CTRL+ALT: A Culture Lab on Imagined Futures, This Weekend in New York City

Like the rest of the nation, I woke up this morning to an unfathomable reality. Despite our best efforts, the country has chosen hate and division. Those dystopian science-fiction novels don’t feel so far off anymore. Still, we at The Nerds of Color must soldier on. I’m doing that by participating in CTRL+ALT, the Smithsonian’s pop-up Culture Lab on imagined futures this weekend in New York City. Though, to be honest, I’m having a difficult time imagining the present, much the less the future.

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The ‘Asian Superhero’ is Not an Oxymoron

Originally published at NBC News Asian America

In a New York Times op-ed over the weekend, Malaysian talk radio host Umapagan Ampikaipakan called into question the entire concept of an “Asian superhero.” As an Asian person who has invested quite a lot in the idea of Asian superheroes, you can imagine seeing such a piece in the paper of record left me a bit bewildered — especially because this was the year that comics featuring Asian and Asian-American heroes had finally broken through.

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Are You Ready for This Year’s Small Press Expo?

In less than 24 hours, the world’s best cartoonists and indie comics makers bring their talents to the DMV (that would be the DC-Maryland-Virginia area of the country, and not, alas, where you get your drivers’ license renewed) at the 21st annual Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD.

In addition to hosting esteemed guests like Noelle Stevenson, Scott McCloud, and C. Spike Trotman (among many others), SPX is also home to the Ignatz Awards and a venue for fans of the medium to support some of the hardest working artists in all of comics. After the cut, we’re going to highlight a few of the things we’re most excited to see this weekend.

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Superman: Truth, Justice, & the Asian American Way

On the eve of June and the post-Convergence DC Universe next week, we are in breathless anticipation to see the new, more diverse DC Universe as promised by the publisher’s “DC You” campaign. Part of that diversity is represented by the all-star writing talent attached to the flagship books of DC’s most iconic character: Superman.

Hard NOC Life was honored to welcome Action Comics writer Greg Pak (@gregpak) and new Superman writer Gene Luen Yang (@geneluenyang) — whose preview story you can read here right now — on the show to talk all things Man of Steel.

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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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An Interview with RUNLOVEKILL Writer Jonathan Tsuei

Jonathan Tsuei and artist Eric Canete will soon be gracing the nerd world with their new comic from Image, RUNLOVEKILL. I had the honor of reading the first issue and can report that it is an innovative, futuristic, action packed story with some elements that I would dare to compare with Aeon Flux.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to writer Jonathan Tsuei about the comic, character development, and his future projects.

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No 52: The New Era of DC Comics Looks Promising

Can it be? Am I actually excited about DC Comics? Again? I’ve made no bones about my aversion to the company-wide reboot of 2011, but it seems that starting this summer, DC is dropping the The New 52 branding and starting fresh with all-new books, and a diverse and wide-ranging roster of talent, including — full disclosure — several friends and alums from the SIUniverse! So maybe I’m a little biased.

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Fresh Off the Boat by Point and Question

Our second Fresh Off the Boat-inspired illustration today comes from the collective known as Point and Question, a.k.a. Jef Castro and SooJ Lee. Don’t forget to catch the premiere of the life and times of young Eddie Huang tonight on ABC at 8:30pm (sandwiching a new episode of Modern Family).

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Epic Props Dispatch From NYCC: Evolution of a Vendor Booth

Want to see how a vendor booth goes from being a bunch of cardboard boxes to an elaborate thing of t-shirt selling beauty?

Today is the first day of New York Comic-Con, and Epic Proportions is once again taking up some prime real estate in the Jacob Javits Center. If you are going to be at the show, come by and say hi at Booth #2010. We even have DC Comics superstar Bernard Chang at the booth for the whole show!

Click through to see the evolution of the Epic Props Booth.

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Robin Ha’s Banchan Comics Will Make You Hungry

Last weekend, at Baltimore Comic-Con, I had the opportunity to run in to several members of the SIUniverse fam in attendance. One of the alums I visited with was artist Robin Ha, who was exhibiting in Artist Alley for the first time. Not only was it great to catch up — however briefly — but it was also an opportunity to get a print copy of Banchan in Two Pages, a pretty cool recipe comic she’s been updating on the tumblr of the same name.

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