Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Introducing...The Asian American Webcomic


As traditional newspaper readers continue to enjoy Sunday comics, many savvy Internet users are discovering a vast archive of online comics, commonly labeled “webcomics”. The majority of webcomics are published solely online, but a large number have been syndicated in various newspapers. The popularity of webcomics is generally due to the relative openness of the environment, creative freedom and lack of stringent censorship on the Internet.

Within this niche environment, Asian American webcomic artists are touching upon critical issues facing Asian Americans through the comic strip medium in an effort to communicate their frustrations and those of the larger AAPI community to a mass audience. However, most Asian American webcomics mainly try to address a diverse array of topics in order to increase or retain an extensive fan base. Asian American webcomic artist Jorge Cham of “Piled Higher and Deeper” (PhD) provides a humorous insight into the everyday lives of graduate students. Newspaper syndicated Tak Toyoshima centers “Secret Asian Man” on struggling artist Osamu “SAM” Takahashi, an Asian American who is married to a Caucasian woman and raising a Hapa son. Despite the broad scope of content within each webcomic, Asian American artists strive to add commentary that is tied to their personal lives, particularly in terms of identity, racism, and a host of other issues discussed in Asian American circles.

Each webcomic with an Asian American creator has a different focus and serves distinct audiences. Nevertheless, Asian American webcomic artists collectively provide a new medium of social expression and represent a new segment of the Asian American community in the Web 2.0 era.

Here are some webcomic links – click and enjoy!
Secret Asian Man
PhD Comics

Links to a variety of Asian American webcomics here.

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