Secret Angry Asian Men

From time to time, Ennis and Vinod remind me of the awesomeness of the Secret Asian Man comic strip. They’re drawn by Boston artist Tak Toyoshima, and although only a few are specifically about desis, there are tons of parallels.

Jet Li and Aaliyah in ‘Romeo Must Die’

If Secret Asian Man hooked up with Angry Asian Man, we’d have Secret Angry Asian Men. And where you find Secret Angry Asian Men, mutiny hangs thick in the air. (Whereas around Fat Happy Asian Men, you find muttony hanging. Very different.)

Some of the desi parallels:


Second-gen cinema

Culture clash

‘Don’t call me South Asian’



Being an American

Check out all the strips.

Related post: Secret Asian Man weighs in on media coverage of the tsunami

24 thoughts on “Secret Angry Asian Men

  1. the selection here is pretty good (i didn’t click on all of them) but living in boston and seeing this strip every week i need to comment that more often than not it’s heavy-handed, unsubtle and not particularly funny. it really smacks of identity-politics jeremiad. the points the brother raises are all fine, i mean i am sure i agree with 90% of his politics, but i don’t think he’s a good storyteller or vignette artist at all. yeah, i’m a hater this time. sorry.

  2. ok guys… i know it’s a release… but since you didnt label this under humor … i figure, there’s a more than a tinge of bitterness running through this…
    and ignorance abounds. but just to make a case for the other side, it is often people who try to reach out, who end up saying the ignorant things… my personal story is when i was invited to a polish household… a little bit nervousness, a little bit stupidity … but i couldnt HELP talking about the Sir Casimir Gzowski park in toronto, the excellent polish sausage that the local butcher makes… and made a COMPLETE ASS of myself in ignoring the fact that they are as canadian as i am. Yea. Self-flagellation does one good.
    The sub-continent may be front and center for you and i but hardly so for the bulk of the population.. for instance…. here’s the reply i got from Joe , the guy who reported the bolly-dance thing. The candor of his reply was refreshing and he seems a normal guy… do i care he doesnt know much about india, not too much… would it keep me from having a drink and a few laughs with him, no.

    thanks for the link… they’re right. i am pretty dumb and ignorant regarding all things asian/indian — and i couldn’t care less who herds goats, if goats are herd-able or who else beside the punjabi live in india. but i did find it kinda funny that a white hippie chick was perfomring bollywood to supposedly raucous indo crowds. that’s my story. thanks again.
  3. Siddhartha:

    living in boston and seeing this strip every week i need to comment that more often than not it’s heavy-handed, unsubtle and not particularly funny. it really smacks of identity-politics jeremiad.

    I think this is more about the limitations of his material. Think about Boondocks, even in its early days, when it was the product of an ethnic enclave. McGruder had great material to work with – BET, all of the hip-hop world, black politicians – yet more often than not it came across as strident and unfunny. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Boondocks, but they’re hardly consistent, and all of your critiques could just as easily be levelled against him.

    As for Tak – he’s just got less stuff to talk about that is still of interest of even the Weekly Dig’s audience. So it’s tone deaf at times. It’s to his credit that one can mine that many good strips (there are a few more that I liked) given the subject.

    i don’t think he’s a good storyteller or vignette artist at all

    That’s fair enough. Still, do you know anybody else who is better working in this arena?

  4. hey ennis — socrates just gave a good answer to your question. i think the badmash guys are a lot funnier than tak. and i agree with you on boondocks, i don’t think it’s very consistent. but boondocks is at its best when self-mocking, which is what badmash does consistently; tak frequently goes into lecture more, which is annoying.

  5. You really think that Badmash is funnier than both SAM and Boondocks? I’ve never gotten a good belly chuckle out of Badmash though. I don’t want to put down brothers for doing more than I would have the talent or guts to do, but I definitely wouldn’t say they were better than either of the other two strips.

  6. I’ve never gotten a good belly chuckle out of Badmash though

    Really? I have to say, they have made me laugh out loud a couple of times, and they always raise a smile or a chuckle. I think they are sharp.

  7. btw, most of this “azn ethnic pride” stuff boils down to resentment over an inability to hookup outside their communities. i think the author of this comic (and probably badmash) might want to read this :)

    it’s easy for these guys to blame ‘white racism’ rather than their $100 billion game deficit for their girl problems. the berkeley campus asian groups are the canonical example of this phenomenon…displaced hostility to avoid facing hard truths.

  8. most of this “azn ethnic pride” stuff boils down to resentment over an inability to hookup outside their communities.

    Easily falsified. The backbone of the Asian ethnic pride movement is women, not men, and asian women have no trouble hookingup across race lines.

    It’s funny how you read everything in terms of sexual inadequacy. Is there something you would like to tell us?

  9. These strips do serve a political jabbing purpose, but they are noticeable neither for shock value or funni-ness (is there such a word?). They are just there and I do agree that badmash guys are much better.

    Linking these strips to lack of hookup potential is plain inane. Just my thoughts.

  10. Perhaps she’s used to being turned down by Chinese men for her offering of sex as a reward, cause, urgh. I’ve always found the idea that men have to be motivated by the possibility of sex as a reward to do good as really, really, SAD. It invokes the image of the donkey with a dangling carrot hanged in front of it.

    Do see the Bruce Lee classic, Enter The Dragon (1973). So all these fighters are invited on an island for a kung fu competition, the island is really a front for drug and human trafficking. These guys are treated with the ‘hospitality’ of getting to pick a girl for the night, out of a line like they were cattle. stab-stab-stab I love how starkly but not melodramatically the movie portray this. When Bruce Lee was presented with the line, he didn’t leer, he asked for the operative that was planted on the island. When the operative arrived in his room, he wasn’t cold but he was professional, since making sexual advance on a co-worker who had to ‘agree’ to having sex she doesn’t want as a part of her cover, would be inconsiderate bad taste. Bruce Lee, is the best.

    I chose to interpret the confusion of the man in the picture as to why she has to shake his hand in order to thank him, because that’s just too strange. Just smile hon, no need for the touchie feelies.

    …and for the record, I’m a woman, in case the ‘Leslie’ name is confusing.

  11. Also, damnit, there was a typo, could you please alter the ‘Lesile’ to ‘Leslie’ in the above comment.

    I would also like to state, that the Asians who give ‘They are stealin our women’ rants while whining that white women are really just the Asian “Nice Guys” (see Heartless Bitches International to find out what those are and why they suck). Asian women are still dating Asian men, white women are dating Asian men as well, if white women didn’t freely chose to date Asian men there wouldn’t ‘need’ to be a law forbidding it. It’s just that women, women, just avoid men who are sexist whiners, be they white or Asians. Yes, there are AWs who fetish WM the way WM fetish AW, but why would you want to have anything to do with those types anyways?

    I think it’s pretty telling how those guys don’t tend to whine about why the BLACK girls aren’t wanting them back.

    …and I think it’s sad that there are men who react to women not choosing them by wanting to restrict the choices of women, instead of improving themselves and respecting the women’s choice. IN America, certain pundits are whining about how education is making women pickier, instead of encouraging men to pick up the slack and to treat women better. In China, in spite of how rare women are becoming, they are still driven to suicide, there exist indeed jerks who whine about how there are no women to cook for them and to bed. It’s no surprise then that there are women who are choosing to stay single, or expanding their search to foreigners, not because foreign is good but because in the bigger sea there are more choices of good fishes. Mainland women are also looking for Chinese men OUTSIDE of China(mainland), in Hong Kong for example, it’s unfortunate that there, they sometimes find jerks who specifically chose them because HK women are ‘too strong’, ha, but I wish those particular sisters good luck getting visas and a job that would allow them to dump the original jerk and then settle down with an HK male who isn’t a jerk. Choice, choice, choice.

    …and if racial barriers is a problem, totally attend a Star Trek convention. Alexander Siddig is an Arab, which could be problematic for him in times in which America have unfortunately equated that with ‘terrorist’, but hordes of women, and some men, of all colours, adore him. There are still women who thought that Sulu was cute, along with Harry Kim. There are still women who are awed by Bruce Lee.

    • Leslie
  12. C’mon… I know this is supposed to be funny, but the concentration and obsession with being overlooked or treated in a less that desireable manner is an easy excuse that doesn’t work much anymore. People who put forth a friendly attitude and demeanor are most often treated in a similar fashion. The more a person focuses on ‘the conspiracy’ against them, the more their phobia and likely neurosis shapes and filters every experience they have in life. I’ve dated people of many races and have enjoyed every single one of them based upon their personality and character.. oh yea, and curves. :) Everyone should lighten up a bit, expand their horizons, and find the joys of multi-cultural friendship and relationships. However, being attracted to one ethnicity over another isn’t necessarily racism.

  13. oookkk leslie…i don’t chose to associate with certain races of women because of how they treat me…i can only take the usual smack talking and insults so far, and so far it has only been from two races…can you guess what they are?