Asian American Graphic Novels & Comic Books

Hi all,

Welcome to my list of Asian American (North America, including Canada) Comic Books and Graphic Novels! The list is alphabetized by author last name. Last Updated: May 27, 2020

I learned about most of these while wandering around local bookstores or browsing through Instagram. Titles in bold are the works I currently own. The rest are part of a growing ~wishlist~ I’ve also added names of independent artists whose works are unpublished, soon-to-be published, or digitally-distributed. (P.S. I’ll also be doing an Asian American Zines and Asian American Children’s Books collection soon! Will keep ya posted.)

See any missing? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments below.

Want to learn more about graphic novels? Check out Kay Sohini’s Graphic Narratives Catalog and Monica Chiu’s Drawing New Color Lines: Transnational Asian American Graphic Narratives (2015). Also look at comics w/ a slant on Medium for a series of interviews on Asian Am comic artists.

ASIAN AMERICAN COMIC BOOK COLLECTION ON BOOKSHELF
ASIAN AMERICAN COMIC BOOK COLLECTION

ANTHOLOGIES

Comic books and graphic novel works featuring multiple AAPI artists.

Threads That Connect Us (2020)

Thank you, Dr. Kelly Fong, for recommending this anthology! Really hoping Threads That Connects Us comes back in stock soon. Learn more about the project here.

Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities) (2012) Superhero, Comics Anthology

Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology (2009) Superhero, Comics Anthology

AUTHORS (BY LAST NAME)

A

FRANK ABE

We Hereby Refuse: Japanese Acts of Wartime Resistance (2021 – Coming Soon!) Japanese, Incarceration, Historical Non-fiction

SANA AMANAT

Ms Marvel (2013-present) Pakistani, Marvel Superhero

Amanat was one of the creators of Kamala Khan, Ms Marvel, along with Jamie McKelvie, G. Willow Wilson, and Adrian Alphona.

rina ayuyang (@RINAYAY)

Blame This on the Boogie (2018) Filipina, Memoir

Whirlwind Wonderland (2009) Filipina, Memoir

B

Lynda Barry (@THENEARSIGHTEDMONKEY)

Image result for one hundred demons

One Hundred Demons (2002) Filipina, Multiracial, Autobiofictionalography

Barry’s “autobiofictionalography” (a term she coined) weaves her coming of age memoir, dreamlike collages, and imaginative storytelling through her unique comic book style. She’s 1/4 Filipino and shares some stories of her mom and lola (grandmother), dropping Tagalog slang here and there. Cannot recommend this work enough.

Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor (2014)

The bible for art students and teachers.

THI BUI (@TEABUOY)

The Best We Could Do (2017) Vietnamese, Memoir

The beautifully-illustrated Vietnamese refugee story of Bui’s parents melded with her own experience as a second generation Vietnamese American.

Angel fangirling with Thi Bui at UC Berkeley’s AAPICON in 2017.

C

nidhi chanani (@NIDHIART)

Pashmina (2017) Indian, Coming-of-Age, Children’s/Young Readers

FRED CHAO

Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero (2012) Japanese, Multiracial, Young Adult, Sci-fi

Haven’t read this one yet.

MICHAEl CHO (@Michael_cho_art)

Shoplifter (2014) Korean, Coming-of-Age

GERRY CHOW (@GCHOW17)

Exclusion (2018) Short Comic, Chinese Exclusion

Panels from Gerry Chow’s EXCLUSION (2018)

D

aminder dhaliwal (@Aminder_D)

Woman World (2019) Sci-fi

Imagine a world without men. Dhaliwal did that.

AJ DUNGO (@AGEDUNGS)

IN WAVES (2019) Filipino, Memoir, History of Surfing

THIS MADE ME CRY SO MANY TEARS. This book is also so aesthetic.

E

TRINIDAD ESCOBAR (@ESCOBARCOMICS)

Crushed (2018) Filipina, Memoir

Trinidad is a queer cartoonist and poet from Milpitas, CA (woot! Bay Area!). Her art is gorgeous and touches on trauma, adoption, Philippine colonialism and American imperialism, and Filipino mythology.

G

kate gavino (@KATEGAVINO)

Sanpaku (2018) Filipina, Memoir

MALAKA GHARIB (@MALAKAGHARIB)

I Was Their American Dream (2019) Filipina + Egyptian, Memoir

Angel fangirling with Malaka Gharib at her Skylight Books talk in 2019.

H

ROBIN HA (@ROBINHAART)

Almost Asian American Girl (2020) Korean, Memoir, Young Adult

Duachaka her (@duachakaher)

Then and Now (2017) Hmong, Fiction

The Collection (2015) Hmong, Fiction, Children’s/Young Adult

Dua’s also makes children’s books!

I

RYAN INZANA (@RYAN_INZANA)

Ichiro (2012) Japanese, Multiracial, Mythology, Fantasy, Young Adult

A fantastical coming-of-age story about a half-white, half-Japanese boy’s first time in Japan.

J

MIRA JACOB (@Goodtalkthanks)

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations (2019) Indian, Jewish, Multiracial, Memoir

K

mark kalesniko

Mail Order Bride (2001) Korean, fiction

This one takes place in Canada. I think it’s written by a white Canadian dude but ngl, the story’s fire.

KENSHI KASHYAP

Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary (2012) Indian, Young Adult, Fiction

Haven’t read this one yet! If you have, let me know how it is.

derek kirk kim (@derekkirkkim)

Same Difference (2004) Korean, Young Adult, Fiction

A slice-of-life short story about two Korean American best friends in their early-20’s living in the California suburbs and trying to figure out their lives

Good As Lily (2007) Young Adult, Fiction

Thank you to Yvonne Tran for gifting this to me during our Slaysianz Secret Santa Party in 2018 *hug*

Tune

You can read it online! It’s a personal favorite of my colleague, Professor Jin Lee!

henry kiyama

The Four Immigrants Manga: A Japanese Experience in San Francisco, 1904-1924 (1931) “Documentary Comic Book,” Japanese, 20th century History, Memoir

L

LELA LEE (@ANGRYLITTLEASIANGIRL)

Angry Little Girls (cartoon series 1994-present) Korean, Multiracial cast, Children’s book style, but for adults

Lee’s cartoon series started with a desire to combat the misrepresentations of Asian characters in the comics she grew up reading. She started with her Asian American character “Kim” which she created while an undergraduate at UC Berkeley.

Her book series includes the following comic compilations: Angry Little Girls (2005), Still Angry Little Girls (2006), Angry Little Girls in Love (2008), Fairy Tales for Angry Little Girls (2011), and Angry Little Girls: A Little Kit for Friends (2013).

M

lorina t. mapa

Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, and Me: A Graphic Memoir (2017) Filipina, Memoir

jack matsuoka

Poston Camp II, Block 211 (2003) Japanese incarceration, Memoir

Comics and annotated sketches from Matsuoka’s experience in the Poston Concentration Camp during the period of Japanese incarceration

Image result for poston camp ii block 211
POSTON CAMP II, BLOCK 211 BY JACK MATSUOKA

N

mari naomi

Turning Japanese (2016) Graphic Memoir

A story about being Asian American in Japan. Haven’t read it yet, but I hope to read it soon!

Dragon’s Breath: And other true stories (2014) Comics Anthology

I found this one in the Giant Robot Store in Sawtelle, Los Angeles.

SAM NAKAHIRA (@SNAKAHIRAART)

Bill’s Quiet Revolution (2019) Japanese, Historical, Graphic Novel

Read the chapter “Meeting Bill Fujimoto” from Bill’s Quiet Revolution here.

You can read Sam’s other historical, fiction, and non-fiction webcomics here.

O

Mine obuko

Citizen 13660 (1946) Japanese incarceration, Memoir

P

GREG PAK (@GREGPAK) & TAKESHI MIYAZAWA (@TAKMIYAZAWA)

Creators of Amadeus Cho, the Korean American Hulk in the Marvel Universe

Image

Q

KATIE QUAN (@THISASIANAMLIFE)

Katie is the amazing comic artivist (artist + activist) who inspired me to go to graduate school for Asian American Studies! Her IG aims to promote a community of Asian American artists who tell AAPI stories.

This Asian American Life (GENERASIAN COMICS VOLUME II) (2017-18) Chinese, Comics Anthology, Non-fiction

This Asian American Life (GENERASIAN COMICS VOLUME I) (2016) Chinese, Comics Anthology, Non-fiction

Angel Trazo and Katie Quan (@thisasianamlife) at San Francisco Zinefest 2019.

R

humberto ramos & dan slott

Silk (2015-2017) #2 - Comics by comiXology

The Mexican American and White American duo created Silk (Cindy Moon), a Korean American superhero in the Marvel Universe

S

ROB SATO (@ROBSATO)

Written by Koji Steven Sakai and Phinneas Kiyomura, Illustrated by Rob Sato 442 (2019), Japanese, World War II, Historical Fiction

Kay sohini (@KaySohini)

Kay is writing her dissertation as a graphic narrative (which is the coolest thing EVER). She’s currently a PhD candidate in English at Stonybrook. Follow her #graphicdissertation on Twitter.

T

GEORGE TAKEI (@GEorgetakei)

They Called Us Enemy (2019) Japanese incarceration, Memoir

Angel Trazo with George Takei’s THEY CALLED US ENEMY (2019)

Yes, this was written by none other than Star Trek’s Hikaru Sulu. Learn about Takei’s family’s incarceration during World War II. Only five years old when this civil rights injustice took place, he demonstrates his current understanding of this historical moment by weaving stories of his adult-self and parents. His story features beautiful comic book illustrations by Harmony Becker.

mariko tamaki (@marikotamaki)

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me (2019) Fiction, Young Adult, Queer/LGBTQ

A queer rom-com about a wholesome Asian American girl and her wild partner who keeps breaking up with her.

Photo of LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME (2019) at Books Inc., Campbell

JILlian tamaki (@jilliantamaki)

Skim (2008) Young Adult, Queer/LGBTQ

Enter the life of wanna-be-goth and private school girl, “Skim,” aka Kimberly Keiko Cameron. This graphic novel was written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki. They are an amazing cousin duo.

This One Summer (2014) Young Adult

Also created by the cousin duo.

Boundless (2017)

ADRIAN TOMINE (@adriantomine)

Killing and Dying (2015) Illustration Anthology

New York Drawings (2012) Illustration Anthology

Shortcomings (2007) Japanese, Korean, Fiction

Very slice-of-life fictional story about the complicated underlying fetishes involved with interracial sex and relationships, living daily life in the city, and reconciling with identity. My favorite character is Alice Kim, the main character’s queer best friend.

Summer Blonde (2002) Comics Anthology

Sleepwalk and Other Stories (1998) Comics Anthology

Scrapbook (1990-2004) Sketchbook, Comics Anthology

GB Tran (@fatherhoodsurvivalguide)

Vietnamerica (2010) Vietnamese, Memoir, Vietnam War Refugees

A brutal and beautiful story about complicated family ties made in part by the Vietnam War, told from the perspective of a second generation Vietnamese American artist.

ANGEL TRAZO (@angeltrazo)

Where Are You From? (2017) Filipina, Memoir, Comic Anthology, College Life

Shameless plug ohohoho. Read an excerpt of my undergraduate Studio Art thesis about my experience and those of my Asian international and Asian American friends while we attended a predominantly-white college in the middle of nowhere.

This art piece inspired my first ~scholarly~ publication about microaggressions and using graphic novels as pedagogy that I co-authored with one of my best friends from college, Woohee Kim: “Where Are You From?”: Using Critical Race Theory to Analyze Graphic Novel Counter-Stories of the Racial Microaggressions Experienced by Two Angry Asian Girls (2019)

Angel Trazo “Where Are You From” (2017) art installation

debbie tung (@wheresmybubble)

Book Love (2019) Anthology

A very cute coffee-table comic book perfect for the bookworms in your life.

Debbie Tung with Book Love (2019)

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story (2017) Anthology

For all you introverts, this series of adorable, cozy comics is the one for you. P.S. I found her work at The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA (DTLA), definitely recommend visiting if you’re in the area!

W

DAVID T. WONG

Escape to Gold Mountain (2012) Chinese, Historical Non-fiction

Y

belle Yang

Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale (2010) Chinese, Memoir

GENE LUEN YANG (@GENELUENYANG)

Boxers & Saints (2013) Chinese, Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Read this set at a library at Staten Island back in 2017. Yang’s work takes you through the brutal warfare of a young boy who fights in the Boxer Rebellion.

American Born Chinese (2008) Chinese, Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

The OG Asian American comic book full of racist Asian stereotypes, Chinese mythology, and everyday internalized racism.

VICTORIA YING (@VICTORIA YING)

Comfort Food (2020) Web Mini-Comic, Memoir

Mothertongue (2019) Web Mini-Comic, Memoir

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