CMS News Archives
Tak Toyoshima's comic strip Secret Asian Man has brought to light the challenges of being Asian American in America. Challenges like not being able to find his name on a key chain at souvenir shops, being asked where he was delivering the Chinese food that he just picked up and being his friend's default camera technician. In 2007, SAM began syndication through United Features and has since become a daily strip featured in papers across the country. SAM's focus has broadened beyond purely Asian-American race relations, and now discusses themes that involve dynamics between groups to which we all belong: race, gender, political, religious, left-handed, sexual orientation, dog people...etc. In this informal presentation, Toyoshima explores the relationship between his preferred content (the exploration of Asian-American identity), his medium (comics), and his mode of distribution (syndication primarily through independent newspapers). How does Secret Asian Man address the historical role of racial stereotypes in comics as a medium? What might his experiences as an independent comics producer tell us about the opportunities offered by alternative media?