INTERVIEW: Gene Luen Yang and Bernard Chang On Bringing the Monkey King to DC Comics

Page featuring the new Monkey Prince character from DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Collection. (Photo credit: DC Comics)

By: Hannah Han

DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Collection is DC Comics’ newest comic book anthology celebrating Asian Superheroes comes just in time to celebrate Asian Pacifiic American heritage in May.

This is an exclusive interview with writer Gene Luen Yang and artist Bernard Chang, who have contributed a special story introducing a brand new DC superhero, Monkey Prince, as the main event of this 96-page anthology commemorating some of DC’s beloved Asian and Asian American characters.


In the excerpt of The Monkey Prince Hates Superheroes from DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration, we only really got a small window into Monkey Prince’s world, but it’s really so richly depicted and vibrant, and I loved all of the references to Chinese mythology.

When you are drafting the story, what were your sources of inspiration, especially when giving Monkey Prince his distinct personality and background? Did you pull any inspiration from your own lives at any point?

Gene Luen Yang: I think I speak for both Bernard and me that even though we worked on The Monkey Prince for a few months, we’ve actually been working on this story all of our lives. Bernard and I have thought about the Monkey King since we were little kids, since we’ve heard these stories from our parents. Again, being both Monkey King fans and superhero fans, we’ve thought about the connections between superhero stories and ancient Chinese mythology for years and years and years. In a lot of ways, this project felt like we were just pouring all the stuff out onto the page that has been with us since we were little kids.

Bernard Chang: Both of us grew up with our parents reading bedtime stories about the Monkey King to us. Growing up in America, we’re first introduced to a lot of American superheroes with these powers to fly and [with] super strength and all these things. And when our parents would read to us about the Monkey King, it was our own superhero that we could associate with.

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AAPI Run: Tania Ganguly, Candidate for Canton Township Trustee, MI

Tania Ganguly (Photo Credit: Tania for Canton Trustee)

Once again, a record number of Asian Americans and a growing number of Pacific Islanders are running for public office at the local, state, and national level.

Every week, Reappropriate will profile progressive AAPI candidates for higher office, as well as officials serving in public office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2020 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.


What is your full name?
Tania Ganguly

What office are you seeking and/or what office do you currently hold?
Canton Township Trustee in Michigan

When is the election date and/or when is the end of your term?
November 3, 2020.

What is your party registration (if any)?
Democratic

Continue reading “AAPI Run: Tania Ganguly, Candidate for Canton Township Trustee, MI”

AAPI Run: Dr. Michelle Au, Candidate for GA State Senate, District 48

Dr. Michelle Au (Photo Credit: Dr. Michelle Au for State Senate)

Once again, a record number of Asian Americans and a growing number of Pacific Islanders are running for public office at the local, state, and national level.

Every week, Reappropriate will profile progressive AAPI candidates for higher office, as well as officials serving in public office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2020 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.


What is your full name?
Dr. Michelle Au

What office are you seeking and/or what office do you currently hold?
Georgia State Senate, District 48.

When is the election date and/or when is the end of your term?
November 3, 2020.

What is your party registration (if any)?
Democrat

Continue reading “AAPI Run: Dr. Michelle Au, Candidate for GA State Senate, District 48”

AAPI Run: Jeremy Akbar Cooney, Candidate for NY State Senate, District 56

Jeremy Akbar Cooney (Photo Credit: Jeremy Cooney for State Senate)

Once again, a record number of Asian Americans and a growing number of Pacific Islanders are running for public office at the local, state, and national level.

Every week, Reappropriate will profile progressive AAPI candidates for higher office, as well as officials serving in public office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2020 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.


Jeremy Akbar Cooney is endorsed by Run for Something, which recruits and supports talented, passionate young people who advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench. Since its launch on inauguration day 2017, they’ve recruited 16,000 young people to run for office.


What is your full name?
Jeremy Akbar Cooney

What office are you seeking?
New York State Senate

When is the election date?
November 3, 2020

What is your party registration (if any)?
Democratic Party, Working Families Party (endorsed)

Continue reading “AAPI Run: Jeremy Akbar Cooney, Candidate for NY State Senate, District 56”

AAPI Run: Godfrey Santos Plata, Candidate for CA State Assembly, District 53

Godfrey Santos Plata (Photo credit: Plata for Assembly 2020)

Once again, a record number of Asian Americans and a growing number of Pacific Islanders are running for public office at the local, state, and national level.

Every week, Reappropriate will profile progressive AAPI candidates for higher office, as well as officials serving in public office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2020 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.


Godfrey Santos Plata is endorsed by Run for Something, which recruits and supports talented, passionate young people who advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench. Since its launch on inauguration day 2017, they’ve recruited 16,000 young people to run for office.


What is your full name?
Godfrey Santos Plata

What office are you seeking?
California State Assembly, District 53. I’ve qualified as one of two candidates for our general election, following our March 3rd primary.

When is the election date?
November 3, 2020

What is your party registration (if any)?
Democrat

Continue reading “AAPI Run: Godfrey Santos Plata, Candidate for CA State Assembly, District 53”