Graphic Novels

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Ruth Asawa: A Line Can Go Anywhere

Currently working on a graphic novel depicting the early life of Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa, to be published by The Getty in 2024.

Threads That Connect Us (2020)

 

In 2020, Sam was Editor-in-Chief of a comics anthology for Asian and Asian American people. Threads that Connect Us collects various stories about what it means to be an Asian artist and person.  The anthology features work by artists including Mari Naomi, Rumi Hara, Meg O'Shea, Eunsoo Jeong (Koreangry), Teresa Wong, Angela Pan, Lee Truman, Kaitlin Chan, Jessica Jiang, Ashley Topacio, Shirley Pesto, Kyla Smith, and Filipa Estrela. Andie Nakahira made the cover for the anthology and Nhi Luu was the book designer/co-editor.

In order of appearance, featured artists are Mari Naomi, Teresa Wong, Meg O’Shea, Kaitlin Chan, Jessica Jiang, Koreangry, and Ashley Topacio.

Limited print run.

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Bill Fujimoto's Quiet Revolution (2019)

out-of-print (May 2022) ~

I worked on this graphic novel during my last year of undergrad—it was one of my first experiences playing with the comics medium. I want to make more comics that document and tell the lives and stories of Asian Americans and other people of color in a way that incorporates oral histories …

Bill Fujimoto, a Berkeley-based Japanese-American food retailer, played a pivotal role in the development of 1970s California cuisine. Today, Americans are more aware of their food choices—where the food comes from, its locality, how it was produced, and its health quotient. But back in the 1970s, local food movements were largely nonexistent. People became disconnected from the people who grew their produce.  However, Fujimoto ran a market where he supported small farmers and organic, local farming and farm-to-table eating in a time when corporate farming and supermarket chains were dominant. He followed and carried out an ideology that is more than just the taste of the food but encompasses what eating locally produced, seasonal food means. Thus, he has helped others in their communities to imagine a radical, more equitable, community centered world where food production is healthier, more sustainable, and controlled by small farmers.  Bill was the first person to source produce for Alice Waters’ restaurant Chez Panisse when it opened. Over time, the Bay Area chefs who were a part of igniting California cuisine all went to Bill’s shop to buy their produce. He created a community of chefs, local farmers, and eaters who cared about seasonality, taste, and unconventional produce.

Redefinition (2021)

A Master’s Thesis at the Center for Cartoon Studies, Redefinition is an anthology of nonfiction comics exploring overlooked histories around US imperialism and racial capitalism. The anthology includes a reflection on mycorrhizal networks, a biography of Chinese American painter and lesbian Bernice Bing, a comic on American consumption of K-pop & the unseeing Western gaze--how Americans often are unaware of US colonization around the world, a short comic about wakashu--the third gender of Edo Japan, and more. Copies can be purchased here and learn more about the project here.

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