Now THIS is how you market to expand comics readership. In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Gene Luen Yang and Panda Express have teamed to give away a brand new comic featuring The Green Turtle — the first Asian American superhero and star of the acclaimed graphic novel The Shadow Hero. When you buy a kid’s meal at Panda Express you get a free copy of the comic.
The comic, which is drawn by Sonny Liew, is based on the reimagining of obscure Golden Age comic superhero The Green Turtle, created by artist Chu Hing in 1944 for Blazing Comics. Yang and Liew believe The Green Turtle was the first Chinese American superhero, and the created an an entire origin story for him in The Shadow Hero. The giveaway comic is a new way to experience the character:
Most of the time, The Green Turtle is a regular 20-year-old Chinese American guy named Hank Chu, who helps out at his family’s grocery store. In Shadow Hero Comics #1, he partners with another costumed superhero known as Miss Stardust. While Hank doesn’t possess impressive powers, he never gives up and continues to save his city from villains — creating his own, original definition of what it means to be “a hero.”
This is the first kids giveaway from Panda Express.
So just to recap: you get a comic by written by certified genius #1 Gene Luen Yang and drawn by certified genius #2 Sonny Liew just for eating some yummy General Tso’s Chicken.
I call this a total win.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.