Like all the longtime WonderCon nerds that have been attending the show since it was at the Oakland Marriott, I gotta tell you, I hate Hollywood taking over the comic industry. Between a panel with Jake Gyllenhaal talking about working out and tanning so he could play the Prince of Persia (Orientalism!) to a panel with Nic Cage and Jeremy Bruckheimer explaining how they had to “update” the Fantasia classic for modern times (ie. Oriental mysticism), the show (since it moved to SF’s Moscone Center) has gone a long way from the Chasing Amy-like con-floor where I had this conversation with Erik Larsen in the early 2000’s:
Me: Yo! Erik! What are you doing here in Oakland? Can you sketch me Spider-man fighting Savage Dragon?
Erik: Sorry, I can’t draw Spider-man for you, licensing issues. And yea, I’m here cause I live in the Oakland Hills. Just rolled outta bed and showed up.
So, this year’s WonderCon didn’t impress me with its Hollywood glamor or autograph signing booths. I could care less for BcB hoebag Erin Gray, although I did enjoy seeing Deanna Troi and Tasha Yar… What I got kick out of were two comics, both on opposite ends of the Asian American spectrum.
The first is Chew by Image Comics. Its a new comic by the house that Rob Liefeld built about Officer John Chu, a Chinese American policeman that has the ability to experience the history in objects (or people) that he eats. Yes, its about cannibalism and its a story about an Asian American written and drawn by white folks, and yes, they probably went with the name John Chu cause it sounds like Chew. But take a look at the art, you can’t deny this is how you draw a badass Asian comicbook hero:
In the sketches section of the TPB, the creators note that they did not want the character to look like a typical Asian American stereotype, and for that, I thank them. That receding hairline kinda sucks for Chu though…
And what’s the opposite of a comic about an Asian American human flesh eating FDA agent? A kid’s comic about a boy and his dog of course! Bumperboy and Bumperpup were created by Debbie Huey right here in the Bay. You can check out her portfolio for other drawings or order the first book in the Bumperboy series, titled Bumperboy Loses His Marbles (it’ll cost ya tho, cause its out of print), or better yet, buy the current book, Bumperboy and the Loud, Loud Mountain.
And stay tuned this summer for a possible AzN sighting at ComicCon, cause I’m really craving carne asada fries and Team Jacob sightings.