#AACC2017: #AAIronFist – Bringing an Asian American Hero to Life

Recorded live during the Asian American ComiCon Summit on Art, Action, and the Future.

Marvel’s Iron Fist has generally been seen as a major disappointment — and it could’ve been so much more, if only Marvel and Netflix had embraced a not-so-radical rethinking of their martial artist hero as an Asian American. Some Asian American filmmakers actually brought their reimagined concepts for an Asian American Iron Fist to life, and they’ll share their short videos as part of a conversation with the creator of the #AAIRONFIST hashtag.

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#AACC2017: Can Pop Culture Save the World?

Recorded live during the Asian American ComiCon Summit on Art, Action, and the Future.

Pop culture is literally the people’s culture. At a time when creative and diverse voices are both under attack, what can pop culture do to make social change?

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#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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We Need More Than More Diversity

Originally posted at Super Justice Force

The recent death of celebrated author Walter Dean Myers has seemingly left a void in that corner of Young Adult literature that is aware of representation and diversity, and produces works of fiction populated with a rainbow coalition of characters. It seems like every week I’m reading something about the lack of diversity and representation in YA (as well as comics and films and whatever else you care to throw into the mix), much like this piece. And now that Myers is gone, he can join the list of authors frequently cited as those that did the most for those who are represented the least.

Unfortunately, while he was alive, a significant amount of what was written about the lack of diversity in YA failed to mention Myers and his work — which speaks to a problem almost as bad as the lack of diversity itself. That problem, of course, is the lack of dialog about those books and those writers who do put in the work to ensure diversity and representation.

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