MARVELS & MONSTERS: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986

A traveling exhibit highlighting The William F. Wu Collection at the NYU Fales Library & Special Collections.

Where: Charles B. Wang Center, Stony Brook University
When: March 12 through July 27, 2014

Gallery Hours:
Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Weekends, 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Free and Open to the Public. Docent-led tours will be available Wednesdays, 12:00-2:00 PM.

Opening Reception: March 12, 2014, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Free and Open to the Public; RSVP Required.

The exhibition is sponsored by University Libraries and made possible by the generous support of the Presidential Mini-Grant for Diversity Initiatives, SBU, and the Charles B. Wang Center.

If there was any doubt that comic books provide a revelatory window on the American psyche, this exhibition will erase it. Over four decades that included some of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history, science fiction author and cultural studies scholar William F. Wu painstakingly gathered an archive of comics distinguished not only by its size and reach, but by its scope: It is the world’s largest collection of American comic books featuring images of Asians.

This exhibition takes the most potent images from the thousands in Wu’s collection, and organizes them around the archetypes they reflect and sustain – the Alien, the Kamikaze, the Brute, the Lotus Blossom, the Guru, the Brain, the Temptress, the Manipulator – while placing them within both a historical context and a discourse with contemporary Asian American writers and creators.

The images may disturb and disquiet, coming as they do from a genre most associated with young readers. That is intentional: These images are our Rogues’ Gallery, our Legion of Doom – the supervillains we face in our individual and collective quest for truth, justice, and the Asian American way.

–Jeff Yang, Curator

Marvels & Monsters

About the Curator

Jeff Yang, the curator of Marvels and Monsters, is a veteran communications professional whose career in media and marketing has spanned over a decade and a half. Since 2011, he has written the weekly “Tao Jones” column for the Wall Street Journal Online. Yang has authored and edited a number of bestselling books, including Eastern Standard TimeI Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action (the international action hero’s official autobiography); Once Upon a Time in China; and the new graphic novel collection, Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology.

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