Friday, January 15, 2010

ImaginAsian: Identity and Experience in Contemporary Asian Pacific America

Thought I'd take a break from the 2009 retrospectives (What? We're already two weeks into 2010?!) to give a shout out to Secret Identities superfan (and former Angry Asian Man Reader of the Week) Kate Agathon and her call for contributions to her pet project, the ImaginAsian exhibition, to raise funds for materials and resources for Asian American Studies collections at the libraries of Purdue and Indiana University.

Several members of the S.I. crew have donated submissions for the installation. Parry Shen contributed a collage of his work on S.I. and Better Luck Tomorrow; Jerry Ma collaborated with the Angry Asian Man himself, Phil Yu, on a pair of sketches featuring Bruce Lee and Quick Kick; I submitted signed copies of a poem about Bruce Lee called "Like Water" and a script page from "Peril"; and Larry Hama turned in a couple original G.I. Joe sketches.

So as you can see, it's a fun and worthy cause. Check out the official announcement below, and get involved!

ImaginAsian: Identity and Experience in Contemporary Asian Pacific America
Fundraising Exhibition April 2- May 9, 2010

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2010 and to generate funding for materials and sources for Asian American Studies collections at the Purdue University and Indiana University libraries, Kate Agathon, the Council on Asian American Studies, the Tippecanoe Arts Federation, and the Asian American Network of Indiana (AANI) are sponsoring a fundraising installation/exhibition of donated art addressing identity and experience within contemporary Asian Pacific America. The exhibition is intended to raise awareness and understanding of the Asian American community as articulated through a variety of art including photography, visual, and literary.

Open to everyone, submissions are being solicited nation-wide. Celebrity contributors include writer Maxine Hong Kingston, director Michael Kang, actor Parry Shen, hip hop group Far East Movement, Congressman Mike Honda, artist Stella Lai, illustrator/graphic designer Jerry Ma, poet Bao Phi, writer Tao Lin, comic legend Larry Hama, and many other prominent stakeholders within the Asian American community. Contributors do not need to be of Asian descent to participate!

For a donation of $5 or more, contributors are asked to fill an 8.5 x 11” space with creative art, writing, photography or any other artistic medium that addresses contemporary Asian Pacific American identity or the Asian Pacific American experience. Each submission will be vetted by a team for common themes and appropriateness.

Inspired by the Greater Lafayette Art Museum’s Mosaic, ImaginAsian will comprise of a display of 8.5 x 11” creative gifts celebrating the contemporary Asian Pacific American experience. The exhibit will be displayed April 2- May 9, 2010 at the Tippecanoe Arts Federation located at 638 North Street, Lafayette, IN 47901.

Bidders can bid on their favorite pieces of work by taking part in a silent auction that will take place throughout the duration of the exhibit. Submissions must be received by February 28, 2010 and can be sent to:

Kate Agathon
1809 Bengal Place
Lafayette, IN 47909

Checks made payable to the Asian American Network of Indiana are welcome. The Asian American Network of Indiana is a not-for- profit organization. All gifts are tax exempt. For more information, contact Kate Agathon at

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 Rewind: The Year of Secret Identities, Part Four

Happy New Decade, loyal SI blog readers! While I had intended to finish these look-backs before the end of the year (they are "end-of-year" recaps after all), it seems I've let these 2009 rewinds slip into 2010. Ah well, it is what it is. Anyway, Part four brings us to the summertime which featured two major events.

Of course, the big one was San Diego Comic-Con in July, but we kicked off the season with a little convention of our own: the Asian American ComiCon at the brand new Museum of Chinese in America in New York.

What initially supposed to be an event to showcase Secret Identities quickly morphed into a full-on comic convention--with an artist alley, a bevy of panels, special guests, a performance by the awesome band Paperdoll, and even an award ceremony for the Man himself, Larry Hama! The whole thing came together in, like, five weeks and fortunately went off (mostly) without a hitch! One of the day's special guests, Derek Kirk Kim, had a nice write-up on his blog, and the event itself got nice reviews by Publishers Weekly and Comic Book Resources. Even the Wall Street Journal got in on the act!

Some other highlights from the AACC include Bernard Chang and Sean Chen facing off in a real time comic battle, as captured by MTV:

MTV IggyComic Artists Face-Off: Bernard Chang vs. Sean Chen

And an epic night of karaoke, as captured by SI contrib Jeremy Arambulo. Our friends at TurtlistMedia also have an excellent recap of the Asian American ComiCon, as well as an in-depth interview with me, Parry and Jeff (from our appearance at Northwestern University). Needless to say, the AACC was an example of the community (both comics and Asian American) coming together to celebrate art and good times!

To keep up with what went down at AACC, and if and when there'll be another, become a fan of the Asian American ComiCon on Facebook!

But our summer was not over. In fact, it was just beginning. After a brief stop in Baltimore to visit the Geppi Entertainment Museum with Larry Hama, we were off to San Diego for the mother of all comic conventions: Comic-Con International! And this was a big deal for us, because, as in Los Angeles at JANM, SDCC meant a huge Secret Identities family reunion.

And thanks to our awesome Art Director Jerry Ma, we had (mostly) free reign of the Epic Proportions booth. We took advantage of our awesome booth space by hosting a bunch of celebrity signings. Kicking it off with the "Blue Scorpion" of Gene Yang and Sonny Liew, with a surprise appearance by Larry Hama. We also had Gilmore Girls star Keiko Agena stop by with her "Learn to Share" artist Ming Doyle and star Kelly Hu and DC artists Cliff Chiang and Bernard Chang. Jeff even had time to moderate a panel with Gail Simone, Dwayne McDuffie, Jai Nitz, Stuart Moore and Gene Yang.

Be sure to check our Facebook page to see more photos from our exploits in San Diego!

Come back next time to see the last of our 2009 Rewind posts in which we'll go over the events of the fall, including our first ever Baltimore Comic-Con and a swing through New England. And I promise to get it posted before another year is over.