September is Suicide Prevention Month; “Together Not Alone” PSA #IFEELALIVE

#IFEELALIVE is a national awareness campaign launched on the Love and Discovery blog in support of Suicide Prevention Month in September.

Suicide was the 8th leading cause of death for Asian-Americans, whereas it was the 11th leading cause of death for all racial groups combined.

This video is aimed at educating and helping Asian American Pacific Islanders with mental health issues.

The following people contributed to this PSA:
Megan Lee, Jason Chu, Elizabeth Sung James Kyson, Sean Michael Afable, Raymond Ma, Grace Su, Only Won, Lina So, Larissa Lam, Emily Wu Truong, Kanika Lal.

Statistics cited in the video are derived from data from American Psychological Association and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

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8$: MARVELS – Rap Music Video About Comic Books & Superheroes

8$ is a series which occasionally highlights interesting crowdfunding projects. Every day, the 8Asians team is inundated by many worthy pitches. We are unable to highlight every one that comes our way, or even the ones we might individually support. The projects selected for 8$ are not endorsements by 8Asians. (To be considered for 8$, we highly suggest you not harass the writers or the editors of 8Asians.)

WHO: Some nerds (a rapper, a few musicians, some filmmakers) making a music video about the superheroes and stories that inspire us. Jason Chu is the rapper.

WHAT: Kickstarter project: MARVELS – a rap music video about Comic Books & Superheroes

I grew up reading Wizard Magazine. Running to my local comic book store (Captain Blue Hen Comics) to flip through Detective Comics and Spawn back issues. Groaning at the Spider-Clone saga and collecting variant covers. They weren’t just pictures on paper: these were our role models. Our heroes. Our legends.

As I get older, real-life issues have overshadowed my dreams of heroes and villains: ISIS. Ebola. Ferguson. The job market. Divorce. Cancer.

But even – especially – in this complicated grown-up world, part of me still clings to the childish notion that we need heroes. That their stories of justice, truth, and bringing hope to the powerless… might actually be true.

My creative team and I have been working on a new project code-named MARVELS. It’s a music video about the heroes who taught us how to dream.

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WHEN: Deadline to contribute is Thursday, November 20, 2014 (6:00pm PT).

WHY:

MARVELS is a video inspired by floppies and trade paperbacks. Age of Apocalypse, Fables, and Kingdom Come (Alex Ross, not Jay-Z). Incredible Hulk #181 and the Bone Complete Collected Epic.
It’s a love letter to every unsettled “Superman vs. Batman?” argument, small town comic-con, and the bagged and boarded collection still sitting in long boxes in my mom’s basement.

MARVELS is a story about a kid who looks up to superheroes, but grows disillusioned. It’s about real supervillains: Cancer. Addiction. Broken relationships. It’s about a young man who learns how to dream again.

MARVELS is not MY story, but OURS: the kids who read, watched, and gamed because we knew, hidden beneath our awkward youth, we were secretly already heroes. The kids who, like the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Aang, felt trapped in a society confused and scared of what it didn’t understand.

COLORBLIND: Jason Chu’s Poem Response to the La Jolla Playhouse

Check out this amazing spoken word piece by Jason Chu that comments on the La Jolla Playhouse casting controversy, as well as that of the obstacles Asian and Asian American actors when trying to be seen in the Hollywood system. Here’s what he said about how the piece came to be:

Over the past several days, I’ve been frustrated by the insensitive casting decisions & stubbornness of the La Jolla Playhouse – and encouraged by the honest dialogue that’s followed within the Asian-American community. This incident is merely one of many – including the controversial “Racebending” of The Last Airbender – and this recurring theme deserves to be aired and engaged with within our community.