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Name: Giant Robot
Occupation: Asian-American pop culture rag and brainchild of Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong
Known for: being The Little Yellow Zine That Could, showing the world why they should get on the Asian Cool tip, profiling street and pop artists like Barry McGee and Murakami before they were in every major museum collection in the free world, legitimizing skate culture, an empire of publications, shops and one restaurant in Los Angeles.
(True story–Jen met Martin Wong at Comic-Con in 1997. Martin was hawking dopeass t-shirts with an image of Bruce Lee rockin’ a turntable at the edge of the convention center. Jen was, like, “What the hell is Giant Robot and how can I be your intern?” She and Martin exchanged messages on this newfangled thing called e-mail. Martin never got his shit together to let Jen work for Giant Robot for free. The upshot? DISGRASIAN might never have happened if she had gotten that job. So thanks, Martin and Eric, for allowing us to find our own voice.)
Check out L.A.’s Japanese American National Museum’s celebrasian of Giant Robot’s 50th issue and ten artists’ work that GR has curated for the show, which runs through January.