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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R.I.P. Francis Tsai

Last night, the SIUniverse family was rocked when we learned we had lost one of our own. Francis Tsai, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010, passed away after a long battle with the disease — just one week after celebrating his 46th birthday. In 2009, Francis became part of the SIUniverse by illustrating the story “Taking Back Troy” in the first Secret Identities volume. Though ALS slowly took away his ability to draw with his hands, he never let the disease stop him from creating art. First, he trained himself to draw using his feet, and when that was taken from him, he pioneered special technology using his eyes to create art.

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Fresh Off the Boat by Artist Krishna Sadasivam

If you were one of the 14 million people that caught either of Wednesday night’s Fresh Off the Boat debut episodes, you know that the show — loosely based on the Eddie Huang memoir of the same name — has gotten off to a promising start. Let’s hope the other networks take notice and start truly broadcasting in color!

Now the show is finally out there for the world to see, we wrap up our special week-long tribute to Fresh Off the Boat  with this piece of star Hudson Yang as Eddie by PC Weenies creator and SIUniverse alum Krishna Sadasivam. Speaking of Hudson, be sure to read this heartfelt piece by his dad — and friend of the blog — Jeff Yang in the L.A. Times.

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Hooked on the Guardians of the Galaxy

The Nerds can’t stop talking about Guardians of the Galaxy! For this week’s Hard N.O.C. Life, the panel tackles the phenomenon that is Marvel Studios’ latest blockbuster success and what that means for the Distinguished Competition across the street.

Joining Keith on the panel are Wall Street Journal columnist Jeff Yang (@originalspin), and former Jeopardy  champ Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) along with regular panelists N’Jaila Rhee (@blasianbytch) and Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria (@rscpokenword).

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Fresh Off the Boat: Television Karma

by Jeff Yang | Originally posted at Quartz

In 1994, exactly 20 years ago, ABC decided to pick up the pilot for comedian Margaret Cho’s All-American Girl, making it the first sitcom to put an Asian American family on network prime-time TV. The show was slammed by the press and rapidly faded in the ratings; after airing just 19 episodes, the decision was made to cancel it. In her book, Cho cited bad reviews from Asian American cultural critics as being a key reason for ABC’s lack of faith in the show, calling out one in particular — me.

Two decades have gone by, and no network has aired another Asian American family sitcom since. But this weekend, ironically, ABC officially picked up Fresh Off the Boat — a sitcom based on celebrity chef Eddie Huang’s New York Times bestselling memoir of growing up with his two brothers and immigrant parents as a hip-hop-loving outsider in suburban Orlando, Florida. Playing little Eddie: My son, Hudson Yang.

The irony — or is it karma? — in the situation led me and my friend, illustrator Louie Chin, to collaborate on this comic.

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Remembering Dwayne McDuffie

Dwayne McDuffie is one of the most important figures in the history of the comic book industry. Perhaps that’s hyperbole, but I don’t think so. I know that his work has left an indelible mark on me, and the world is a lesser place without him in it.

I didn’t know Dwayne McDuffie personally. I only met him once. Briefly. It was in San Diego in 2009. The fellas (Jerry Ma, Jeff Yang, Parry Shen) and I were at Comic-Con to promote Secret Identities. Dwayne was on a panel moderated by Jeff, and the five of us were able to chat for a bit afterwards.

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Marvels & Monsters: Yo, Is This Racist?

It’s an age-old question: does popular culture reflect mainstream perceptions, or is the mainstream influenced by the images it sees in popular culture? Jeff Yang, of Secret Identities and the Wall Street Journal, examines this question in the exhibit, Marvels & Monsters, now showing at the Japanese American National Museum.

Jeff
Exhibit curator Jeff Yang

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Miss Zaigon 2: Zombie Revenge at Cần Thơ

Miss Saigon is a blockbuster musical in which a virginal underage prostitute falls in love with a white G.I., then shoots herself in the stomach so she can sing one last song with him with the hope that the white man will take their biracial child away from all the evil Vietnamese people to a better life in America. Jeff Yang challenged me to write a Zombie imagining of the characters 20 years after the end of the musical, wherein the Vietnamese woman, Kim, comes back as a zombie — and this short story is what I came up with.

The thing about beggars eating a bug to get a rash, I got that from something I read online by Linh Dinh.

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Secret Identities Revealed

Six years ago this month, five people gathered in a Brooklyn living room to pore through stacks of manuscripts and art portfolios in order to decide on what to include in a little project that would eventually go on to be known as Secret Identities.

To commemorate the occasion, Keith (@the_real_chow) welcomes his SIUniverse partners Jeff Yang (@originalspin), Jerry Ma (@epicprops), Jef Castro (@pointnquestion) — and a special cameo appearance by Parry Shen (@parryshen) — to reminisce about Secret Identities and Shattered

Look for SIUniverse to represent on both coasts next week as Keith and Jerry will be holding it down at New York Comic-Con (BOOTH 2010!) and Jeff will be in Los Angeles for the opening of Marvels and Monsters at the Japanese American National Museum.

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Other Stuff Around the Web

Since The Nerds of Color is not the only awesome thing on the internet, we spent the weekend scouring the web for some of the most NOC-relevant links around. Here are five stories that have gotten the most buzz around the N.O.C. office.

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Our two favorite honorary Nerds of Color unite as Jeff Yang interviews Miss America Nina Davuluri for his Tao Jones column for the Wall Street Jounral, Jeff gets Davuluri to talk about the racist backlash her win engendered and the stereotypes she faced on her way to being crowned as the first Asian American Miss America. He also get her to reveal some more about her own N.O.C. Origin:

“Yes, of course! I grew up reading science fiction and fantasy, and I didn’t think anything of it. I love ‘Lord of the Rings.’ I love ‘Harry Potter’ — I love ‘Star Wars’! I hopped on the ‘Star Trek’ bandwagon late in life, I admit, with the new movies, but I loved them as well. I love all that stuff, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I want people to know: It’s okay to be a nerd!”

Admit it, y’all just fell in love again.

Jeff also gives us a little “Must Click” love at the bottom of the column. Thanks, Jeff!

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