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John Cho on coming-of-age as an Asian American, ‘Cowboy Bebop’ and racism in Hollywood

john cho book
  • Actor John Cho spoke to NextShark about his new young adult book, “Troublemaker,” an Asian American coming-of-age novel set during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.
  • Told from the perspective of Korean American middle schooler Jordan, the novel highlights the experiences of his grandfather, parents and sister, highlighting generational differences.
  • Cho spoke about his career in Hollywood, the cancellation of “Cowboy Bebop” and his own journey of understanding his Korean American and Asian American identities.

In “Troublemaker,” actor-turned-author John Cho confronts the difficulties of coming of age as an Asian American in an era that parallels today’s issues. 

The cover of John Cho’s first book “Troublemaker” features the book’s protagonist Jordan, a young Asian American teenager, dressed simply in a white T-shirt and jeans and standing resolutely in the center of the street, his hands in fists, staring straight ahead at a point beyond the reader.

40-year-old Hayao Miyazaki graphic novel ‘Shuna’s Journey’ to be released in the US for the first time

Shuna's Journey
  • “Shuna’s Journey,” the 1983 graphic novel by Japanese animator and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, will be released for the first time in the United States after nearly 40 years since its original publication.
  • It is a one-volume watercolor-illustrated graphic novel that follows the story of a prince’s quest to save his village from famine.
  • The English-language version of the novel, translated by author Alex Dudok, will be published on Nov. 1.

The graphic novel “Shuna’s Journey” by Oscar-winning animator and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki is set to be released in the United States for the first time after nearly 40 years since its original publication in Japan.

“Shuna’s Journey,” which was originally published in 1983 by Tokuma Shoten, is a one-volume watercolor-illustrated graphic novel that follows the story of a prince’s quest to save his village from famine. 

HarperCollins to remove ‘Brian Wong, Who Was Never, Ever Wrong’ from bestselling children’s book


Publishing company HarperCollins will remove a short story from a bestselling David Walliams book due to criticism from advocates that charged it with being “casual racism.”

The backlash: In February, British comedian and children’s author David Walliams — who was accused of “yellowface” after dressing up as Kim Jong-un for Halloween in 2017 — was accused of perpetuating racism with his short story about an Asian character, as NextShark previously reported.

‘China’s richest woman’ missing for years suddenly reemerges in ‘threatening’ phone calls to family

China's richest woman reappeared

A real estate mogul dubbed “China’s richest woman” before her sudden disappearance in 2017 has recently reached out to her ex-husband.

Ascent to wealth: Weihong Duan, who also goes by her English nickname “Whitney,” became a billionaire through Taihong, the real estate development firm she founded in 1996. She ran the company until she mysteriously vanished on Sept. 5, 2017.

Exclusive Excerpt: The Deadly ‘Pretty Boys’ Who Were Korea’s Warriors and Assassins


K-pop’s biggest male stars may be beauty gods but they’re hardly a new trend. While Korean pop stars may wear porcelain foundations, colorful eyeshadows, and blood-stained lips, there were men who walked — and worked — the earth centuries before. They were called the hwarang – literally “flower boys” aka “pretty boys” of Korea’s Silla dynasty – who sported crimson eye shadows, powdered faces, and slicked-back hair as a spiritual practice. These warriors were chosen for their beauty, as Silla’s king, Jinheung, believed beauty was power. In the excerpt below, we understand Korea’s rich history of beautiful men and how cosmetics, makeup, skincare isn’t a new phenomenon — beauty is literally embedded in the very culture. Here’s a history of the pretty boy warriors who were precursors for K-pop stars to thrive in our modern era.

South Korea is now known as the beauty capital of the universe, and its men hold the title of world’s biggest cosmetics consumers. Korean men glisten and glow, their complexions plumped and hydrated, as if serums pump through their very veins. The best skin care products for men are featured at But to understand why Korean men today care so much about their aesthetics, we must look to Korea’s sixth-century Silla Dynasty, and to the hwarang. The hwarang—which roughly translates to “flower boys”—weren’t only some of the fiercest weapons-wielding, martial arts–practicing assassins in Asia. They would become legendary for their fight and their faces. Aesthetics, and the spirituality behind beautifying, were paramount to their ability to defend their kingdom for over two centuries . . . and to lead the way for generations of Korean beauty boys to come. 

150-Year-Old Japanese Book Shows U.S. History as an Epic Mythology

A Japanese book from the 1800s features an alternate depiction of United States history in which historical American figures are capable of superhuman feats.

Written by Kanagaki Robun and illustrated by Utagawa Yoshitora near the end of The Edo Period in 1861, Osanaetoki Bankokubanashi (“Children’s Illustrated Tales from 10,000 Countries”) provides an interesting look at how Japan viewed the Western world at the time, reports SoraNews24.

People Are Angry Her Book Says Asian Men and Black Women Should Date

A passage from a best-selling book released three years ago that encourages Asian men and black women to date each other has become all the buzz on Twitter early this week, angering several users.

The book, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” was written by Issa Rae, who then starred in HBO’s “Insecure,” which draws some inspiration from the text and her YouTube series of the same title.

Nursing Textbook Pulled After Stereotyping How Asians, Other Racial Groups Deal With Pain

A nursing textbook has been pulled from shelves after a student posted a page depicting woefully inaccurate stereotypes about different racial groups.

The book, published by Pearson, featured a table on “Cultural Differences in Response to Pain”, which asserted various minority groups handled pain in ways specific to their ethnic backgrounds. One portion asserted that Blacks “report higher pain intensity than other cultures”, Native Americans “may prefer to receive medications that have been blessed by a tribal shaman”, and that Jews “may be vocal and demanding of assistance” and that their pain “must be shared and validated by others”.

Dr. Seuss Festival to Remove Racist ‘Chinaman’ Art After Extreme Backlash

A stereotypical portrayal of a Chinese character found in a Dr. Seuss Museum mural in Springfield, Massachusetts drew a backlash that eventually prompted its organizers to announce its immediate removal.  

Children’s authors Mike Curato, Mo Willems, and Lisa Yee had earlier announced that they will boycott an upcoming children’s book festival at the “The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum” due to the offensive mural.

Singaporean Author Lands Six-Figure Deals From U.S., U.K. Publishers for Her First Novel

A new author from Singapore has recently scored six-figure (local currency) deals for her debut novel.

London-based Rachel Heng, who only started writing novels three years ago, told Straits Times that her first one has major publishers from the United States and Britain participating in an auction to bid for the publication rights to her book.