HomeBad Ass AsiansNew comic book LING aims to debunk model minority myth

New comic book LING aims to debunk model minority myth

Dennis Liu aims to inspire Asian Americans and break the model minority myth with his new comic book superhero, Ling.

She struggles with typical teenage problems like bullying and adolescence while still managing to fight villains. Both the comic and the short film LING follow the main character’s journey as she discovers her superpowers can save the world, according to NBC News.

Creators Liu and Marie Iida hope that Ling can empower Asian Americans in the real world.

“She’s not being defined by anyone, and that’s very empowering to us and to the Asian American experience,” Liu told NBC News. “Our history is based in assimilation. It’s been good for us, but it’s also not been so good for us. And with this superpower that’s inherently designed in a character, we can reflect an authentic experience for our community.”

Both Liu and Iida are deeply rooted in the Asian American community. Liu, who is Taiwanese American, met Iida in an Asian American cinema class when they were studying at New York University over a decade ago.

IIida moved to the U.S. from her birth country, Japan, at the age of 6. She translated publications for both American and Japanese companies, and worked as Marie Kondo’s interpreter in the hit Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Liu is known for creating superheroes “outside of the White mainstream,” according to Gizmodo. Raising Dion, originally one of Liu’s comic series about a young Black boy with superpowers, has been adapted into a nine-episode Netflix drama that premiered on Oct. 4.

With a combined wealth of TV and film experience, Iida and Liu decided to launch both Raising Dion and LING out of their apartment in Los Angeles as an indie project, rather than rely on a major film company to approve the idea. Liu told NBC News that pitching can be difficult, especially “when you’re the only person in the room who’s Asian.”

Online streaming services like Netflix provide another avenue to distribute Asian American stories and content for a wide audience. The creators hope that their work can inspire others to tell their stories, too.

“We’re not asking for access anymore. We’re just doing it,” Liu said. “And we’re deploying tools and capital in our arsenal to tell these stories without asking for the permission we historically had to do.”

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