University Libraries, the Charles B. Wang Center, and the Center for Korean Studies presents “Marvels and Monsters: A Symposium on Asian Images in Comics and Graphic Narratives” on Wednesday, April 23, at the Wang Center. The symposium features writers, authors and researchers examining graphic images of Asians in a variety of cultural forms such as manga, film, video and social media.
The symposium is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit the symposium website.
The symposium is in conjunction with the “Marvels and Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in US Comics, 1942-1986” exhibit that is on display in the Wang Theatre Lobby Gallery now through July 27. The exhibit showcases a selection of potent and indelible images of Asians and Asian Americans in mainstream comics from four defining decades of American history. The images are placed in historical context and in a discourse with contemporary Asian American writers and creators including Ken Chen, Larry Hama, David Henry Hwang, Vijay Prashad and Gene Luen Yang. The exhibition also contains elements designed to encourage direct engagement with the archetypes, such as life-sized cutouts that allow visitors to put themselves “inside the image” and an installation called “Shades of Yellow” that matches the shades used for Asian skin tones in the comics with their garish PantoneTM color equivalents.
Drawn from William F. Wu’s comic book collection — the largest archive of American comics books featuring images of Asians and Asian Americans — at New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections, the exhibition is curated by Asian Pop columnist Jeff Yang and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. The loan of the exhibition to the Charles B. Wang Center was made possible by the support of the Presidential Mini-Grant for Diversity Initiatives and by Stony Brook University Libraries.
Curator Jeff Yang is a veteran communications professional whose career in media and marketing has spanned more than a decade and a half. Since 2011 he has written the weekly “Tao Jones” column for the Wall Street Journal Online. Yang has authored and edited a number of bestselling books, including Eastern Standard Time, I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action (the international action hero’s official autobiography), Once Upon a Time in China and the new graphic novel collection Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology.