Review: Generasian Comics Volume I (formerly known as This Asian American Life)
In our current climate, and hopefully, we’ll soon see its repudiation, being a minority seems as though your life is not safe. It’s almost incomprehensible that the safety of our children is what’s at stake. Before the election results, our worry was only amplified because of the hate propelled by the current President. During the previous Obama administration, the diversity the nation held was a source of our strength and not our weakness.
What really happened over these past four years is not that the current president suddenly created all this hate but he only made these groups bolder to be out in the open. Our newly elected administration looks to mend those ties. What ties those hyphens in our identity is what makes us unique and beautiful. In the first volume of the brilliant Katie Quan’s Generasian Comics Volume I, she eloquently shows the joys and struggles of everyday Asian Americans.
We open up on Katie’s journey in high school, as in the sobering “Labels”, she shows how insecurities when it comes to race, has a powerful psychiatric effect. In “Modern Courtship”, she navigates the always murky waters of getting to know someone and the insistent need to define. In “A (Great) Wall”, she points out the absurdity of the subject movie and the fact that Matt Damon was in it. In “ This Asian American Life”, she points out all the stupid questions Asian Americans have to deal with at some point from someone not Asian. In “Popo”, she tells the tale of one woman going through TSA, and how minorities get unfairly targeted no matter how long they lived in the US. In “(Un ) Sensitivity”, Katie and her friends have some unmitigated fun with a census worker. In “Six Degrees of Seperasian”, she points out how small a world it really is especially if you are Asian. In “The Same, The Sane”, she fangirls over Supernatural, and just how riveting is, and it doesn’t hurt it has eye candy in its protagonists. In “Chink’, her brother gets a racial slur targeted at him and she finds herself not being able to help him but only able to give him solace. In “American Born Chinese”, she gets into the absurdity of Asian branded foods. In “Aloha”, she gets into why the casting of Emma Stone as an Asian shows just how backward Hollywood is. In “Time”, she ponders on if she was born I the wrong time but upon discovering the Angry Asian Man blog realizes that she is not alone. In the final strip“Resilence”, se exposes the hate Asian Americans are exposed to. By the book’s end, she entails the struggles of the Asian American in both a relatable and poignant fashion.
Overall, an excellent showcase of Quan’s eloquence as a storyteller which instantly has made me a fan of hers. The stories by Quan are timely, funny, and moving. The art by Quan is simply gorgeous. Altogether, Generasian Comics Volume I is an important part of America’s canon that deserves more attention and will have me coming back week after week.
Story: Katie Quan Art: Katie Quan
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy