first second



The Shadow Hero has made several best of lists of late, including…

1. NPR’s Best Books of 2014

2. Salon’s 10 Spectacular GN of 2014

3. Washington Post’s Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2014

4. Amazon’s Best Books of 2014

5. The Goodreads Choice Awards 2014 (vote now! :p)

And there’s exciting news on The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye pending soon too!


I haven’t had a chance to read too many new comics this year, but Beautiful Darkness by Vehlmann & Kerascoet did stick in the mind with its combination of childrens book illustrations and dark, dark deeds.

Favourite movie of 2014 is a tossup between Edge of Tomorrow and Boyhood, though Koreeeda’s I Wish on DVD was excellent too.

And then there was the belated discovery of Adventure Time :p

Read Good


The Shadow Hero made the Goodreads Best GN of 2014 list, do go vote for it if you liked the book enough 🙂

And maybe give the new Georgette Chen book a read too :p

The 27


All the 27 Shadow Hero pinups compiled in one place!

A big thanks to Paolo Rivera, Roger Langridge, Jason Caffoe, Box Brown, MK Reed, James Kochalka, Jeffrey Brown, Steve Lieber, Dan Santat, Fabio Moon, Greg Ruth, Chris Schweizer, Leland Myrick, Thien Pham, Kazu Kibuishi, George O’Connor, Jonathan Hill, Robb Mommaerts, Lark Pien, Derek Kirk Kim, Chris Giarusso, Faith Erin Hicks, Tomer Hanuka and Ben Hatke!

I’ll get round to linking all those names to websites in the near future :p

The book is on its 3rd week on the New York Times Best Sellers list, thank to everyone who’s supported it!



From the Archives: The Blue Scorpion


The Shadow Hero arrives in bookstores next week (July 15), so here’s a lookback at a bunch of pages from me and Gene’s first collab – The Blue Scorpion! Which appeared in the Secret Identities anthology back in 2009!


A couple of interview with Gene on the Shadow Hero and other books 🙂

With Tom Murphy at Broken Frontier

With 2 Guys withe PHDs at Comics Alternative


The Shadow Hero #3


The third digital issue of Shadow Hero is out! 🙂

Written by Gene Yang (who recently won the LA Times Book Award for Young Adult Literature!) and drawn by myself, the published book is out in July but you can read the e-versions now! 🙂 Available on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, or B&N Nook!


The visuals for interiors were always a little trickier to find then exteriors – most photographs from back in the day focus on shots of buildings rather than the rooms inside. Fortunate circumstances did lead to a good source though – I’d been in NYC for the comic con back in 2011, and took a trip to the Museum of the Chinese in America (, where Gene had artwork up as part of an exhibition of Chinese-American cartoonists (GB Tran was part of it too!)


Elsewhere in the exhibition there were a set of  photogrpahs of Chinatown interiors by a photographer called Robert Glick

IMG-20121017-05601 IMG-20121017-05602

When I got back to Singapore, I looked him up on the interweb and found some really great photos:

They were taken in the 1980s, but that’s part of the appeal of the photos I guess – there’s a sense of time standing still, even if only for a little while.

Anyway, some reviews for Shadow Hero #3 below, thanks for all the kind words, all! 🙂

Comic Bastards



FanBoy Comics

Unleash The Fanboy


I was quite excited to see my name mentioned at the MOCA exhibition too! :p


And for everything else:


Shadow Hero: The Backgrounds Strike Back


The Shadow Hero is out today in e-format, available from Amazon, Apple and Barnes and Nobles! 🙂


We used 1930s San Francisco as our main visual guide for the story, with locales ranging from provision shops to casinos, police stations to restaurants. A lot of visual reference was required, and aside from buying as many books of 1930s Chinatowns as I could get my hands on, there was of course the internet.

Below is a sample of the collated pictures! (Click on it for a slightly larger version)


See if you can match any of the images used to panels from the book!

(No prizes unfortunately, besides the quiet satisfaction of being just a little sastified :p)


Here meanwhile is another character sketch. Hank is on the lower tier, but who’s the old fellow with the moustache? Find out in… The Shadow Hero! 🙂

The Shadow Hero #1


The first E-issue of the Shadow Hero is out next week! 🙂

In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. He solved crimes and fought injustice just like the other comics characters. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding something more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity . . . the Green Turtle was the first Asian American super hero.

The comic had a short run before lapsing into obscurity, but the acclaimed author of American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang, has now revived this character in The Shadow Hero, a new graphic novel that creates an origin story for the Green Turtle as a young, Asian-American immigrant named Hank whose mother is really, really excited about the possibility of having a superhero for a son . . . with at times disastrous results.”

First Seconded


Me and Gene talk a bit about the Shadow Hero, Malinky Robot and the Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye on the First Second Blog :p

The sketch above was a cover idea that never got used, but which i have a fondness for 🙂


Buy a Malinky today! 🙂 It’s “funny and wistful and heartbreaking“, according to Gene :p