5 Books with Dawn Wing: Comics and Graphic Narratives by Women of Asian Descent

Dawn Wing is a Graphic Artist and Associate Professor and Reference Librarian at Metropolitan State University

Our latest installment of 5 Books with a Board Member features AAAS Board Archivist Dawn Wing. Dawn is a Graphic Artist and Associate Professor and Reference Librarian at Metropolitan State University. She received the 2021 Minnesota Academic Innovators Award from the Minnesota Library Association for her work amplifying marginalized and diverse voices in the library and in the local community.

As an academic librarian with experience in creating comics, teaching with comics and curating comics collections,  I cannot resist sharing with readers some of my favorite illustrated narratives. And so, without further ado, I am listing graphic narrative works by five female comics creators of Asian descent who are breaking boundaries through visual narratives as a way to counter racism, misogyny and call for action against injustices while expressing their own personal vulnerabilities and inner-conflicts.  A few are up-and-coming, self-published, refreshing voices to look out for (shout out to Koreangry and Tracy Park, both fierce anti-racist comics creators based in Los Angeles). And, some have been established in the world of independent comics and renowned internationally such as Keum Suk Gendry-Kim (South Korean) and Lynda Barry (Filipina-descent/USA).  I have also included links to book reviews and author interviews for each work, all published online by the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). 

To find more comics by BIPOC creators, I recommend visiting the following online database started by comics artist MariNomi >> https://cartoonistsofcolor.com/

Happy reading!
Dawn Wing


Written and illustrated by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim
Translated by Janet Hong

“Powerful, engrossing and heart wrenching,Grass is a multi-award winning non-fiction graphic novelchronicling the life story of “Granny Lee” Ok-sun, a Korean survivor of sexual enslavement by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.”

Click the link below to read Dawn’s book review of Grass published by APALA:


Written and designed by Eunsoo Jeong

“Eunsoo Jeong aka Koreangry is a comics artist, zine creator and animator based in Los Angeles, California.  Her zine series “Koreangry”  addresses issues of racism, sexism, xenophobia, immigration and mental health as a Korean American immigrant living in the US.  Koreangry deftly employs her creative talent, irreverent humor, critical reflection and expansive imagination as a form of cathartic confrontation against social injustices.”

Click the link below to read Dawn’s interview with Eunsoo Jeong published by APALA:


“Tracy Park Draws”

Written and illustrated by Tracy Park

“Tracy Park is a comics artist, animation and visual effects producer based in Los Angeles, California.  Her graphic narratives cover a range of topics including family and motherhood, politics, social injustice and the environment. She recently posted a powerful web comic,Dear Racist, in response to rising anti-Asian hatred and intensifying injustices against BIPOC communities in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Click the link below to read Dawn’s interview with Tracy Park published by APALA:


One! Hundred! Demons!

Written and illustrated by Lynda Barry

“Lynda Barry is a cartoonist, author, playwright, teacher and library aficionado. In 2009, she won the Wisconsin Library Association: Literary Award and the Eisner Award for her book What It Is. Her works of fiction and comics include Cruddy, Ernie Pook’s Comeek  and One! Hundred! Demons!  In One! Hundred! Demons!, Barry uses vivid imagery and words to bring to life an “autobiofictionalography” of experiences such as her Filipina upbringing and the growing pains of childhood, adolescence and friendships.”

In 2019, Lynda Barry was awarded the MacArthur’s Genius Fellowship grant.

Click the link below to read Dawn’s interview with Lynda Barry published by APALA:

Dear Scarlet – The Story of My Postpartum Depression

Written and illustrated by Teresa Wong

“Dear Scarlet- The Story of My Postpartum Depression is a debut graphic memoir by Chinese-Canadian writer Teresa Wong.  Described as “a love-letter for [her] three children and mother,” the title and story in the book  is addressed to the author’s first daughter, in which she describes her journey of becoming a new mother who is  grappling with postpartum depression.”

Click the link below to read Dawn’s book review of Dear Scarlett published by APALA:

*The 5 Books series allows our board members to celebrate works of literature and scholarship but does not influence or intersect with the nominations process for our annual book awards.*