20100923

But I thought the comic world was all dudes!



::  comics by and about Asian American women ::

text & photo screenshots by a'misa chiu

Being in high school is a blur of emotions, friends, and parking lots.  One of my favorite classes in high school was Speech, where the teacher had students make impromptu one minute speeches based on a randomly-picked topic.  We all soliloquised short impassioned speeches, blowing off steam from lunch, and voicing our true opinions into the world.  It was a space where the podium had power.  Perhaps, for the first time, I felt that : I was holding "the conch." 

Each person offered a unique perspective.  There was speeches about writing, falafels, even Wiccianism. I saw that my classmates were open to hearing about each others opinions and feelings, as well as backgrounds and cultures.   So I in turn became more open to their lives.  It was through hearing the stories and experiences of others that has helped me understand myself. 

When I first became introduced into comics, I read Ghostworld (by Daniel Clowes), because I was in love with the Ghostworld the movie.  The main character Enid represented the bad-ass-sketchbook-artist-thrift-store-outfit-odd-girl-out, who eventually solves her issues by leaving the town she's in.  I, like her, wanted to leave the town I grew up in, just as badly. Her life mirrored my own, through my periods of teenage angst and exploration.  

Reading Ghostworld also ignited my interest in the world of comics and graphic novels.  I realized that the stories I was reading were just as compelling as any television show or movie could be.  I later discovered a number of comics and graphic novels by and about women.  Here are some of my favorite comics/graphic novels where all the main characters are Asian American women!

:::: For a meandering trail of life's ordinary, yet funny, moments, read Whirlwind Wonderland (by rina ayuyang, sparkplug books).

:::: If a gang of girls is about to beat you up, you better call on Jin &Jam, no.1 (by hellen jo, sparkplug books).


:::: Skim, the budding-gothic-lolita-lesbian, from graphic novel Skim (by mariko tamaki and jillian tamaki, groundwood books) might be your first girl crush.

:::: Being multi-ethnic ain't no joke for 16-year-old Pella in Supermarket (by brain wood and kristian donaldson, idw publishing).
happy reading!

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