Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Contributors

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pp. ix-xii

Illustrations

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pp. xiii-xiv

Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

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Introduction: Visual Realities of Race

Monica Chiu

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pp. 1-24

The eponymous Japanese Canadian protagonist in Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki’s graphic narrative Skim is visually contrasted against her blonde-haired, fair-skinned Canadian peers. However, Western-based assumptions of the challenges she faces because of her racial diff erence are overlooked by many Japanese...

Section I: Comics, Caricatures, and Race in North America

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1. A Moment Outside of Time: The Visual Life of Homosexuality and Race in Tamaki and Tamaki’s Skim

Monica Chiu

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pp. 27-48

Through the prose of Mariko Tamaki (author) and the art of Jillian Tamaki (illustrator), the graphic narrative Skim visually illustrates the hidden costs of being homosexual and Japanese Canadian in North America in the last decade of the twentieth century. On the one hand, Skim is a young adult novel about...

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2. Asian/American Postethnic Subjectivity in Derek Kirk Kim’s Good as Lily, Same Difference and Other Stories, and Tune

Ruth Y. Hsu

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pp. 49-68

Derek Kirk Kim received the Ignatz in 2003, an award that recognizes promise in new graphic storytellers. The following year, he was given both the prestigious Eisner and Harvey for Same Difference and Other Stories.1 In 2007, Kim published Good as Lily, with Jesse Hamm as the illustrator. Then, in 2011, Kim launched Mythomania, a web-based video series that Kim writes and directs and

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3. The Model Minority between Medical School and Nintendo: Gene Luen Yang and Thien Pham’s Level Up

Lan Dong

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pp. 69-86

At the beginning of the new millennium, Soo-Young Chin, Peter X. Feng, and Josephine Lee discussed the increasing visibility of Asian American culture both inside and outside academia and consequently the growing complexity required to understand and assess Asian American cultural production. They raised key...

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4. In Plain Sight: Reading the Racial Surfaces of Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings

Ralph E. Rodriguez

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pp. 87-106

From the mid-1980s to the present, volumes such as Maus, Watchmen, Persepolis, and Fun Home have piqued the reading public’s interest in graphic novels. They have caused non-aficionados to wake up and see that the comics medium can take on weighty material that speaks to life’s ethical, moral, existential...

Section II: North American Representations of Race across the Pacific

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5. When the Monkey King Travels across the Pacific and Back: Reading Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese in China

Kuilan Liu

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pp. 109-124

Transformation is the key element adding thematic as well as structural unity to Gene Luen Yang’s award-winning coming-of-age graphic novel American Born Chinese. The book artfully weaves together stories of three characters. The realistic character Jin Wang, of Taiwanese parentage, moves from Chinatown to a...

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6. “Maybe It’s Time for a Little History Lesson Here”: Autographics and Ann Marie Fleming’s The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam

Stacilee Ford

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pp. 125-144

Over the past several years many undergraduate students have come to rely more readily on various graphic narrative-type representations of history. The “cartoonification” of multiple interpretations of the past has become a way for them to distill large amounts of information into “chewable bites” as well as to help them remember facts and ideas that they might forget without a visual...

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7. Emotions as Landscapes: Specters of Asian American Racialization in Shaun Tan’s Graphic Narratives

Jeff rey Santa Ana

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pp. 145-164

Shaun Tan is an award-winning author of graphic narratives that depict experiences of migration, estrangement, and historical memory. In his best-known graphic narrative, The Arrival (2006), Tan portrays the story of one migrant’s passage to another country, illustrating the sense of displacement, bewilderment, and awe that international migrants experience when arriving in a...

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8. From Fan Activism to Graphic Narrative: Culture and Race in Gene Luen Yang’s Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Promise

Tim Gruenewald

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pp. 165-188

From 2005 to 2008, three seasons of the animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender (henceforth Avatar) were first broadcast on Nickelodeon. Although the show premiered on a children’s channel, its reach extended far beyond that demographic. It became a global hit and spawned a vast fandom...

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9. (Re)Collecting Vietnam: Vietnamization, Soldier Remorse, and Marvel Comics

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials

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pp. 189-208

In his January 20, 1972 State of the Union address, President Richard Milhous Nixon triumphantly issued the following pronouncement to Congress and the nation: “As our involvement in the war in Vietnam comes to an end, we must now go on to build a generation of peace.” Soon after, the thirty-seventh...

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10. The Awesome and Mundane Adventures of Flor de Manila y San Francisco

Catherine Ceniza Choy

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pp. 209-224

It’s easy to notice, then overlook, the Filipino immigrant nurse. Her ubiquity in US hospitals lends her identity to stereotyping: natural caregiver, docile worker, foreign labor competition. Take for instance District of Columbia council member Marion Barry’s recent rant that pitted Filipino immigrant nurses against African Americans. When trying to explain how to get more...

Section III: Manga Goes West and Returns

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11. The “Japaneseness” of OEL Manga: On Japanese American Comics Artists and Manga Style

Angela Moreno Acosta

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pp. 227-244

Japanese manga1 have been well received outside of Japan, especially among young people, some of whom aspire to be manga artists using “manga style” in their comics. In North America, these comics are called “OEL” (original English language) manga. Many OEL manga artists voice a fascination with “Japan,” which, upon closer inspection, is mostly equated with manga conventions of...

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12. Manga-fying Yang’s American Born Chinese

Angela Moreno Acosta (illustration), Jaqueline Berndt (text)

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pp. 245-256

Thierry Groensteen argues that “the narrative techniques and processes that are used in manga give the reader the feeling of being immersed in the action, whereas Western comics create a more distant relation between the reader and the narrative” (27). It goes without saying that both “Western” and “Eastern” graphic narratives escape such generalization. However, Angela Moreno Acosta’s...

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13. Skim as Girl: Reading a Japanese North American Graphic Novel through Manga Lenses

Jaqueline Berndt

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pp. 257-278

In recent years, graphic narratives1 in general and manga in particular have attracted critical attention from a variety of fields, including media and globalization research as well as Japanese, gender, and ethnic studies. This broadening of topic-oriented interest usually leads to two lines of contestation, one pertaining to manga-specific expertise and the other to culturally divergent mediascapes...

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14. Queering Manga: Eating Queerly in 12 Days

Laura Anh Williams

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pp. 279-298

In the past twenty years, taking Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel Maus (1991) as the bellwether, American audiences have seen the proliferation and legitimation of graphic narratives as a literary genre, including texts both written by and about gays and lesbians, as well as by and about Asian Americans. These visual literary genres have arisen at the virtual occlusion of

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15. Conveying New Material Realities: Transnational Popular Culture in Asian American Comics

Shan Mu Zhao

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pp. 299-320

In the 2011 film The Green Hornet, starring Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou as Kato, there is a short scene depicting Kato’s apartment as he watches the television. The décor of his apartment is clearly visible: a Chinese decorative knot, ink brush calligraphy, and a miniature terracotta warrior. By contrast, in the award-winning...

Index

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pp. 321-336

Plates

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pp. 337-352