Twitter Users Celebrate #ActualAsianComicWriters

By Sameer Rao Nov 29, 2017

Comic and gaming culture site Bleeding Cool reported yesterday (November 28) that Akira Yoshida, a Japanese comic author who wrote more than 35 Marvel books in the mid-’00s, is actually a White man named C.B. Cebulski. A company spokesperson confirmed the report to NBC News, and the newly-minted editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics issued a statement to Bleeding Cool: 

I stopped writing under the pseudonym Akira Yoshida after about a year. It wasn’t transparent, but it taught me a lot about writing, communication and pressure. I was young and naïve and had a lot to learn back then. But this is all old news that has been dealt with, and now as Marvel’s new editor-in-chief, I’m turning a new page and am excited to start sharing all my Marvel experiences with up and coming talent around the globe.

Cebulski used the pseudonym while working for Marvel in Shanghai. Neither Cebulski nor his employer discussed if he would face internal punishment for misrepresenting himself as a Japanese man who wrote comics about Japanese culture and characters that drew from Japanese artistic traditions. 

There was immediate backlash against Cebulski’s actions, which Bleeding Cool writes rings of “appropriation, yellowface and playing up an authenticity that wasn’t there.” Asian-American Twitter users and allies responded by celebrating Asian diaspora comic creators using the hashtag, #ActualAsianComicWriters. Community organizer Mark Tseng-Putterman launched the hashtag with the following tweet, which references #ActualAsianPoets, a previous social media response to a White poet who used an Asian pen name:

Other users followed his lead with their own recommendations, which include both rising and veteran authors: 

One Twitter account dedicated to Asian literature tweeted the following: