The team behind the groundbreaking Asian American superhero anthologies Secret Identities and Shattered, in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum, have issued a Call for Submissions for New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei, an original graphic novel anthology that will serve as a companion volume to JANM’s historic exhibition of the same name (running through August 2017), which showcases Takei’s life and the cultural landscapes through which he has traveled. The anthology’s target publication date is July 2017.
Diverse creators with stories to share that speak to the themes and issues Takei has confronted in his life are encouraged to pitch them at the Submissions Form located at here before the pitch deadline of April 24, 2017. Relevant issues include, but are not limited to: unlawful incarceration, status as an “illegal” alien and the push for LGBTQ equality and civil rights for all, yellowface, whitewashing, media stereotypes, and the rise of digital culture and social media.
In his life, Takei went from seeing the world through barbed wire fences as an incarcerated Japanese American at Tule Lake, to being on television as one of the first regular Asian American characters in a show that broke boundaries, to helping reshape society through his political involvement and civic leadership — including redefining the very nature of the institution of marriage with his advocacy of LGBT marriage equality — before conceiving of and developing the first Broadway musical created, directed by and starring Asian Americans, and then emerging with an unexpected new chapter in life as one of the most followed and influential personalities on the burgeoning landscape of social media.
The five chapters of the book will reflect key themes in Takei’s life:
- CHAPTER ONE: ALIEN NATION — INCARCERATION AND EXCLUSION
- CHAPTER TWO: FRAMED! — MEDIA IMAGE AND STEREOTYPES
- CHAPTER THREE: FOR OUR LOVE — LGBTQ EQUALITY AND CULTURE
- CHAPTER FOUR: JUSTICE FOR ALL — CIVIL RIGHTS, CIVIL LIBERTIES, AND RESISTANCE
- CHAPTER FIVE: INTERNET FAMOUS — SOCIAL MEDIA AND DIGITAL CULTURE
A framing story recounting Takei’s life, written by Jeff Yang (editor in chief of Secret Identities and Shattered and curator of the New Frontiers exhibition) and drawn by Jamie Noguchi, will introduce each of the chapters; however, the chapters themselves will not focus on Takei and his own exploits, but rather the passions and priorities he has been most identified with throughout his journey.
New Frontiers managing editor Keith Chow notes that the volume expands the horizon of the Secret Identities team beyond its focus on showcasing the work of Asian Pacific American creators. “Our goal with this volume is to elevate the work of diverse comics writers and artists and the issues that are shaping their communities,” he says.
The team is hoping to include work not just by Asian Americans, but Black, Hispanic, Arab, Muslim, LGBT, and immigrant/refugee/undocumented creators, as well as community advocates and organizers; social media stars and Hollywood performers. The anthology is expected to be 160 full-color pages long, and will be presented in softbound trade paperback format at an 8×10 trim size.
“George’s life is a prime example of the power of art combined with activism,” adds editor-in-chief Yang. “We want to highlight creators who are also at that same cultural intersection.”
Deadline for submissions is April 24, 2017; accepted creators will be notified by May 1, 2017.