Highlights from the Meet & Greet with Lela Lee!

Lela LeeOn Saturday October 19th, JANM members were invited to an exclusive opportunity with Lela Lee, the author and artist of the web comic book series Angry Little Girls, that explores stereotypes of genders and races.

Members were able to spend an hour talking to Lela Lee before joining her in a public discussion on her comics and their impact on Asian Americans and beyond. The Meet & Greet was an intimate event, where each member was able to spend quality time getting to know Lela Lee by conversing with her and asking her a variety of questions.

Lela Lee excitedly converses with JANM members in an exclusive Meet & Greet.
Lela Lee excitedly converses with JANM members in an exclusive Meet & Greet.

Both members and Lela had an enjoyable time discussing topics ranging from Lee’s college experiences, to her career today. It was also a great opportunity for JANM members to get to know each other over tea and delicious cupcakes from Hotcakes Bakes!

The program was presented in conjunction with the Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986 exhibition on view at JANM through February 9, 2014.

Check out these photos from the Meet & Greet and Lela Lee’s presentation on Angry Little Girls!

Photo Credits: Tsuneo Takasugi and Vicky Murakami-Tsuda

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Don’t miss out on exclusive member events! Become a JANM member and you help ensure that the Museum continues its tradition of excellence in producing exhibitions, public programs, publications, and educational materials. Your support will also come with numerous benefits, such as invitations to exclusive membership events! To learn more about membership please visit: www.janm.org/membership/

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Coming up Thanksgiving weekend…

MemberAppreciationDays

Member Appreciation Days

Friday-Sunday, November 29-30 & December 1, 2013

RECIPROCAL FREE ADMISSION AND 20% STORE DISCOUNTS AT 17 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INSTITUTIONS & JANMSTORE.COM!

For details & a list of participating institutions >>

Celebrate autumn this Saturday at JANM’s Target Free Family Saturday!

Enjoy autumn-themed crafts and activities at our November Target Day!
Enjoy autumn-themed crafts and activities at our November Target Free Family Saturday!

Join us this weekend for our Target Free Family Saturdays event on November 9th from 11am to 4pm! The day will feature a variety of autumn-themed crafts and activities, in addition to celebrating Veterans Day with the Go For Broke National Education Center.

Assemble your own "Festive Fall Salad" with Kidding Around the Kitchen!
Assemble your own Festive Fall Salad with Kidding Around the Kitchen!

The day will start at 11am with Kidding Around the Kitchen, as they will lead a fabulous make-it-yourself  Festive Fall Salad, using the best that fall harvest has to offer. Also beginning at 11am will be a Comic Book Lounge, where guests can relax and read comic books in celebration of the Marvels and Monsters exhibition.

 

At 1:30pm (and again at 2:30pm) you can join in on an energetic drum circle by playing on a drum (no experience necessary)! Then at 3pm, join us for a reading of Thanksgiving at Obaachan’s with author Janet Mitsui Brown. Then stick around to decorate your own furoshiki (wrapping cloth) complete with your own mini omanju (traditional confection) to snack on!

Meet Japanese American WWII veterans at the Go For Broke Monument!
Meet Japanese American WWII veterans at the Go For Broke Monument!

Most importantly, don’t forget to visit Go For Broke at their Monument, just outside of the National Museum. Not only can you view the monument, but there will be lots of family-friendly activities. You can even get baseball-style cards signed by Japanese American WWII Veterans!

Have Japanese American WWII veterans sign their baseball cards for you at the Go For Broke monument!
Have Japanese American WWII veterans sign their baseball cards for you at the Go For Broke monument!

This Saturday’s Target Free Family  Saturday is not limited to these activities, but will feature even more FREE crafts and activities ALL DAY! Including a camoflouge-print jump house in honor of Veterans Day, Ruthie’s Origami Corner, coloring, and more!

 

Photo Credits: Russell Kitagawa, Richard Murakami, Tsuneo Takasugi, Caroline Jung, and Esther Shin

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Be sure to check out Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics: 1942-1986, on view through February 9, 2014. Marvels & Monsters illustrates how evolving racial and cultural archetypes defined America’s perceptions of Asians through a selection of images from comic books representing four turbulent decades. For more information please visit: janm.org/marvels-monsters

For the full schedule and updates on the November Target Free Family Saturday (or to see what’s coming up for the December event), visit: janm.org/target.

Marvels & Monsters – Preview Reception Highlights

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On October 12, 2013, JANM welcomed its newest exhibition, Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986, with a Preview Reception hosted by the JANM Young Professionals Network (YPN).

The night began with a Members Gallery Talk that took place half an hour before the exhibition’s Preview Reception. The Members Gallery Talk allowed JANM members to take an exciting and intimate gallery tour with curator Jeff Yang.

The Preview Reception was free and open to the public with delicious food from Esaan Thai and free drinks throughout the night.

The evening continued with welcoming and opening remarks from the President & CEO of JANM, Dr. Greg Kimura; Chair of the JANM Board of Trustees, Mr. Gordon Yamate; YPN President, Kira Teshima; Office & Gallery Manager from NYU’s Asian Pacific American Institute, Ruby Gomez; and Marvels & Monsters curator, Jeff Yang.

The highlight of the night was Marvels & Monsters: Unbound—a showcase of short performances inspired by the new exhibition. The showcase commemorated the National Museum’s West Coast premiere of Marvels & Monsters by rethinking, subverting, deconstructing, or satirizing the eight Asian pop culture archetypes depicted in this exhibition.

Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986 is on display at JANM through February 9, 2014. For more information about the exhibition, visit janm.org/marvels-monsters.

Check out these photos from the Marvels & Monsters Preview Reception!

Photo credits: Tsuneo Takasugi

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Our next exhibition opens next week. Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts chronicles the history of Japanese American Nisei soldiers from the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service who served during World War II to prove their loyalty to the nation that had disowned them.

The exhibition opens next Tuesday, November 12, but if you’re a current JANM member, join us for a special Member Preview this Sunday, November 10, 2PM – 4PM. See the exhibition before it opens to the public and hear remarks by Eric Saul, Director, Japanese American Wartime History Project. To RSVP, contact specialevents@janm.org or 213.625.0414 x2222.

 

LA Voters make JANM Los Angeles’ “Best Museum”!

 

JANM is Number one on LA's Hotlist!
JANM is Number one on LA’s Hotlist!

 

Earlier this week, la.cityvoter.com announced that the Japanese American National Museum was voted “Best Museum” on the 2013 Los Angeles Hot List. JANM was runner up for Best Museum in 2011 and 2012, but this year, LA voters placed JANM on top of 38 other great museums—including institutions like the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the L.A. County Museum of Art—for the number one spot!

Public Programs, such as October's comics-themed Target Free Family Saturday, helped JANM reach the #1 spot on LA's HOTLIST!
Public Programs, such as October’s comics-themed Target Free Family Saturday, helped JANM reach the #1 spot on LA’s HOTLIST!

JANM was voted not only for its unique exhibitions, but for it’s public programs and exceptional staff and volunteers as well!

To all of those who voted for JANM, thank you so much! Also, thank you to our visitors, Museum members, staff, and dedicated volunteers for making JANM an amazing and vibrant institution!

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Fall is a great time to check out the Museum, be sure to view our exciting exhibitions and upcoming public programs:

Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986 is now open! Come view a selection of images from comic books representing four turbulent decades. This exhibition illustrates how evolving racial and cultural archetypes defined America’s perceptions of Asians. For more information please visit: janm.org/marvels-monsters

Mark your calendars for the upcoming exhibition, Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts, opening on November 12, 2013. This exhibition chronicles the resilience and bravery of WWII Nisei soldiers both on and off the battlefield. For more information and updates please visit: janm.org/goforbroke

Stop by the Museum for November’s Target Free Family Saturdays: Awesome Autumn from 11AM – 4PM on November 9th! We’ll have a variety of FREE activities including crafts, origami, a bounce house, a reading of Thanksgiving at Obaachan’s with author Janet Mitsui Brown, and more! For details, please visit: janm.org/target

Zap! Pow! Bam! – Photos from the October Target Free Family Saturday

A pair of "Superboys"
A pair of “Superboys” keep their identities secret with their handmade masks and capes!

 

On Saturday, October 12th, JANM presented a comics-themed Target Free Family Saturdays event that celebrated the opening of the exhibition, Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986.

The day was jam-packed with loads of entertainment and activities! From a guided Gallery Tour with curator Jeff Yang, to a Photo Booth that snapped photos of guests in their costumes, there were activities that took place all day for people of all ages and interests! Thanks to all the visitors who joined us, and a BIG “Thank you” to every staff member and volunteer for helping!

Our November Target Free Family Saturdays: Awesome Autumn is next weekend! It’s FREE all day and will take place on November 9th from 11AM – 4PM. For details: janm.org/target

Check out these photos from the October Target Free Family Saturdays event!
[Click on the photos to see full images]

 

Photos by Tsuneo Takasugi and Richard Murakami.

 

Meet Lela Lee, author & artist of Angry Little Asian Girl

Lela Lee, author/artist of "Angry Little Girls"

Meet Lela Lee, author and artist of the web comic book series Angry Little Girls, at the Japanese American National Museum!

Lela Lee, cultural phenom and entrepreneur, was just an undergraduate at UC Berkeley when she decided to let off some steam by creating the character of Kim, a no-nonsense, surly, and vocal Asian American female.

Through her characters of Kim, Deborah, Maria, Wanda, Xyla, Pat, and Bruce, Lela delivers biting comebacks from the mouths of those who are usually on the receiving end of sexist or racist comments.

Meet the author who skewers pop culture and stereotypes in all her books, short films, comic book series, and merchandise. Take advantage of your chance to hear her in person.

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EXCLUSIVE FOR JANM MEMBERS ONLY!

Meet and Greet with Lela Lee
Saturday, October 19th • 1 PM
Intimate dessert reception with Lela Lee for JANM members.
Please RSVP at specialevents@janm.org or 213.830.5657.

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FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

A Conversation with Lela Lee
Saturday, October 19th • 2 PM
The author and artist will discuss her comics.
Free with paid Museum admission.

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Angry Little Girl Kim doll
Kim, the original Angry Asian Girl, is available in a plush doll!

Need a gift for a special angry girl?

Lela Lee’s Angry Little Girls books are available through our award-winning Museum Store—Angry Little GirlsStill Angry Little GirlsAngry Little Girls in Love, and Fairy Tales for Angry Little Girls are sure to strike a humorous chord!

Purchase Angry Little Girls books and doll from the Museum Store >>

 

These programs are presented in conjunction with Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986 on view at JANM through February 9, 2014. For more information about this exhibition and related public programs, visit janm.org/marvels-monsters.

A Behind the Scenes Look at Marvels & Monsters

What happens when a Museum changes exhibitions?  Why is the area cordoned off so we can’t see what is going on inside? Common questions posed by National Museum visitors when they meet the Collections Management team and realize we are part of the select group that is behind the blacked out door during exhibition changes.

Here are a few images to help you glimpse behind the door!

(click to see the full images)

 

Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986
October 12, 2013 – February 9, 2014
Through a selection of images from comic books representing four turbulent decades, Marvels & Monsters illustrates how evolving racial and cultural archetypes defined America’s perceptions of Asians.
For more information >>

The Comics Have Arrived!

Fales Comics
Comics from the William Wu Collection at the Fales Library at NYU. Collections staff are preparing them for display.

In preparation for the opening of Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986, Collections staff received 38 special collections comic books from the Fales Library at NYU.  The comics have arrived!

Comics featured include a Green Hornet from 1944, Yellow Claw from 1956, Wonder Woman from 1956, Justice League of America from 1967, Iron Man from 1969, Captain America from 1970, Batman from 1972, and many, many more!

US Art soft pack
The comics were carried by Art Handlers from New York to Los Angeles.

Don’t miss out on the exhibition opening on Thursday, October 10th at 6 p.m. or the FREE fun-filled Target FREE Family Saturdays event on Saturday, October 12th from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

For more info about the exhibition and upcoming events, visit: janm.org/marvels-monsters

 

 

 

From Mine Okubo to Li’l Neebo: JANM Collections to Augment Marvels & Monsters Exhibition

Shazam
Comic from the Tulean Dispatch. This First Person Narrative of Americas Concentration Camps is highlighted in Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986

As the incoming Collections Manager at the Japanese American National Museum, I am amazed by the sheer depth of artifacts and artworks that comprise the Japanese American experience. Having admired the institution’s mission and values from an outside perspective, I am happy to become part of the thriving community that is “behind the house” in the collections at JANM.

It is the goal of the Collections Management and Access Unit (CMA) to preserve the collections for future generations and to utilize them to their fullest potential as ambassadors and storytellers for the Museum—for the collections are the cornerstone of the Museum. One wonderful way to achieve this potential is to use our temporary exhibitions as an entryway into exploring our own collections.

We are excited to have the opportunity to share some of JANM’s collection alongside the traveling exhibition, Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986, which comes to us from the NYU Fales Library & Special Collections. CMA and Education Staff realized the potential of pairing our collection of historical artifacts to enhance the exhibition in an unexpected way.

Superman
Chris Ishii’s Li’l Neebo (Little Nisei Boy) reading a Superman comic inside his book. Ishii, who once was an artist for Disney, started Li’l Neebo while at the Santa Anita Pacemaker newspaper, and continued at the Granada Pioneer. His first person narratives provide a glimpse into America’s Concentration Camps.

It is interesting to contemplate the idea that artist Chris Ishii never imagined Li’l Neebo sharing gallery space with Wonder Woman! A Miss Breed letter and Mine Okubo drawing in conversation with each other about the shared theme of comic books… who would’ve guessed?

Marvels & Monsters illustrates Asians and Asian Americans through racial and cultural archetypes and when paired with first person Japanese American narratives of concentration camp life told through comics, a differing perspective is shared. Through the cartoons of artist Chris Ishii’s Li’l Neebo and George Akimoto’s Lil Dan’l, artwork by Mine Okubo, and letters from young inmates to librarian Clara Breed, Museum visitors will glimpse how comics were used to express emotion and to retain a sense of normalcy in a less than ideal situation. These images, juxtaposed with the stereotypical Asian themes in U.S. comics, provide a place for reflection on the impact and power of storytelling through comics and the way in which this popular medium has shaped perceptions of history.

It is through collaborations such as these that the importance of the collections at JANM, through the stories and first person experiences of the Issei and Nisei generation, are linked to contemporary society.

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Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986 will be on display at the Japanese American National Museum from October 12, 2013 – February 9, 2014. For more information about the exhibition and related public programs, visit: janm.org/marvels-monsters

Margaret Zachow Wetherbee is the new Collections Manager at the Japanese American National Museum.

Don’t miss our comics-themed Target Free Family Saturday!

Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986

Zap! Pow! Bam! Sounds like our comics-themed Target Free Family Saturday is coming up!

Visit JANM on October 12th from 11AM – 4PM to celebrate the opening of the exhibition, Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986, with comics-themed crafts and activities!

Superhero cape & mask making
Make your own superhero cape and mask!

 

JANM has planned an action packed day!

From assembling your own popcorn snack with Kidding Around the Kitchen, to making your own superhero costume and capturing it in a photo booth, there are activities planned for kids of all ages and interests. You’ll even be able to watch vintage Japanese anime at its earliest roots from the 1920s and 1930s!

Make sure to catch a special Marvels & Monsters Gallery Talk at 11:30am by Jeff Yang, the curator of the exhibition. You won’t want to miss Jeff Yang share special insight into the creation of Marvels & Monsters!

 

jeff wnyc
Join curator, Jeff Yang, for a special Gallery Talk on the exhibition, Marvels & Monsters!

There will be an interactive activity shortly after the Gallery Talk where you can “Build a Hero” at 12PM, or “Build a Villain” at 2:30PM.

Jeff Yang will lead the audience in collaboratively creating an ORIGINAL comic book super-character who’ll be drawn in real time by comic artists from the Secret Identities and Shattered anthologies! There will also be a book signing after each of these sessions!

Batman Caricature by Cartoon Slinger
Batman Caricature by Cartoon Slinger

Don’t leave the Museum before getting a chance to turn yourself into a comic-book character with a caricature drawn by Cartoon Slinger! (*for children only, line ends at 2:30pm)

Make sure you top off your day by teaming up with your buddies to take down villains in superhero video games brought to you by Game Truck!

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