Yesterday, on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021, Gene Luen Yang posted an earnest and important comic on Instagram. Accompanied by the hashtags #AsiansAreHuman, #StopAsianHate, and #StopAAPIHate, the post communicated an essential and timely message about the rising violence against Asian communities in the United States.

Gene Luen Yang

Earlier this year, Yang was named The Beat Comics Industry Person of the Year for 2020. It’s the second time he’s been awarded the honor, as he was previously included when The Beat Comics Industry Person of the Year was awarded to him and the creative team behind March (Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell) in 2016.

Yang is a Macarthur Fellow, and he was behind several of The Beat’s Best Comics of 2020, with both Dragon Hoops and Superman Smashes the Klan (with Gurihiru and Janice Chiang) making the Top 10.

An Important Message

The comic Yang posted to Instagram on March 17th, 2021 is in reaction to a topic that had been trending on Twitter yesterday morning: #AsiansAreHuman. As the cartoon avatar of Yang explains, it’s an unfortunately familiar sentiment, and one which he has been combating through his work for his entire life.

The comic is a reaction to rising violence in the United States against Asian-American communities, including the murder of eight people in Atlanta earlier this week, a number that includes six Asian women.

While many of the comics we feature in the A Year of Free Comics feature provide levity, it’s important to remember that comics can also be utilized in order to facilitate essential conversations that may be difficult or impossible in other mediums. The Beat urges readers to click through to Yang’s Instagram page and read the comic in its entirety, and take the time to consider its content.


The Beat stands with the Asian-American community. Asian hate must stop.

Please read Yang’s comic and consider how you can help make your community a safer place for everyone.