loudlysilent is a comic book reviewer for the website Geeked Out Nation — possibly the only Asian American comics reviewer in the Midwest — and a passionate advocate for the ongoing push to diversify comic books.
How do you see your role as a Comics Reviewer?
As a comics reviewer for Geeked Out Nation with a background in sociology, I’m a front-line observer of the ethnic diversity of characters in Marvel comics and movies (quick: name a Latino Avenger?).
I wish more comics had Asian American protagonists. I currently review X-Men (by Brian Wood) and Catwoman. I appreciate that X-Men’s cast has several characters who are connected with Asian identity, including Psylocke, Jubilee, and a baby named Shogo.
Celeste Chan is a queer artivist who has been writing, making films, performing, curating, and collaborating in art-organizing projects for 10+ years.
How do you see yourself as a queer artivist?
In collaboration with my partner KB Boyce, I co-direct Queer Rebels, a queer and trans people of color arts project.
I see myself as part of a creative constellation in the Bay Area. We are making art as activism, as homage, as irreverence, to subvert, to queer, to challenge, as people who were told that our voices didn’t matter. We are non-mainstream.
As a queer artivist, I’m schooled by DIY and immigrant parents from Malaysia and the Bronx, NY. In my film and writing, I’m obsessed with hidden histories, queerness as lens, race and representation, experimental form and aesthetics. One of my newest collaborations is MOON RAY RA, a performative experiment with KB Boyce.
As an artivist, I find balance between focusing on my own work and building up a platform for queer/trans artists of color. With Queer Rebels, there’s urgency in our work. There are so many vital voices that need to be heard.
Ellen Wu is an Asian American historian, writer, and teacher with special emphases on immigration, race and Asian America.
How do you see yourself as a historian?
I am an Asian American history detective! I also call myself a “Hoosierchino”—an Indiana-born, raised, educated, and now employed second-generation Chinese American. I’m also a mother, wife, sister, friend, seeker of tasty morsels, and aspiring home cook/baker. I make a fierce hot and sour soup and green onion pancakes from scratch. I like to experiment with buttercream, mochi, and black sesame seeds.
My job as an Asian American history detective lets me combine some of greatest passions. I was originally drawn to Asian American Studies as a way to understand my own place in the world. But I soon learned that it is much than that. The founders of Asian American Studies emphasized the importance of education relevant to APA communities. They also believed that it was possible not only to fight oppression, but to banish it altogether.
The original, radical vision of Asian American Studies continually inspires me. I strive to tell new stories in such a way that is meaningful and accessible to Asian Americans from all walks of life. I am interested in ordinary people who collectively did extraordinary things. But I am also just as intrigued by actions that had consequences (whether intended or not) that make us uncomfortable or even ashamed today. I believe that historians have the responsibility to acknowledge the full range of human activity and its outcomes—positive, negative, and all points in between.
I am a composer, lyricist, Asian dude. I am a writer of theater living in New York City. Among my more notable credits are a few one acts for Prospect Theater Company, York Theatre, and Baayork Lee’s National Asian Artists Project. I was a 2008 MacDowell Fellow, a Dramatist Guild Fellow and a founding member of the Asian American Composers and Lyricists Project.
My full length, Costs of Living, was a selection of the 2012 ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop hosted by Stephen Schwartz, the BMI 2012 Master Class hosted by Stephen Sondheim, a finalist for the 2012 American Harmony Prize and a nominee for the 2013 Weston Playhouse New Musical Award. My newest piece, Peter and the Wall, was selected for the 2013 Rhinebeck Writers Retreat alongside pieces by Duncan Shiek (Spring Awakening), Heidi Rodewald and Stew (Passing Strange), and Adam Gwon (Ordinary Days)
Trung is a Vietnamese American immigrant queer artist born in a UN refugee camp in the Philippines, who moved to the United States at the age of 2, and who came out to his family at the age of 17.
How do you see yourself — as immigrant, artist, queer or more?
I find myself constantly trying to figure out how to move between spaces instead of settling in them. I am uncomfortable thinking about myself as a sum of parts – everyone knows you are all of yourself at once. But I often get the sense that I’m always dealing with myself in pieces. The safe spaces availed to me tend to be made for parts of me.
My queer and Asian American identities are prominent parts of my life because they’re the facets of me that are the most often politicized and subject to respectability politics. They’re the ones that I’d always been encouraged to keep quiet about for the sake of politeness.