Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Secret Identities in Publishers Weekly

Anne Ishii has an essay about Secret Identities in the March 10 edition of Publishers Weekly Comics Week. An excerpt of the article is below, but click here to read the whole thing.


Secret Identities Revealed
by Anne Ishii

Secret Identities is an ambitious comics anthology which sets out to find or create more Asian-American superheroes; to balance a status quo of “white” super men who are disproportionately depicted, inked, given voice and color (ahem) by Asian-American artists. A popular question posed in the anthology and at the eponymous discussion panel at the 2009 New York Comic-Con: "Why are there so many Asian-American writers and artists and so few Asian-American characters?"

We know the publisher’s answer (bad marketing), but Secret Identities isn’t ambitious for its attempts to answer easy questions. It is ambitious because of the inherent contradiction it confronts in its stated goals: to challenge racial bias and stereotype without pigeon-holing the single largest and diverse race on Earth; to show the Asian diaspora in all its girth and all its local unity. Its ambition is to be incredulous (“How dare you say that about us?”) without sounding indignant (“How dare you ignore us?”). And most importantly, enough’s enough for these guys.


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