Celebrate Asian-American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Graphic Novels

Happy Asian-American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month! I’m Alyssa from Fangirls Unleashed and I’ll be your guest blogger today.

I'm 100% Asian and to have all these amazing representations of authors and graphic novels in our catalog is extremely special to me.

To celebrate this month I’ve picked out 10 Young Adult graphic novels by AAPI authors or featuring AAPI characters for you to get started. Ready to get this reading party started? Then let’s read on!

American Born Chinese, cover

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture. Presented in comic book format.

Green Lantern: Legacy, cover

Green Lantern: Legacy by Minh Le

When thirteen-year-old Tai Pham inherits his grandmother's jade ring, he soon finds out he has been inducted into a group of space cops known as the Green Lanterns.

They Called Us Enemy, cover

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

Presents a graphic memoir detailing the author's experiences as a child prisoner in the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II, reflecting on the choices his family made in the face of institutionalized racism.

Silk, cover

Silk by Robbie Thompson

Cindy Moon exploded out of her bunker and into the Marvel Universe when we first learned that she had been bitten by the same radioactive spider from the first arc of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

The Magic Fish, cover

The Magic Fish by Le Nguyen Trung

Real life isn't a fairytale. But Tíên still enjoys reading his favorite stories with his parents from the books he borrows from the local library. It's hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tíên, he doesn't even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he's going through? Is there a way to tell them he's gay.

Aquaman, War for the Throne, cover

Aquaman, War for the Throne by Geoff Johns

Six years ago he was a surface-dweller, raised as the son of a lighthouse keeper. Then tragedy struck. Destiny was revealed. And young Arthur Curry claimed his birthright: The Throne of Atlantis. But his reign was brief. When darkness threatened the surface world, he rose to meet it. As Aquaman, he joined the team of heroes called the Justice League, leaving the rule of his kingdom behind. But even underwater, the past will not stay buried. A sinister force is pushing Aquaman's two worlds to the brink of war, with the fate of the planet in the balance. If Arthur does not reclaim his throne, the throne may well claim his life.

Almost American Girl, cover

Almost American Girl by Robin Ha

Shares the author's experiences as an only child born to a single mother in Korea, who abruptly moved to the United States as a teenager and the difficulties she had fitting in in both countries.

Ms Marvel, cover

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City - until she's suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she's comin' for you, New York!

This One Summer, cover

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

Rose's latest summer at a beach lake house is overshadowed by her parents' constant arguments, her younger friend's secret sorrows, and the dangerous activities of older teens.

Agents of Atlas, cover

Agents of Atlas by Greg Pak

The spy. The spaceman. The goddess. The robot. The Gorilla. During the late 1950s, the U.S. government allowed FBI Special Agent Jimmy Woo to forge a team of unlikely heroes. Together, they stormed the fortress of a criminal mastermind to rescue President Eisenhower but the group disbanded soon after. Now, almost 50 years later, an unauthorized S.H.I.E.L.D. mission goes down in flames and from the ashes arise forces from the Golden Age of Marvel!

Superhero readers, thank you for joining me on this amazing journey highlighting Asian-American & Pacific Islander authors and graphic novels. What are some of your favorite graphic novels to celebrate this month? Comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Until next time, happy reading!

Fun Fact

Have you heard of the Graphic Novel Making Contest? It’s an amazing program in it’s 13th year that celebrates budding graphic novel creators of all ages in California. It runs in the summer and we have hundreds of participants enter each year. Did I also mention we celebrate our winners and participants with an Award Ceremony? 

Who Am I?

Alyssa is a founding member of Fangirls Unleashed. She is also a 7-year member of the Graphic Novel Making Contest Committee. Her proudest moment on this committee was having RJ Palmer attend our 2019 Award Ceremony as a Guest Speaker, who was the concept artist for the Detective Pikachu movie.  You can find her drinking iced coffees while cosplaying as Silk at local conventions.