Comics A.M. | Comics, diversity and the ‘Asian superhero’

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Comics, diversity and the ‘Asian superhero’

Comics | Keith Chow, editor of The Nerds of Color, responds to the New York Times opinion column that questioned the very concept of an Asian superhero, pointing out that there have actually been a number of successful Asian superheroes, several of whom debuted this year; that contrary to what the writer Umapagan Ampikaipakan says, there are a lot of superheroes in manga; and that the story of Superman, the original superhero, was essentially an immigrant story. “Coincidentally, Ampikaipakan derisively refers to Kamala Khan’s storyline in ‘Ms. Marvel’ as ‘merely another retelling of the classic American immigrant experience,’ and therefore not worthy of the universality of the superhero archetype,” Chow writes. “I guess immigrant experiences only matter so long as the immigrant isn’t brown.” [NBC News]

Editorial cartoons | Michael Cavna asks why newspapers aren’t hiring black cartoonists, pointing to talented creators such as Keith Knight and Darrin Bell: “On one hand, cartoonists who can articulate firsthand racism are a valuable voice in the national conversation; indeed, Knight rightly received an NAACP History Maker award this year for his police-prejudice comics. Yet on the other hand, in this era of raised voices for Tamir and Trayvon and Freddie Gray, one journalistic stat stands out to me: Not a single full-time staff political cartoonist on a major American daily newspaper is black, according to the industry’s national professional organization.” [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Chag Lowry talks about his graphic novel Soldiers Unknown, a fictional tale about Native American soldiers in World War I. [Eureka Times-Standard]

Comics | Jennifer M. Contino interviews Craig Yoe about the making of his hefty retro anthology, The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories, which includes work by John Stanley and Walt Kelley as well as a rare comic by Richard Scarry. [Sequential Tart]

Year in review | Industry pundit Rob Salkowitz rounds up the most important comics and pop culture stories of 2015. [Forbes]

Best of the year | And Salkowitz is back at ICv2 with a list of his favorite comics, events and artist of 2015. [ICv2]

Best of the year | What’s the best of the best of the year? ICv2 compiles a list of the graphic novels that made almost everyone’s lists this year. [ICv2]

Conventions | The comics convention held in Bettendorf, Iowa, the weekend before Christmas sounds tiny — the local news reports that there were “dozens” of fans in attendance — but there were more than 60,000 comics on display. [WHO TV]

Retailing | LeAnn Sukman, manager of Bedrock Comics in Missouri City, Texas, talks about the influx of women fans; she has been working for Bedrock for 20 years and started off reading Archie and Richie Rich comics as a kid, moving on to The Sandman and Strangers in Paradise. [Houston Chronicle]

Retailing | The Baltimore-area comics shop Collectors Corner is opening a third location, in Mt. Vernon. Owner Randy Myers says his mini-chain is thriving because it carries a variety of items, including comics and graphic novels, figures, art supplies and games. [Baltimore Business Journal]