Why Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities) is Important

When I was a kid, I LOVED comic books. I bought every X-Men comic I could get my hands on. I was obsessed. This was a long time ago and back then the idea of Asian American superheroes was pretty much unheard of. This is not to say that Asian/Asian Americans weren’t in comic books. The one prominent one I remember reading was Sunfire.

Here is the Wikipedia description of him:

Sunfire is a temperamental and arrogant Japanese mutant who can generate superheated plasma and fly. Not suited for teamwork, Sunfire was only briefly a member of the X-Men and has kept limited ties to the team since. He has had some presence in the greater Marvel Universe.

Not someone I could get behind.

The only time I really felt the lack of Asian American representation was when I watched/read G.I. Joe. I rooted for the two Asian/Asian American guys, Quick Kick (Right) and Storm Shadow (Left).

You might recognize Quick Kick as Angry Asian Man’s logo but I vaguely remembered him as a child. The character I always rooted for and played with was Storm Shadow. And even though he was a bad guy, when I played with him he always became a good guy. And I secretly imagined the guy under the mask actually looked exactly like me.

Now that I think about it, that’s kind of depressing.

This is why when I first heard about Secret Identities: The Asian American Superheroes Anthology, the first anthology of Asian American superheroes created/drawn by Asian Americans, way back in 2009 I was super excited. I submitted a story (“Meet Joe”) and was honored to be included in the first book.

Three years later, the second book, Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities), is coming out next week. This book features villains. Not just any villain, but Asian American ones!

When I found out about the subject, I was super excited. Superheroes are fun but villains are way way way way more interesting to think about. I created this character and the amazingly talented artist Deodato Pangandoyon made it come to life:

You’ll have to buy the book to find out who this character is but I’ll give you a hint. It’s based off my 8Asians article: Series of Web Pages Convinced Asians are Aliens from Outer Space.

I’m glad my son has been born at a time when books like this can come out. As Asian Americans it is important that we support these kinds of projects. And when I say support, I mean buy it, like it, post it, and tell your friends about it. And I’m not just saying that because I’m in it (I don’t make any money off the book sales).

For more information about the book and to find out where you can see them on tour, go to the Secret Identities home page.

To read more behind the scenes info about Shattered, visit Jenn Fang at reappropriate.co, who will be posting an article tomorrow (Wednesday).

Finally, Adam Warrock wrote about working on Shattered as well.

What are you waiting for? Buy the book already.

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Author: Koji Steven Sakai

Writer/Producer Koji Steven Sakai is the founder of Little Nalu Pictures LLC and the CEO of CHOPSO (www.CHOPSO.com), the first Asian English streaming video service. He has written five feature films that have been produced, including the indie hit, The People I’ve Slept With. He also produced three feature films, a one hour comedy special currently on Netflix, and Comedy InvAsian, a live and filmed series featuring the nation’s top Asian American comedians. Koji’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies, was released in paperback in 2015 and in audiobook in 2016 and his graphic novel, 442, was released in 2017. In addition, he is currently an adjunct professor in screenwriting at International Technological University in San Jose.