#AACC2017 and Failing to Get a Photo with Lewis Tan

To get to my failure, I should start with a childhood that took place in Los Angeles. Hawthorne, California is a small community situated in Southwest Los Angeles. With Inglewood to the north, Gardena to the east, Torrance to the south, and the glamorous beach communities to the west, it was basically the edge of working class/POC Los Angeles butting up against the elite.

What this meant is that I’d had some familiarity with celebrity. Not with myself, mind, but, like most Angelenos, I’d run into famous people while out and about. My most hilarious sighting being Los Angeles Laker Luke Walton at a local Target, while I was shopping for a few things with my mother. My mom was incredibly upset that I did not tell her that the tall and maddeningly handsome Walton had just waltzed right by her with the grace of a ballerina (Walton did have decent footwork) and the obviousness of a panzer tank.

Needless to say, my life here should have prepared me for meeting Lewis Tan. It, however, did not.

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The Asian American ComiCon Presents: A Summit on Art, Action & the Future

In 2009, the Asian American ComiCon was held in New York City, bringing together Asian indie and mainstream comics creators for a historic gathering to celebrate the unique and flourishing graphic storytelling of our community. Now, eight years later, AACC is hosting its second event: a Summit on Art, Action and the Future. In a time where diversity and creativity are both under attack, the Summit will feature diverse creators talking about where we’re going next.

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Announcing New Frontiers Anthology Inspired by the Life of George Takei

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.

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Star Trek Beyond: Be Still My Trekkie Heart

Thanks to CAPE (The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) and AMP (Asian American Media Professionals), I got to attend a small screening of Star Trek Beyond at Paramount studios.

I won’t get into the story itself, but I must say to all my Trekkies: my solid ice cold anti-Trek reboot heart is starting to melt. I understand how this film had a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating, making it a ripe tomato.

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#MyStarTrek: The Immigrant Generation

Originally posted at YOMYOMF

A little context before you jump into reading this: I’m a child of immigrants (access: child of immigrant experience) who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago: the not very diverse kind of suburb (access: white suburbia experience).

I’ve been a Trekkie since I was about seven years old when Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) first aired. Up until then, my father and I use to watch some old Star Trek episodes or the films… Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was a favorite of mine. It was great to see George Takei up there, but I really loved seeing Uhura be the strong independent female especially by the time the films came out.

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Why is the Kubo and the Two Strings Cast So White?

by Phil Yu | Originally posted at Angry Asian Man

LAIKA, the acclaimed stop-motion animation studio that brought you Coraline and ParaNorman, recently released the trailer for its latest feature Kubo and the Two Strings, an epic adventure set in fantastical Japan.

The story centers on a young boy named Kubo who lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down. On the run from gods and monsters, Kubo must find a magical suit of armor once worn by his father, the greatest samurai the world has ever known.

The movie looks incredible. Check out this trailer:

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Sam Koji Hale and Shoji Kameda: Yamasong’s Masters of Puppets

Last month, we brought you the trailer and poster for the upcoming fantasy film Yamasong: March of the Hollows. The film, which is a follow-up to a 2010 short, seeks to bring puppetry back to mainstream genre audiences with an all-star cast and backing from a couple of dynastic names in the world of cinematic puppetry.

On the latest edition of Hard NOC Life, Keith sits down with the two men who launched the world of Yamasong half a decade ago: writer-director Sam Koji Hale and composer Shoji Kameda.

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Yamasong: March of the Hollows Releases Trailer, Poster

In 2010, Los Angeles-based filmmaker Sam Koji Hale released an award-winning and critically acclaimed short film called Yamasong that featured Japanese-style puppetry set to the pulsating rhythm of the contemporary taiko group On Ensemble. Now, five years later, Hale has returned to the world of Nani and her tortoise compatriot Shojun in the full-length feature Yamasong: March of the Hollows. Only this time, he’s backed by an all-star voice cast and the scions of two legendary puppeteering families: Heather Henson and Toby Froud.

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It’s More Than Okay To Be George Takei

Last night, I had the distinct honor to attend a screening of To Be Takei — the new documentary about Start Trek actor, civil rights activist, and social media maven George Takei — as part of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center‘s ongoing Asian Pacific Heritage Month celebrations. Bookended by remarks from Smithsonian APAC Director Konrad Ng and a Q&A with the film’s subjects, the entire evening was a celebration of one of our culture’s most trailblazing icons.

Having made its debut at Sundance in January, To Be Takei was recently acquired by Starz for digital and theatrical distribution later this year. In advance of its formal theatrical release, the film has been doing the festival rounds and made its Washington, DC premiere at the Warner Brothers theater inside the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. I was lucky enough to check it out with the homie (and fellow NOC) Patrick Michael Strange.

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