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Secret Asian Man Comic Strip & New Book by Tak Toyoshima

Asian Am Cartoonists

From Tak Toyoshima via Amazon: “After ten years of writing and illustrating Secret Asian Man, I’ve put together my first book of strips. Secret Asian Man: The Daily Days collects every single daily comic strip I produced for over two years of syndication with United Features. To say that I’m excited about this book is an understatement.

Secret Asian Man is a comic strip that focuses on what makes us the same as well as different, through the lens of Asian American protagonist Osamu “SAM” Takahashi. Between the covers of this 232 page collection, no one is safe from SAM’s keen observations on race, religion, politics, sexual orientation and everything else that gets people’s undies in a bunch.”


I have only just discovered Secret Asian Man (though it’s because I live under a rock and don’t get the newspaper). It seems that Secret Asian Man has been syndicated for years. I found this in Wikipedia:

Secret Asian Man is a syndicated comic strip written and drawn by Tak Toyoshima and published in Boston’s Weekly DigMetro Silicon ValleySan Jose Mercury NewsRedEyeNichi Bei TimesAsianWeekGeorgia Asian TimesThe Everett Herald, and on the internet.

The strip has appeared weekly since 1999 and covers the author’s biography and Asian American issuesSecret Asian Man often centers its discussion on what it means to be “Asian American,” as well as other race and ethnic-related issues. Toyoshima’s work is often hailed for its stereotype-breaking content[citation needed], although others have criticized it as doing the exact opposite. Its title is a pun/mondegreen referring to the song “Secret Agent Man” or the TV series Secret Agent Man. “Secret Asian Man” was picked up for syndication by United Feature Syndicate for its daily run, which ran from July 16, 2007 to September 19, 2009.

Have you been reading this comic strip and what do you think of it?

p.s. For those new to it, here is the cast of characters:

“All issues of Secret Asian Man feature Osamu “SAM (Secret Asian Man)” Takahashi, who is a Japanese American artist modeled after the author. SAM has three major friends: Richie, a white man; Charlie, a black man; and Grace Patterson, an East Asian American who was adopted by white parents. Along with them, SAM also has a cynical and sarcastic spiky-haired cousin named Simon. SAM’s wife Marie is Italian, and they have a son named Shintaro, and a newborn son, Bob.” from Wikipedia


Osamu “SAM” Takahashi is a father, an art director and a dreamer. Always a level-headed optimist, SAM always tries to see both sides of a story and is more interested in learning more about issues than proving that he’s right. Between work, family and hanging out with his friends, SAM is also an aspiring comic strip artist and hopes to someday share his work with the world.




Marie Campana is an editor for an educational publishing house.

She brings home plenty for her boys to read. Marie is also an avid comic book fan and suffers from acute zombiephobia. But if there’s a zombie movie on you can bet Marie is going to stop and watch the whole thing until the bitter, bloody end. Marie is SAM’s anchor and without her he would end up leaving for work without his pants on.



Shin Takahashi is SAM and Marie’s older son who is extremely bright, observant and isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions. Like the time he asked SAM if the black guy next to him tasted like chocolate. Shin excels at building spaceships with Legos and taking apart electronics and reassembling them to suit his own needs. He also has a knack for belting out Broadway show tunes.




Robert “Bobby” Takahashi is the new addition to the family. Bobby enjoys…well…shiny things. He’s still a baby, give him time. One thing is for sure, though, he loves his older brother Shin.




Charlie has been SAM’s best friend since grade school. Charlie is a consummate tinker of technology and someday hopes to finish his own personal Iron Man suit. Charlie also loves to invent infomercial-bound products and even had quite an adventure with his most successful product to date: Lunchkins – the lunch bag that’s a napkin.




Richie is the one white guy at the Million Man March. He is well-meaning and constantly trying to understand oppressed peoples and their struggles. Richie’s quest for political correctness often ends up offending those he’s trying to appease. He’ll order a burrito with his horrible Spanish and likes to wear a dashiki. Richie was also Shin’s pre-school teacher.




Simon is SAM’s hot-headed, college aged cousin. Simon is constantly scowling at the injustices perpetrated against his Asian American brothers and sisters. He’s quick to point out racist actions and will not hesitate to jump down your throat for questioning his causes. Not many people like Simon but, hey, he’s family so whaddya gonna do?



p.p.s. For those of you who like Asian American comic strips, check out Lillian Chan’s Empty Bamboo Girl here and here.


Secret Asian Man comic Strip Asian Americans JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club Joy Luck Club Celebrating Asian American Creativity best Asian comic strips

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