announcement: secret identities volume 2: shattered

Cool! The creators of Secret Identities, the Asian American superhero comic book anthology, have officially announced that they're working on a second volume in the series: Secret Identities Volume 2: Shattered, thanks to a generous development grant from the Vilcek Foundation: ANNOUNCING SECRET IDENTITIES VOLUME 2: SHATTERED!

The book, targeting a 2012 publication date, will take the series in new directions, focusing on the darker side of the Secret Identities. Sure, anybody can come up with a cool Asian American superhero... but it's an even bigger challenge to create really compelling, interesting Asian American supervillains. Read on:

"We already had an idea of where we wanted to go," says Education Director and Editor at Large Keith Chow. "In the first volume, we focused on using superheroes as a lens through which to expose and celebrate Asian American history and culture. This time, we wanted to expand our perspective to the darker side of the SI Universe, while also incorporating a broader range of comic genres — from hard-boiled pulp to martial arts, adventure and science fiction."

The idea was originally seeded when, at a 2009 New York Comic Con panel on Secret Identities, an audience member noted that as exciting as the project sounded, it was easy to tell stories about heroes — the real challenge is to tell stories about villains. It was then that the SI team began to consider the possibility of exploring the nefarious, sinister and menacing side of the good guy/bad guy equation in order to upend, reenvision, reimagine — to shatter — distorted or negative images that have shadowed Asian Americans since the earliest days of our arrival in this country.

"The idea of putting a focus on stories that showcased strong and vivid interactions between heroes and villains — even stories with the 'villain' as protagonist — opens up so many interesting ways to question the power of perception to shape reality," says Yang. "It also inspired us to conceive of a narrative that will serve as the framing story for the book — a single long tale whose multiple episodes will introduce each book's chapter, while allowing us to continue the stories of some of our favorite characters from Volume One."
Just as they did with the first book, they'll also be soliciting contributions for story ideas and characters for Volume Two. Do you have an awesome comic book idea that would fit in well with the Secret Identities Universe? Send your brief pitches to submit@secretidentities.org. Artists are also invited to submit samples of their work or links to their online portfolios for the editors to evaluate. More details on what the team is looking for can be found at the Secret Identities website here, including a downloadable contributors' guide.

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