Monday, July 20, 2009
Hello San Francisco: Snapshots of Secret Identities at Giant Robot SF
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).
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.)
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").
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.
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!