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Thread: Marvel & Chinese Superheroes

  1. #1
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    Marvel & Chinese Superheroes

    Marvel creates Chinese superheroes to draw Asian fans


    Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski speaks at a forum in Manila on Jan 10, 2018. PHOTO: AFP
    PUBLISHED JAN 15, 2018, 5:00 AM SGT

    MANILA • Chinese superheroes will soon be joining the Marvel universe, as the comic book giant makes a major thrust into Asia.

    As part of a push to grow its Asian fanbase, the Disney-owned franchise has released mobile games in China, opened Marvel Stores in South Korea and is searching for artistic talent in the Philippines, Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski said.

    "We have been making great strides. We try to hire more Asian creators, writers and artists to bring a piece of their culture to Marvel comics," he said.

    The company plans to introduce two new Chinese superheroes, Sword Master and Aero, who will be based in China, he added.

    "They are going to be heavily based on Chinese culture and mythology, but set in the modern world and they will interact with the other heroes" in the Marvel universe, he said.

    These new characters will be drawn in the manga style that is more popular in Asia, he added.

    Mr Cebulski, who has lived in Asia for the past two years, serving as Marvel's vice-president for the region, conceded Marvel had not given Asian characters prominent positions in the past compared with mainstays such as Captain America or the Hulk. But this is changing, he said. "We want to have stories that are reflective of every culture."

    There are huge fan expectations for Marvel's latest flagship movie - Black Panther - which will be released worldwide next month.

    The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Marvel's breakthrough black superhero T'Challa, a king of a fictional African nation who first appeared in the company's comic books in the late 1960s.

    Luke Cage, another popular black Marvel superhero, has also had a recent revival through a popular television series on Netflix.

    But Asian superheroes are still comparatively rare in the Marvel universe despite the franchise's growing popularity here.

    In the Philippines, a former American colony, Marvel is already deeply ingrained in the nation's popular culture, said Mr Cebulski.

    Filipino illustrators, in turn, have also provided art for Marvel comics since the 1970s. They are now the third largest nationality of artists employed by Marvel, just behind Americans and Italians, Mr Cebulski said.

    AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

    A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2018, with the headline 'Marvel creates Chinese superheroes to draw Asian fans'.
    Different than The Zodiac Legacy by Stan Lee, but going for a similar demographic.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2

    The tough part is that Yellow Face . . .

    D.C. tried this years ago - Succeeding only recently with New Superman, written by actual Asian-American writer Gene Yang. Marvel's effort is now lead by the guy who actually pretended to be Japanese to get gigs.

    Actual Asian Comic Writers Respond To Marvel Editor-In-Chief's 'Yellowface' Controversy
    By Kimberly Yam

    As the comic industry grapples with the revelation that new Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski posed as an Asian writer for a year, real writers of Asian descent are speaking up.

    Joshua Luna and Trung Le Nguyen, who’ve both been involved in comic projects tied to the Asian-American experience, chatted with HuffPost following Cebulski’s admission. The new editor-in-chief, confirmed that he’d written under the Japanese-sounding pseudonym “Akira Yoshida” in the early 2000s. Cebulski had even created an elaborate false backstory for Yoshida, drawing criticism from people of Asian descent who labeled his actions as “yellowface.”

    Cebulski released a statement saying he had been “young and naive” at the time and the issue was “all old news that has been dealt with.” But both Luna and Nguyen feel that damage has been done.

    “It’s equal parts shocking, disappointing and discouraging,” Luna told HuffPost. “It’s not necessarily strange to use a pseudonym, but to use an Asian pen name when someone’s not of Asian descent is wild to me, especially when so many actual Asians are constantly denied access to these kinds of opportunities.”

    Luna explained that Cebulski’s actions sting in part because of Marvel’s long history of problematic representation of Asians in its comics. Its “Iron Fist” series has been criticized for perpetuating a white savior narrative. “Daredevil” received backlash for its ninjas who were given little more than two-dimensional, stereotypical stories. And “Doctor Strange’s” Tibetan “The Ancient One” is thought to be another incarnation of the “old Asian sage” stereotype. The list goes on, as Gizmodo points out. All these titles made it on screen and little was done to remedy the issues in the plots. In fact, actress Tilda Swinton even ended up whitewashing the part of “The Ancient One.”

    What’s more, the company once blamed diversity for a dip in sales following a 2014 push for inclusion ― a claim that the Independent proved untrue as diverse stories including “Ms. Marvel” and “Black Panther” were both top selling comics.

    This ‘Akira Yoshida’ story sends yet another message of Asian culture being desired, but not actual Asian people. Joshua Luna

    Luna wonders that with such an attitude towards inclusion at Marvel, perhaps Cebulski’s Yoshida has harmed writers of Asian descent.

    “It makes you wonder just how many Asian comic book writers were turned away because an “Akira Yoshida” was already filling the “Asian quota.”

    With Cebulski moving forward as editor-in-chief, Luna says that it appears Marvel hasn’t learned its lesson. He believes that the company’s insistence that inclusivity and racial sensitivity are important to them is a “hollow” statement.

    “This ‘Akira Yoshida’ story sends yet another message of Asian culture being desired, but not actual Asian people,” he said.

    For Nguyen, who goes by “Trungles” professionally, Cebulski’s actions have greater implications that extend beyond the confines of comics. Cebulski’s choice to pose behind an Asian name exemplifies a privilege that Asian immigrant families simply are not afforded.

    “Asian-Americans, have had to adapt more English sounding names in great part to help ensure economic survivability for ourselves and our families. It’s a necessity for the sake of our access to professional advancement, to jobs,” Nguyen explained. “In Cebulski’s case, he’s a white man who’s taken on a Japanese pen name, [circumventing] internal rules of employment, while also lending a veneer of credence to the purported ‘Japaneseness’ of his writing.”

    Nguyen called the act of adjusting a name for profit or just to assume an aesthetic, rather than for survival, “troubling.”

    Moreover, Cebulski’s remark that the situation had been “dealt with” made it seem as though the editor-in-chief was “one-and-done” when it comes to learning from the matter, Nguyen said.

    In light of the backlash that ensued following another incident in literature in which it was revealed that a poem by “Yi-Fen Chou,” in the 2015 edition of Best American Poetry, was actually penned by Michael Derrick Hudson of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Luna feels that Cebulski should step down.

    But only time will tell if Marvel is willing to truly make moves towards real and responsible diversity.

    UPDATE: Dec. 20 ― In a statement to The Atlantic on Dec. 17, Cebulski said he was “truly sorry for the pain, anger, and disappointment I caused over my poor choice of pseudonym.” He referred to the decision to use the Yoshida name as a “misstep” and mentioned that since the news broke, he’s spoken with “talent close to this issue” and has had discussions around being “mindful of the voices behind them.”

    “My passion has always been about bringing the best talent from across the world to work on the best stories in the world, and I’m hopeful that fans and creators alike will join us in that continued mission,” he wrote.

    His remarks, however, failed to win over critics who pointed out that he only apologized for the use of the pseudonym itself but did not acknowledge the consequences of assuming a Japanese-inspired identity.

  3. #3
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    pow!

    MAY 15, 2018 5:36pm PT by Ashley Cullins
    Stan Lee Files $1B Lawsuit Against POW! Entertainment for "Stealing" His Name and Likeness

    The prolific comic book creator says he was conned into signing over his name and likeness rights.


    Todd Williamson/Getty
    Stan Lee

    The prolific comic book creator says he was conned into signing over his name and likeness rights.

    The epic battles in Stan Lee's comics may be nothing compared to the array of legal fights he's waging — which now includes a billion-dollar lawsuit against the company he co-founded.

    Lee is suing POW! Entertainment for fraud and conversion, claiming the company and two of its officers conspired to steal his identity, name and likeness in a "nefarious scheme" involving a "sham" sale to a Chinese company.

    POW! was acquired in 2017 by Hong Kong-based Camsing International, and Lee says POW! CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion didn't disclose the terms of the deal to him before it closed. At the time, Lee claims, he was devastated because his wife was on her deathbed and they took advantage of his despair — and his macular degeneration, which rendered him legally blind in 2015.

    Lee says last year Duffy and Champion, along with his ex-business manager Jerardo Olivarez, whom he's currently suing for fraud, asked him to sign a non-exclusive license with POW! for the use of his name and likeness in connection with creative works owned by the company. Instead, what he purportedly signed was a "fraudulent" intellectual property assignment agreement that granted POW! "the exclusive right to use Lee's name, identity, image and likeness on a worldwide basis in perpetuity."

    According to the complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Lee has been selective about licensing his name and likeness and will only authorize the use on a non-exclusive basis.

    "Lee does not recall anyone reading the Illegitimate Document to him, and, due to his advanced macular degeneration, he could not have read it himself," writes attorney Adam Grant in the complaint. "While the Illegitimate Document purports to contain Lee's signature, Lee never knowingly signed it. Either Duffy, Champion, Oliveraz [sic] or POW! (1) forged Lee's signatures; (2) lifted Lee's signature from another document and imposed it on the Illegitimate Document; or, (3) someone, likely one of the Defendants, induced Lee to sign the Illegitimate Document by using a bait and switch tactic: telling Lee it was something else."

    Lee also claims POW! took control of his social media accounts and has been impersonating him — something he's recently addressed on Twitter.

    Lee is seeking an injunction declaring the agreement invalid and unenforceable and damages in excess of $1 billion.

    A representative for POW! has not yet responded to a request for comment on the complaint. The company in April released an open letter to fans saying it was concerned about "the upheaval within [Lee's] personal management and life" following an investigative report by The Hollywood Reporter that included allegations of elder abuse.
    Ol' Stan needs a hero.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  4. #4
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    'the complaint is completely without merit'

    Stan Lee $1B Lawsuit: POW!’s Chinese Owners Camsing Hit Back At “Meritless” & “Preposterous” Claim
    by Andreas Wiseman
    May 17, 2018 3:26am


    REX/Shutterstock

    Camsing International, the Chinese firm which bought Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment last year, has hit back at the legendary comics creator’s $1B fraud lawsuit, describing it as “preposterous” and “completely without merit.”

    Lee filed the suit yesterday. But in a statement released by the Chinese firm today, Camsing claims that POW! Entertainment “has not been served with the complaint nor has the filing been confirmed by the listed courthouse.” The firm says it has reviewed the complaint in the media with its legal counsel “and can assure its shareholders that the complaint is completely without merit.”

    The statement continues, “In particular, the notion that Mr. Lee did not knowingly grant POW! Entertainment the exclusive rights to his creative works or his identity is so preposterous that the Company has to wonder whether Mr. Lee is personally behind this lawsuit. There is no question that Mr. Lee – who along with his daughter was and remains a substantial POW! Entertainment shareholder – clearly understood the terms of the agreements he signed. The evidence, which includes Mr. Lee’s subsequent statements and conduct, is overwhelming and the Company looks forward to presenting it in court. When and if the complaint is properly served, POW! Entertainment will respond in a timely and appropriate manner through legal channels.”

    Lee’s suit, filed yesterday in the Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that POW CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion did not clue him in on terms of the Camsing deal a year ago.

    “Defendants conspired and agreed to broker a sham deal to sell POW! to a company in China and fraudulently steal Stan Lee’s identity, name, image, and likeness as part of a nefarious scheme to benefit financially at Lee’s expense,” the suit alleges.

    The suit goes on to state that Lee was taken advantage of after the death of his wife in 2017. “Upon her death,” it reads, “Lee at age 94 became the target of various unscrupulous businessmen, sycophant and opportunists who saw a chance to take advantage of Lee’s despondent state of mind, kind heart and devotion to his craft – a devotion that often allowed him to overlook the bad intentions of others when it came to his property.” The suit adds that Duffy and Champion “were two of the opportunists” and preyed “on his infirmities while he was in a state of despair” and claims punitive and compensatory damages in excess of $1B.

    Camsing, which acquired POW!’s library IP last year, is a member of Camsing Global Group, a China business consortium founded by Vivian Lo in Hong Kong in 1996. The Hong Kong-based company has offices in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shenzhen, Singapore and Los Angeles and has worked with a number of Hollywood studios.

    POW! productions include 2016 drama series Lucky Man, reality TV series Who Wants To Be A Superhero?, features Stan Lee’s Mosaic, Stan Lee Presents: The Condor and Sci-Fi’s TV movie Stan Lee’s Lightspeed as well as media franchise Stan Lee’s Mighty 7.
    Hmm, we don't have anything on any of those POW! productions.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #5
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    RIP Stan Lee

    NOVEMBER 14, 2018 8:44AM PT
    China Mourns Stan Lee, Whose Last Creation Was a Chinese Superhero
    By BECKY DAVIS


    CREDIT: ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Grief over the death of Stan Lee has taken the Internet by storm in China, with the local hashtag “Stan Lee has passed” trending No. 1 on social media and viewed more than a staggering 1.21 billion times by Wednesday evening – equivalent to nearly once per person in the world’s most populous country.

    Fans mourned the legendary comic book creator by posting remembrances on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, and by flocking to cinemas to watch “Venom” in tribute to Marvel and to Lee himself, who makes a cameo appearance in the film. Many posted pictures of their tickets alongside condolences over the man some had affectionately dubbed “grandpa.”

    “I cried while watching ‘Venom’, and am still applauding for grandpa – the biggest superhero of all has left us,” one Internet user wrote. “Thank you Stan Lee for the heroic dreams you’ve gifted us,” another posted beneath a photo of her pair of movie tickets.

    Lee’s studio revealed last month that his next character would be a Chinese superhero named Jewel, based on the Hong Kong-based pop singer Gloria Tang Tsz-kei, or G.E.M., who is sometimes referred to as China’s Taylor Swift.

    “I never thought that one day I’d have the chance to become a superhero! Super, invincibly excited!” Tang wrote in announcing the news on both Instagram and Weibo, posting photos of herself with a cardboard cutout of Lee and holding a poster of the red-haired character, who sports a pointy-shouldered suit and a light saber-like weapon in each hand.

    Chinese company Camsing International, which bought Lee’s POW! Entertainment last year, said it would press on with developing Lee’s new creations.

    Jackie Chan’s online tribute to Lee mentioned his desire to create a China-inspired project. “Many years ago I met him in the US with the feeling of a fan meeting his idol,” Chan wrote on Weibo. “At the time he said he hoped that he could work with me to make a Chinese superhero movie. All these years, we always hoped to make that wish a reality… Goodbye, superhero.”

    Lee had made forays to China in his latter years, with a photo of him at the Great Wall in Beijing from last year circulating widely online. The day after his death, G.E.M. posted a photo of the two of them on Instagram and wrote: “So shocked, so sad….It’s my honour to have met you and share meetings on your creative and thought process.”

    Huge numbers of Chinese fans made the connection between Lee’s death at 95 and that of iconic martial arts writer Louis Cha Leung Yung, known by his pen name Jin Yong, who died two weeks ago at 94. His funeral was held the same day as Lee’s death.

    “If comics hadn’t had Stan Lee, it’d be like if martial arts had never had Jin Yong. Let’s pay tribute to two great legends of the east and west,” wrote one fan.

    “Venom” opened last week in China and crushed the competition over the weekend, raking in $102 million before Lee’s death Monday. It was the fifth-largest opening of any film this year in China and the second-largest opening ever for a superhero film.
    THREADS
    Marvel & Chinese Superheroes
    Venom (2018)
    RIP Stan Lee
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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