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comic con koreams

Koreans Speaking at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Panels

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim
jamesskim@iamkoream.com

San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest and most wonderful gathering of comic book and pop culture enthusiasts from around the world, is in full swing this week. Here are some of the talented Korean Americans who will be participating in panels during the 4-day convention!

Jim Lee

 

CS-JimL-1211-Ending

DC Comics artist, writer; DC Entertainment co-publisher

Follow @JimLee

Jim Lee is one of the most revered figures in the comic book industry. His travels range far and wide. Lee began his career at Marvel Comics back in the 1980s as an artist. In 1991, X-Men No.1, which he illustrated, became (and remains) the best-selling single comic book of all time.

Lee also helped form Image Comics in 1992, where he was able to publish his own creative content. Years later, after deciding to focus more on art, Lee left Image Comics and joined DC Comics, where he worked on iconic characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman. In February 2010, Lee and Dan DiDio were named co-publishers of DC Comics. The following year, Lee became one of the architects behind the New 52, a relaunch of 52 new series.

To learn more about Lee, read KoreAm‘s Dec. 2011 feature story on him here. Make sure to catch Lee at the convention’s DC Entertainment panel and his solo panel on Sunday.

Tony B. Kim

 

Tony Kim

Blogger and Comic-Con enthusiast 

Follow @Crazy4ComicCon
Website: Crazy 4 Comic-Con

It all began with issue No. 1 of The Man of Steel. As a young child of immigrant parents, Kim connected with Superman’s identity crisis.

“This man of steel always felt like he was created to make a difference but wrestled with compromising the two worlds of his heritage,” Kim writes in a blog entry. “I started to feel understood. I realized that pain and struggle is part of this journey into young adulthood and I was not alone on this path.”

As a passionate comic books fan, Kim considers himself a proud nerd. In 2005, the Superman fan moved to Southern California from Texas, finally making his way to the “Nerd Mecca” known as San Diego Comic-Con. Since then, Kim’s been a self-titled Comic-Con evangelist spreading the nerd gospel.

Kim will be one of the speakers at SDCC’s Geek Wars: The Nerds Awaken” panel on Friday at 10 a.m.

Soyon An

 

Soyon An

Costume Designer

Follow @SoysFashion

A graduate from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) and Otis College of Art and Design, Soyon An has worked on So You Think You Can Dance as a costume designer for six seasons, as well as a fashion consultant for American Idol. Her latest project as costume designer is a live-action adaptation of Jem and the Holograms, which is now in post-production and slated for an October 2015 release.

At SDCC, An will be speaking at a costume panel on Friday at 1 p.m. and a design panel on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Greg Pak

 

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Comic book writer and filmmaker

Follow @gregpak
Website:
 GregPak.com

Greg Pak is best known for his work on Action Comics, Batman/Superman, Planet Hulk, World War Hulk and Storm. His graphic novel Code Monkey Save World, which is based on the songs of Jonathan Coulton, holds the record for highest-grossing, original comics Kickstarter of all time.

On the film side, Pak directed the 2003 sci-fi indie film Robot Stories, starring Tamlyn Tomita and Sab Shimono, and wrote the screenplay for MVP, which premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

Pak will be present at SDCC’s Super Asian America” panel on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Room 29AB, alongside Dante Basco (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Chloe Bennet (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D), Amy Chu (Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman) and other talented Asian American guests.

Moon Bloodgood

 

moon-bloodgood

Actress on Falling Skies

Moon Bloodgood is best known for her work in TNT’s post-apocalyptic drama Falling Skies, which is now on its fifth and final season. Bloodgood will be joining her co-stars Noah Wyle, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Sarah Carter, Connor Jessup, Colin Cunningham and Doug Jones at SDCC this year for a Q&A panel on Friday at 11:15 a.m.

The actress has graced two covers of KoreAm, once in April 2007 and September 2012.

 

James Kyson

 

James-Taka

Actor on Nobility

Follow @JamesKyson

Heroes star James Kyson will be unveiling his new sci-fi dramedy series Nobility, which is described to be Firefly meets The Office, at the Nobility: These Aren’t the Heroes You’re Looking For” panel on Friday at 7:30 p.m. He will be joined by sci-fi veterans Walter Koenig, Doug Jones, Adrienne Wilkinson and Christopher Judge.

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Ilram Choi

 

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Stunt Performer

Ilram Choi told KoreAm in 2012 that the superhero he’d most like to be would be Superman. But Spider-Man isn’t a bad choice, either.

Since moving to Los Angeles 11 years ago, the stuntman, who is trained in taekwondo, capoeira, aikido and jiujitsu, has worked on several action movies and hit TV shows, from the Transformers films to Avatar and TRON: Legacy.

Choi’s recent credits include standing in as a stunt double for Ki Hong Lee in the upcoming Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials; John Cho in Selfie; and Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Choi will be joining Greg Pak at the Super Asian America” panel on Sunday.

Philip Kim

 

Philip Kim

Publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland

Philip Kim is the publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland, the world’s first monster fan magazine started back in 1958. Kim acquired the magazine in 2007. He will be speaking at a panel with the magazine’s editors Ed Blair and David Weiner on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Room 26AB.

Michael Cho

 

Michael Cho

Korean Canadian illustrator and cartoonist based in Toronto.

Follow @Michael_Cho
Website: Michael Cho’s Sketchbook

Cho’s previously published works include Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes, a collection of sketches depicting Toronto’s cityscape. His graphic novel Shoplifter is centered on Corrina Park, a young aspiring writer who searches for happiness and self-fulfillment.

Cho will be teaching a SDCC workshop with Chip Kidd on Friday at 11 a.m. He will also participate in two art panels: “Celebrate 75 Years of Will Eisner’s ‘The Spirit'” and CBLDF: You Can’t Draw That! Live Art Jam.” 

Kim Jung Gi

 

South Korean artist 

Follow @KimJingGiUS
Website: http://www.kimjunggius.com/

Artist Kim Jung Gi is known for his ability to draw without any prior sketching or photographic reference. His work has attracted millions of views on YouTube over the last few years. Since 2007, he has published three sketchbooks that consists of more than 2,200 pages of his stunning art.

At SDCC, Kim will be teaching a drawing workshop on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Room 2.

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Smiley Olive

Rest in Peace, Olive Kang

by JULIE HA

Sixteen-month-old Olive Kang, the subject of a donor campaign championed by her aunt, actress Moon Bloodgood, passed away early Saturday morning, according to her family.

Olive had led a valiant fight against an extremely rare congenital heart defect, which had her in and out of hospitals for much of her young life. She urgently needed a heart and lung transplant, and Bloodgood, cousin to Olive’s father Johnny Kang, reached out to the public about two weeks ago with a YouTube video that talked about her niece’s cause, as well as the larger, ongoing need for organ and tissue donation for children.

“Nobody wants to talk about organ donation—it’s gruesome, it’s terrifying,” said Bloodgood at that time. “It’s not something we want to even think about. At the same time, this child is dying, and other children are dying, so we have to talk about it.”

Olive had been on the transplant list at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto since last April, and though she had the highest, most critical status, her parents knew finding a match would be very difficult. She would need a heart and lung from a child of roughly the same height and weight, plus the same blood type and other match specifications. As she waited for the transplant, Olive’s condition worsened, with her pulmonary veins closing up and her lungs dying. She got an infection in late January, which caused her hospitalization, and her condition gradually deteriorated.

On their Facebook page, Olive’s parents said that they were able to hold their brave little girl one last time “before her spirit left her weak body” and that she passed away peacefully at about 4 a.m. Saturday.

“Words can’t describe the excruciating pain we feel in our hearts. We loved every moment of being Olive’s parents,” wrote Johnny and Robin Kang, residents of Orange County, California. “We would do it all over again just to see her and hold her. We are thankful that God has chosen us to be Olive’s parents. She was a perfect baby even in her imperfect body. We know this is not the end, it is the beginning of an eternity. We look forward to seeing Olive in heaven someday. We continue to seek for peace by giving thanks to God for Olive and all of you for cheering us on in our journey.”

When KoreAm spoke with Robin two weeks ago, she described her daughter as a feisty, happy little girl who, despite having to contend with the discomfort of feeding and oxygen tubes, still managed to smile and laugh. When the music would come on, she’d always dance, said Robin. Her favorite song? “All About the Bass,” the mother answered. “That’s her song.”

At the time, Robin said she not only wanted to bring awareness to her own daughter’s cause, but also to send a larger message about the urgent need for organ donations for children—something most people don’t really think about. “I just want to bring awareness, so that a child like Olive can have a chance at life,” said Robin. “Even if Olive doesn’t get her transplant, if we get people starting to think about donating, sharing organs, whether living or deceased, that would be amazing.”

She repeated, “That would be amazing.”

In addition to her parents, Olive is survived by her older brother Riley and many other relatives.

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Featured image courtesy of the Kang Family.

To learn more about organ, blood and tissue donation, visit OrganDonor.gov.