Tag Archives: comics

Manga Mania: Muslim Manga’s Reach

by Special Correspondent Fatemeh Fakhraie, originally published at Muslimah Media Watch

Asia Alfasi is a talented manga artist in the U.K. The BBC covered a talent competition she’d won (barikallah!), but managed to irritate me through mislabeling Ms. Alfasi’s drawings and misuse of the word “Arabian.”

Ms. Alfasi won a competition given by the International Manga and Anime Festival for her character “Monir,” who, according to the BBC, is a “feisty young Arabian from the Muslim Abyssinian times who draws strength from his faith to fight injustice and battle for his family’s survival.”

Does the BBC follow AP guidelines? Even if they don’t, I’d assume they’d know that an Arabian is a horse, not a person. Hmph!

Ms. Alfasi’s characters are beautifully drawn, but I’m tired of the “exotic” angle. She says, “I wanted to introduce some Arabian mysticism to the market.” A Muslim character from the Abyssinian times would be interesting enough, considering the fact that there is no such thing in Islamic history as the “Abyssinian Era” (unless they’re talking about when the Prophet and his followers went to Abyssinia…? Confusing!) Perhaps they meant Abbasid?

Anyway, a Muslim character from the Abbasid era would be interesting enough without exoticizing him. You could learn history and ancient culture…the nerd in me screams for more! What’s so mystical about him? What’s with the Aladdin outfit? Too close to Disney for comfort, personally. Continue reading

Create-Your-Hero is a game of stereotype tic-tac-toe

Note from Carmen: This post is about Heroes’ new online promo, Create-Your-Hero and is a critique of Week 1’s choices

by guest contributor Elton

What pathetic attempts at corporate creativity have resulted from the writers’ strike. New characters are now being created from a grid of four variables: Gender (male/female), Place of birth (Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas), Appearance (drop dead gorgeous, blends into a crowd, exotic, and rugged), and Body Type (small, medium, large, extra large). The game’s similarity to a t-shirt order form is almost too absurdly comical. It does make me wonder if characters and stories in Hollywood are really decided by a game of stereotype tic-tac-toe, because as we Racialicious readers know, it often seems that way.

The appearance categories really bother me – why must a character fall into one and only one of these bizarre descriptions? Exotic? EXOTIC?! The female icon for “exotic” is a decidedly “Oriental” eye behind a fan and some flowers. The male counterpart is the ornately tattooed face of some tribal-type. A “rugged” male is symbolized by one of those beards I can’t grow, and a “rugged” female is… the seat of a pair of pants. Heroism, indeed. And why can’t a character be both “exotic” and “gorgeous,” or any other combination thereof? More importantly, why is the act of creating a character picking from an awkwardly-described set of appearance characteristics? Shouldn’t it be “hero is as hero does,” not where he was born or what she looks like?

Another note from Carmen: Speaking of problematic race stuff with Heroes, check out the web site Save Heroes, created by The Angry Black Woman:

We need to write a detailed critique of the plot, character, race and gender elements of Heroes. We need to have one place where the producers and writers of Heroes can come and find what fandom has to say on these issues.

That’s the purpose of this website. We don’t need to Save Heroes from cancellation or network misuse, we need to Save Heroes from itself. Because it’s not a lost cause. It’s still capable of being the amazing show it was in season one. No, it’s capable of being even better.

How can you help Save Heroes? Easy. Just give your opinion on the Plot and Characters or Race and Gender issues in the show. We’re inviting all fans to contribute to a collaborative document in which we provide constructive, respectful criticism of the current season. Whether you offer your original thoughts or point to existing posts on the Internet, all ideas are welcome. Once we have enough contributions to create a coherent document, we’ll put it together in total and digitally sign it.

MadTV spoofs Korean dramas

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Hat tip to Angry Asian Man and Mike Kang for this one! Apparently MadTV did this spoof of Korean dramas awhile back. Even as someone who hasn’t watched any (though I’ve seen plenty of Hong Kong and Japanese dramas, and I have a feeling they are somewhat similar stylistically) this is pretty damn funny. Love the long subtitles whizzing by. :) And Bobby Lee and Sung Kang are hilarious.

[If you’re reading this post in your RSS reader and can’t view the video please click on the post title to see.]

Comic strip explores being a “Single Asian Female”

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

I just read about this new comic strip called Single Asian Female on Angry Asian Man.

It’s actually written by a man named Ethan Lee, but the protagonist is a 21 year-old fourth-generation Chinese American who goes to UC Berkeley. Check out this AsianWeek article about Lee and check out the comic strip’s web site.

I’m kind of disappointed that it’s not actually written by a woman. I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with writing a comic from a perspective that’s not your own, but as we know there are a lot of really dicey gender issues in the Asian-American community, and I guess I just hope that this comic will try to be as realistic and balanced as possible.

Update: Check out Jenn’s take on it at Reappropriate. I’m willing to give this comic benefit of the doubt since it’s just starting out, but I agree with this statement from Jenn: “With Asian American feminism in its nascency, we must be careful about the voices that are perceived to define our identity and voice our narrative.”
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single asian female comic ethan lee