Monday, July 20, 2009

Hello San Francisco: Snapshots of Secret Identities at Giant Robot SF

A masked admirer and Jimmy J. Aquino. Photo courtesy of JJA.
Giant Robot SF and Secret Identities editor-in-chief Jeff Yang assembled some of the novel's Bay Area-based contributors--"Just Ordinary" artist Alexander Shen, "Justified" artist Tiffanie Hwang, "Gaze" inker Walden Wong and I--for a spirited two-hour July 16 signing session at the Shrader Street store that flew by faster than a morning jog with the Flash.

"S.O.S." writer Tanuj Chopra and "The Blue Scorpion & Chung" writer Gene Yang didn't make it to the signing. Gene, whose collabo with Derek Kirk Kim, The Eternal Smile, recently hit stores, couldn't be with us because he was busy with his day job (teaching computer science at a Catholic school).

Jimmy J. Aquino, Walden Wong, Tiffanie Hwang, Jeff Yang and Luke Martinez at Giant Robot SF's Secret Identities signing session. Photo courtesy of JJA.
From left to right: myself, Walden (who has his own recap of the signing here), Tiffanie, Jeff and Giant Robot SF manager Luke Martinez stand in front of Jeff's Secret Identities slide presentation. (Not in the picture: Alexander.)

Jimmy J. Aquino signs a book. Photo courtesy of JJA.
Instead of signing each copy of Secret Identities with the same message, I wanted to challenge myself by writing a different message in each copy ("Thanks for supporting Asian American/Pacific Islander superhero comics," "I don't know you, but I love you for being a Secret Identities fan," "Stay cool. It's so damn hot out there," "Everybody in the store gettin' tipsy").

Jimmy J. Aquino, Martin Genova and Dan Genova. Photo courtesy of JJA.
Here I am with one of my older brother's former roommates, Dan Genova, and his son Martin. Dan's known me since the days when I visited my brother at his university and I tried to write the Great Asian American Novel, which I never completed (elements of this unfinished story live on in my webcomic The Palace). The Genovas' visit was a wonderful surprise.

Added on July 23, 2009: The next several photos were taken by Giant Robot. The magazine/boutique store franchise posted their complete gallery of the event here.

Jimmy J. Aquino, Martin Genova and Dan Genova. Photo by Giant Robot.
Jimmy J. Aquino takes a digital video of Jeff Yang giving a Secret Identities slide presentation. Photo by Giant Robot.
Jeff Yang gives a Secret Identities slide presentation. Photo by Giant Robot.
Jeff Yang plugs the Secret Identities booth at San Diego Comic-Con. Photo by Giant Robot.
Jeff Yang, Jimmy J. Aquino and the masked Secret Identities fan from the photo at the top of the post. Photo by Giant Robot.
Jimmy J. Aquino with the Secret Identities fan from the photo at the top of the post. Photo by Giant Robot.
Walden Wong, Alexander Shen, Tiffanie Hwang, Jeff Yang and Jimmy J. Aquino at the signing table. Photo by Giant Robot.
Many of the readers at this signing--my second signing--hadn't read Secret Identities yet but were genuinely interested in our novel. While they left Giant Robot with signed copies of our book, I left the store with a copy of Adrian Tomine's Shortcomings, which has nothing to do with superheroics. If I knew how to draw better, I'd sketch a Batman/Shortcomings mash-up in which I'd turn Ben Tanaka and Alice Kim into the Frank Quitely version of Batman and Robin. Benman would come to the rescue of a white chick, of course, while Miko Hayashi would look on disapprovingly, and Robin would be busy spitting game at another lesbian.

Thanks, Giant Robot and the Bay Area fans who came to our signing!

1 comment:

  1. It was great seeing you again, Jimmy. Keep up the good work.

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