How A Quest for Jim Lee’s Autograph Led to a Surprise Gift

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Audrey at KoreAm’s Unforgettable | Quest for Jim Lee’s Autograph

How Jim Lee’s kind gesture turned my husband’s Christmas gift into a memory of a lifetime.

by Ada Tseng

I didn’t grow up reading comics, but I know a legend when I see one. I’ve seen the look in the eyes of friends and acquaintances when they talk about Jim Lee — whether he was their childhood hero, whether it meant so much to them to see an Asian name during a time when there weren’t very many Asian American role models, or whether they just remember being a kid so awed by his illustrations that they flipped back to the front of the comic to find out who the artist was. I respect anyone who’s inspired a generation of dazed looks and child-like admiration.

On December 8, Audrey Magazine Associate Editor Kanara Ty and I were responsible for interviewing guests on the red carpet for Unforgettable, KoreAm Journal’s annual gala where Jim Lee was being honored for his work as a comic book artist and co-publisher of DC Entertainment. My husband of a few months, not one to be easily impressed by celebrities I sometimes interview for work, seemed taken aback by the mention of Jim Lee. Once he confirmed it was the Jim Lee (and not another probably-talented-but-not-as-legendary Jim Lee from a TV show he’s never heard of), he made a joke about how I should bring his comic books with me to the event. It was the kind of joke people make when they really want something but don’t want to ask directly, in case they’ll be mocked for having a dream too out-of-reach to be taken seriously.

I told him I could try. Would he actually sign it? he asked. I had no idea. But worst case, he’d say no, right?

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When Finding an Asian Wife Doesn’t Quite Go As Planned

American Man, 60, Seeks Chinese Bride: Interview with director Debbie Lum

Lum’s documentary Seeking Asian Female began as an exposé on American men with Asian fetishes — and grew into a complicated love story about the challenges of cross-cultural marriage.

The idea behind Seeking Asian Female was born from documentarian Debbie Lum’s life-long discomfort with “yellow fever,” which refers to non-Asian men’s fascination with Asian women. She decides to follow Steven, the stereotypical, clueless, if well-meaning, 60-year-old Caucasian man who is obsessed with finding a young Chinese wife. Through an internet search, he falls for a 30-year-old woman named Sandy and brings her over to the United States on a three-month engagement visa. In that span of time, Sandy will have to decide whether she wants to marry him — or return home to China.

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Rachael Yamagata Jokes About How Depressing Her Music Is


Replenishing the Missing Darkness with Rachael Yamagata

In case you were worried Rachael Yamagata’s recent music was getting too happy, the singer/songwriter releases her new EP Heavyweight — featuring piano ballads about weights to bear, your ex’s new girlfriend, and that person in your bed you don’t really care about.

“This next song is about an asshole,” singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata jokes to high-pitched cheers from the packed El Rey Theatre audience in Los Angeles.

It’s the fifth show of her 2012 North American Fall Tour, and she’s about to play a more somber, acoustic version of one of her classics, “Worn Me Down,” the featured single on her first 2003 EP (later re-recorded for her debut album, 2004’s Happenstance) that, for many long-time fans, was their introduction to the bold, raspy, sorrow-soaked voice that can deliver seemingly innocent lines like “I wish you the best, but I could live without it” and make it feel like a much-deserved knee to the groin. At her best, Yamagata’s songs of heartache are the equivalent of an unsteady stare-down – alternately cold, teary, or wistful, depending on the severity of the offense.

In the last decade, Yamagata has experimented in many genres, often breaking out of her “troubadour of heartbreak” box. She’s collaborated with the likes of Ray LaMontagne, Bright Eyes, Liz Phair, Dave Matthews, Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore, and her music has been featured in everything from Grey’s Anatomy and How I Met Your Mother to The Voice (Australia) and the Muppets soundtrack. She even made an appearance on 30 Rock joining an all-star vocal ensemble for the benefit song “He Needs a Kidney,” a parody of 1985’s “We Are The World.”

Her previous album, 2011’s Chesapeake, was made up of music she describes as “more spontaneous and liberating,” as it was her first independent, completely fan-funded studio album released on her own label, Frankenfish Records. However, she would soon be lured back into melancholy after a difficult relationship’s demise, which inspired the new music in her six-song EP Heavyweight, released November 2012.

“This is kind of an answer to anyone who was missing the darkness,” says Yamagata. “I like to be seasonal with my releases. This is more ‘going-into-winter’ type of music.”

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HzACC3-Os_Q]

 

 

Giant Robot’s Biennale 3 at the JANM

Uglydoll Remixes, Sword-wielding Cats and the BEST DAY EVER!!!

Giant Robot Biennale 3 — which features work by Rob Sato, Zach Gage, Deth P. Sun and more — is on display at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles through January 20, 2012.

2012’s Giant Robot Biennale 3 exhibit is the Japanese American National Museum‘s third collaboration with GR editor Eric Nakamura — who curated the first Biennale in 2007 (in honor of 50 issues of Giant Robot magazine) and the second in 2009 (in honor of Giant Robot’s 15th year). Biennale 3 revisits a few artists showcased in the previous two shows  — Albert Reyes, Rob Sato, Deth P. Sun and Saelee Oh — in addition to work by other longtime Giant Robot-supported artists Ako Castuera, Sean Chao, Eishi Takaoka, Zach Gage, Masakatsu Sahie, Beau Blyth and Jeni Yang.

Click here to check out the highlights!