Sneak Preview

Article excerpt: As a kid growing up on the far South Side of Chicago, whenever I would envision the physical features of Asian peoples—since those I saw most were in martial arts movies and Ultraman reruns on television—a fairly narrow set of characteristics always came to mind. Perhaps not surprisingly, brown skin and curly black hair were never among them.

But one fateful day my father would tell me of an eye-opening experience he'd had as a young man serving in the United States Marines. While stationed in the Philippines between 1961 and 1963, "Pops" would learn of Asians whose physical features were significantly different from what most Americans have been conditioned to expect.

There in the Philippines, Pops would see native Filipinos who, albeit small in stature, looked a lot like him, with dark brown skin, curly black hair and—stranger still—African facial features. To say the very least, the sight of such people living in the heart of Southeast Asia was completely unexpected.

It was also unsettling.

Perhaps equally as unsettling, my father would soon learn that these puzzling pint-sized people were referred to locally by a Spanish term, one that translates literally into English as the "little blacks..."


On Friday of last week, the 64th edition of Giant Robot magazine went to press. Shortly after, I received an e-mail from co-editor Martin Wong. He was droppin' me a line to say that in a few short weeks a copy of that issue would be mailed to me directly from the printer.

Back at the end of January, Martin had advised me that a piece I'd penned on the indigenous blacks of Southeast Asia (previewed above) was going to be used as one of the features in the upcoming issue of Giant Robot. As pleased as I was to hear the news, though, I wouldn't allow myself to actually believe it until I saw an actual layout.

Well, by the end of the first week of February I was lookin' at an e-mailed pdf file of the four pages my article was spread out over. Each page was a beauty to behold.

Whenever I get my actual copy of the magazine in the mail, I'll be scanning one of those pages to post here in the blog. If you want to see the actual article, though, you're just gonna have to buy yourself a copy of Giant Robot 64.

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