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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Chanz Mikaere

Chanz Mikaere created a graphic novel which depicts kapa haka performers as superheroes. It depicts eight Te Arawa women who are performers and who whakapapa to their chosen superhero ancestor.

Chanz is a unique talent – she is sacred, interconnected and intricate – the culmination of eons of inter-generational relationships – a rare, genetic hybrid of feisty indigenous stock – Te Arawa, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Hine and Ngati Pahauwera. She is a native Mama – arguably the highest qualification available internationally; attained through a lifelong apprenticeship to which her majors have been in determination, resilience and courage. She is ‘formally qualified’ as a Master of Maori Visual Arts; a degree conferred by Massey University, NZ.

Her portfolio documents her stellar career development and drive.  Her visual and poetic creations are top quality; well conceptualised, well executed – world class. Her work is sought after by educationalists, exhibition houses, conference co-ordinators, therapists, storytellers and revolutionists – her appeal is wide and varied – because it is engaging – it sparks conversation, debate, discussion – it is creative fuel for thinking and feeling people.

Chanz is a rare talent – gifted and courageous in equal measure.

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Sanctuary

Sanctuary is the first platform to provide online-reading for Māori Graphic Novels. We created Sanctuary to visualise the tales shared to us by kaumātua (elders) and pass these on in a way that we felt would be compelling to others. “

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Nigar Nazar

Nigar Nazar is the first woman cartoonist of Pakistan and of the Muslim world. Nigar’s iconic Gogi cartoons have appeared in a number of daily newspapers, periodicals and TV programs at home and abroad. She is twice a Fulbright scholar and has been invited to be on juries to judge cartoon entries in international competitions, and has represented Pakistan in Turkey, China, Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Australia, Libya, UK, Algeria, and the US. She is one of the founding members of the Asian Youth Association for Animators and Cartoonists (AYAAC) with headquarters in Guiyang, China.

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Anupam Sinha

Anupam Sinha is an Indian comic book artist and writer, credited as the creator of the Raj Comics superhero Super Commando Dhruva. The Business World website said that Sinha revolutionised Indian comics with his work at Raj Comics

Super Commando Dhruva | Superhero Wiki | Fandom

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Shweta Taneja

Shweta Taneja is a bestselling speculative fiction author from India. With seven published novels and graphic novels, she is a leading voice in feminist science fiction and fantasy, most known for her series, Anantya Tantrist Mysteries. She’s a Charles Wallace Writing Fellow. Her short story, The Daughter That Bleeds (translated in French as ‘La Fille qui saigne’ by Mikael Cabon) has been shortlisted for the prestigious Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire 2020 in France. The story was also awarded Editor’s Choice Award in 2018. 

Other than novels and short stories, she also writes comics. Her graphic novel Krishna Defender of Dharma (Campfire, 2012) in a Must-Read for government schools. The Skull Rosary (2013), an indie black-and-white graphic novel scripted by her was shortlisted for the  Best Writer Award in ComicCon India. Her work has been translated to Romanian, French and Dutch. (Read More about her fiction)

Shweta Taneja

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Kabi Nagata

Kabi Nagata is a manga artist best known for her autobiographical comic, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, an honest and heartfelt look at one young woman’s exploration of her sexuality, mental well-being, and growing up in our modern age. Told using expressive artwork that invokes both laughter and tears, this moving and highly entertaining single volume depicts not only the artist’s burgeoning sexuality, but many other personal aspects of her life that will resonate with readers. The manga is the winner of the 2018 Harvey Award for Best Manga, and acclaimed in Vox’s top books of the decade, The Advocate’s Best LGBT Graphics Novels of 2017, the NPR Guide to 2017’s Great Reads, and the Publishers Weekly Best Books 2017.

Kabi Nagata

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Whilce Portacio

One of the seven co-founders of Image comics, Whilce Portacio is a Filipino-American Comic book writer and artist. His work includes The Punisher, X-Factor, Uncanny X-Men, Iron Man, Wetworks and Spawn.

Spawn #196

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Mars Ravelo and Nestor Redondo

Mars Ravelo and Nestor Redondo are best known for Darna, a Filipino comics superheroine. In her more popular incarnations, she is a deceased warrior from another planet manifesting herself through a girl from Earth, named Narda. She first appeared in Pilipino Komiks (Ace Publications, Inc.) #77 (May 13, 1950). After Narda swallows a magic white stone and shouts “Darna,” she transforms into the mighty warrior Darna (Mango comics). As Darna, she stands up for those who cannot fend for themselves. She fights against both common criminals as well as greater forces of evil, most famously the snake-haired woman Valentina. She is often accompanied by her younger brother, Ding. Darna has appeared in 14 films, TV series, a webcomic, songs, TV commercials and dance.

Since we're going all superhero-ish this April, let's go local and ...

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Larry Hama

Larry Hama (born 7 June 1949) is a writer, artist, actor and musician who has worked in the fields of entertainment and publishing since the 1960s.

He is best known as a writer and editor for Marvel Comics, where he wrote the licensed comic book series G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero, based on the Hasbro action figures. He has also written for the series WolverineNth Man: the Ultimate Ninja, and Elektra, and he created the character Bucky O’Hare, which was developed into a comic book, a toyline, two videogames, and a television cartoon. During the 1970s, he was seen in minor roles on the TV shows M*A*S*H and Saturday Night Live, and he appeared on Broadway in two different roles in the original 1976 production of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures.

True Believers: Star Wars - Vader vs. Leia (2019) #1
True Believers: Star Wars – Vader vs. Leia #1 – written by Larry Hama

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz is a Philippine poet, writer, pop culture journalist, comic book editor, producer, and former television show host. She is sometimes popularly referred to as the Philippines’ “Queen of the Goths.”

Valeros and Gruenberg’s Filipino Writers in English (New Day, 1987) says of her writing: “Some have described her writing as dark and depressingly beautiful, with common themes focusing on heartache and missed soulmates.”

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