Yesterday’s first ever Asian American ComicCon was a pleasant, laid back affair. As a non-member of the group the show was aimed at, I’m leery of making any pronouncements on how the show functioned as a exploration or celebration of any particular cultural or ethnic entity. But that said, it was a swell day filled with swell people, and some very talented cartoonists, writers and editors. We caught part of the publishing panel — Sherad Devaranan talked a bit about Liquid Comics, which is still ongoing with some Grant Morrison-written projects according to some slides; and Marvel’s Arune Singh talked about the growing audience for online comics. “The Asianization of Pop Culture” panel covered various aspects of Asian influence; the discussion rambled quite a bit, from the worldwide popularity of manga to the need for “outlaw culture” to one audience member’s distaste for the subtext of Clint Eastwood’s GRAN TORINO. At the end of the day Larry Hama was presented with the 2009 Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama Award, recognizing his lifetime achievement in comics.
There were a couple of glitches — panels times got generally messed up, and at one point a group of protesters showed up to picket employment practices at the Museum of Chinese in America, the still under construction venue for the show. But these were small matters in what seemed to be a well-attended, well enjoyed event. We saw a lot of writers and reporters there, so we look forward to reading more accounts of the event.
A few photos:
Artist/editor Carol Burrell, artist Alitha Martinez with son Michael, and colorist Tom Chu.
We couldn’t resist this photo of You Byun and Dong Yun Lee in front of a floating. glowing head. Check out the websites of these two talented illustrators!
Marvel’s Arune Singh, king of the press releases, DC’s Fletcher Chu-Fong and artist Bernard Chang.
Larry Hama after receiving his award.
Show organizers take a bow at the end.
Those organizers include Keith Chow, Jeff Yang, Greg Pak, Ken Chen, and the Museum’s Beatrice Chen, and they put on a swell day of comics and conversation.
BONUS LINK: A brief report from the group opposed to AVATAR casting.