I remember my very first SDCC: I was overwhelmed, nervous, and just loved all the nerdery of it all. I walked the floors, went to panels, and waited for hours and hours in line to get a chance to see some of the creators who inspired me so much. This year I was invited as a guest to SDCC and it was such an amazing experience!
In my very first San Diego Comic Con as an author, I was honored to have my books available at the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore! I was also invited to speak on two very exciting panels: Into the Fanzone! and Super Asian America.
I had so much fun with Danika Stone and Holly West and our amazing audience! We talked about what fandom meant to us and the importance of community and a lot of our favorite tropes, characters and shows. It was such an amazing panel, and I was so thrilled to meet so many amazing people who were passionate about their fandoms!
It was also such a great opportunity to be invited to talk about representation in media with Michael Le, Will Choi, Dr. Nancy Wang Yuen, Lewis Tan, and Deric A. Hughes! I was absolutely blown away by how many people came to the panel; it was standing room only! I was so stunned and appreciative too. We covered a lot of important topics such as intersectionality, whitewashing, seeing yourself in media, and even balancing cultural and familial expectations.
One of my favorite moments was after the panel when a few people came up to me to talk personally about what it meant that I was a Chinese-Vietnamese American author publishing novels. It was really powerful to me to see that resonate with others.
Nhut Le was rocking an amazing Iceman cosplay and was just one of the great people I met after the panel!
I also was so overwhelmed by the response to the discussion about familial expectations. My parents’ definition of success and my own definitely aren’t the same, and I did feel a lot of pressure growing up to meet theirs. As a writer, they definitely were apprehensive about my career path, but I definitely encourage everyone to follow their dreams. There’s always going to be a balance between what your parents want and what you want, but in the end, you are the one who’s going to be looking at your life and defining your own goals and means of success.
Also, something completely unexpected happened at SDCC: I sold out of all of our copies of Not Your Sidekick! It was such an amazing, gratifying experience getting to be at Comic Con and meet readers, from people who had read my books before to new readers learning about my work for the first time.
It’s been wonderful, San Diego. Thank you so much!