angry reader of the week: jimmy j. aquino

Gather 'round, friends. It's time to meet another Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's reader is Jimmy J. Aquino, who I had the pleasure of meeting last week at San Diego Comic-Con.

Who are you?
I'm Jimmy J. Aquino, an aspiring comedy writer who recently made my comic book writing debut in Secret Identities : The Asian American Superhero Anthology. The short story I wrote for that graphic novel is "Sampler," about a Korean American college student who works at a dry cleaning store where many of the customers are superheroes, and she discovers she can temporarily acquire their powers by touching their costumes. Live365.com and iTunes Radio listeners might know me as the programmer and main voice of the one-man Internet radio station A Fistful of Soundtracks, which streams film and TV score music.

What are you?
Latin Till I Die. I'm kidding. I'm Filipino.

Where are you?
I wish I could say New York. Unfortunately, I'm stuck in San Jose. I'm one of those Bay Area folks who worship New York, so suck it, Ben Tanaka from Shortcomings.

Where are you from?
San Ho.

What do you do?
I'm currently underemployed. Besides "Sampler," I've been doing occasional graphic design work for a Laotian American blogger named the Minority Militant, who hired me because he's a fan of my webcomic about art-house movie theater workers, The Palace, and I've had to resort to doing part-time data entry for my accountant parents.

After "Sampler," I hope I don't turn into the Michael Douglas novelist character in Wonder Boys, who suffered from the curse of not being able to finish writing a follow-up to his debut work. I've been creating ideas for comic books, short stories, TV series and films, all with Filipino or Asian American protagonists. The Palace started out as an idea for a single-camera sitcom, but because there's never been a U.S. sitcom with a Filipino American lead, its chances of becoming a TV series are slim, so I chose to turn it into a webcomic, even though I can't draw my ass out of a paper bag.

What are you all about?
I'm all about creating Filipino or Asian American characters who aren't the same old underwhelming Asian characters you see on the page or screen. I want to see more Asian American screenplay or teleplay writers so that there can be juicier parts for Asian American actors and actresses.

My dream job is to write for a late-night talk show or a sketch comedy show. I'm all about the need for more Asian American comedy writers so that whenever there's Asian-bashing, we can fire back with vicious jokes about the Asian-basher. I'm not a stand-up comic because knowing how to handle hostile hecklers is a crucial skill, and the only way I'd know how to handle a hostile heckler would be to jump off stage, grab a fork off his table and stab him with it. I don't think you can do that in the club. But if I were a stand-up, I'd emulate my comedy idols Paul Mooney, Chris Rock and Patton Oswalt. Are there any Asian male stand-ups who are as angry or outspoken as those three? I don't know of any. In a Secret Identities interstitial by Tak Toyoshima, Larry Hama tells Secret Asian Man that he wants to see an Asian male comedian cover the same ground as Margaret Cho. I'd strive to be that comedian if I weren't so nervous about hecklers, and I'd shy away from ethnic humor. Most Asian male comics stick to ethnic humor, and while I do enjoy that kind of humor when it's done well, it's kind of tired. We need to see more Asian male comics like Aziz Ansari, who never does ethnic shtick.

I'm also all about seeing another go-round of Secret Identities or another project like it, but first, we need to learn to not let our egos, tempers or petty behavior get in the way. Secret Identities has been a challenge for contributors like myself because we've sometimes found ourselves getting into disagreements with our colleagues over little things. Whenever Asian American talents join forces for a groundbreaking project like Secret Identities, we need to put aside our egos and not lose sight of why we're doing this in the first place, or else our beefs will destroy what we're trying to accomplish, because at the end of the day, we all want the same things: to create interesting stories, to get Asian Americans to feel good about themselves and to get Michelle Malkin to shut the fuck up.

What makes you angry?
Besides the long lines and crowded-ass crowds I had to squeeze through at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con (I wound up with the first cold I've had in two years--thanks, nerds!), the following things make me angry:

1. Hate crimes like the murders of Chinese food delivery drivers (those killings inspired me to create an idea for a comic book about the ghosts of Vincent Chin and Emmett Till, who get into trouble with Metatron when they go protect past or potential hate crime victims by killing their attackers).

2. The recession.

3. Not being able to move out of San Ho. I'm a reluctant Californian. The only California city I like is Sucka Free. I need a change of scenery.

4. The racist douches who are frequently employed by Fox News and the teenybopper pop music sitcom department of the Disney Channel.

5. I'm going to borrow one of recent Angry Reader Judy Lei's answers to this question: people who believe "racism is dead" or say they don't see color, a phrase that deserves all the skewering it gets on The Colbert Report. The "racism is dead" crowd, I've got two words for you: Cambridge, Massachusetts.

6. Hipsters, especially ones who are into Slanties eyewear or have Asian fetishes, like the Vice magazine staff.

7. Kickass scripted TV shows that are prematurely cancelled like Veronica Mars or promising shows that are never given the chance to air like John Cho's The Singles Table.

8. Cell phones. Though I own one, I'm like Bernard from Black Books. I hate them.

9. Attention whores who have loud and vapid conversations on cell phones. I want to be an attention pimp so I can slap the shit out of them.
10. Cigarette smoke (however, indo smoke doesn't bother me at all). Minority Militant, Dave Chappelle and chain-smokers who listen to A Fistful of Soundtracks or follow my writing, go ahead and light up because I like you despite your habit. The rest of you can go die of emphysema.

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