Today, in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, this article will feature comics and graphic novels written by and about AAPI individuals. Of course manga can fall under this category, and there is a series of articles you can access if you want to see manga, but for this particular article, I wanted to reach beyond that. Some of these selections are purely fictional, some are anecdotal, but all are excellent.
Little White Duck- Chinese
Recounts a young girl's experience growing up in 1970s China. It is also available through Hoopla.
Lola: A Ghost Story- Filipino
When he returns to the Phillipines for his grandmother's funeral, Jesse begins to see and experience things that aren't supposed to be there. Monsters? Ghosts? What could be happening?
My Beijing- Chinese
A collection of short stories surrounding a young girl, her beloved grandfather, and the people she meets in her city.
Pashmina- West Asian/Indian-American
Priyanka, curious to learn about her mother's home country of India, is given a magical opportunity when she wraps herself in the family pashmina scarf.
Studious, introverted Christine and creative, impulsive Moon truly complement each other as friends, but both are experiencing pressure from their families, their school, and each other to be "better". After Moon undergoes a personal disaster, Christine will need to have the courage to stand by her friend.
Young Adult collection
The son of an immigrant, Ichiro has difficulty finding a place where he belongs. Then, on a trip to Japan, he finds himself transported to a dimension populated by Shinto gods and creatures of Japanese foklore. With escape being slim, will he find his way home?
The Magic Fish- Vietnamese-American
Tien and his mother spend their nights reading fairy tales to help develop her English speaking skills. But, Tien has something important--and difficult--to tell his mother. How can he find the words for her to understand?
Monstress: Book One
The winner of five Eisner awards including Best Ongoing Series, Monstress takes place in an alternate 1900s Asia that combines war, violence, and physic links to monsters.
Kim is a teenager aspiring to be a Wiccan-goth. When tragedy strikes her school, she grows ambivalent to how her fellow students are handing the situation while she tries to process her own thoughts and feelings.
Superman Smashes the Klan- Chinese-American
The Lee family has moved to Metropolis on the promise of a better way of living. But when a hate crime is directed towards them, it takes the courage of friends and a newly debuted Superman to triumph against this threat.
Town Boy- Malaysia
An observational memoir of Lat's boyhood while growing up in a Malaysian town.
Umma's Table- South Korea
Yeon-sik Hong combines the joy of a new family, the thrill of a new house, the memories of a mother's food, and the confrontation of her declining health to tell a story that truly hits home to adult children.
Thank you for reading!