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The 404 Podcast 508: Where we reveal our 'Secret Identities'

Cliff Chiang and Jerry Ma, two graphic illustrators discuss their newest collaboration, "Secret Identities," a collection of stories about Asian-American superheroes.

This week's Apple iPad announcement gives us the perfect opportunity to discuss the future of publishing with Cliff Chiang and Jerry Ma, two graphic illustrators in the comic book industry. They join us in the studio today to talk about their collaborative project, "Secret Identities," a graphic novel anthology of Asian American superhero stories.

Cliff Chiang and Jerry Ma of Secret Identities CNET/The 404

Growing up as an Asian Americans in the world of comics isn't easy, especially when the only culturally identifiable characters you see are either stereostyped villains or hyper-sexualized women. As comic books quickly gain popularity here (although they are still not nearly as prevalent as in Japan), we're starting to see a shift in the cultural perception of comic books, away from the chiseled, American superhero archetype. The artists behind "Secret Identities" navigate this sea change with stories equally rooted in Asian American history and individual experience.

Secret Identities

Throughout today's episode of The 404, Jerry and Cliff offer a unique perspective on the current state of the publishing industry and the move toward digital comic creation. As it turns out, neither of the guys are fans of the new iPad, but Jerry raises an interesting point about the practical application of the iPad in the hands of a parent. And although we didn't have a chance to talk to them about it on the show, both are still considering the Modbook, an aftermarket Apple MacBook modified to work as a tablet computer.

We also love when guests bring us gifts, so look out for another contest for a chance to win a copy of "Secret Identities" (also available for purchase on BlackLava) that features custom sketches from Jerry and Cliff!



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