio Epic Proportions, lives in New York City.
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