Panda Express, an American Chinese food chain, is honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month through the release of two videos, in collaboration with digital studio Madison + Vine, plus an exclusive comic by Gene Luen Yang, a popular Asian American cartoonist and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
The first video, “Ode to Underdogs”, highlights the tales of strong and unwavering individuals who fought and overcame adversity – capturing a common story of determination and triumph. The second, “Reflections”, tells the story of Panda Express founders Andrew and Peggy Cherng, and the lessons they learned along personal journeys that began in Asia.
“Shadow Hero Comics," an exclusive comic book issue by Yang and Sonny Liew, an award-winning cartoonist, tells the story of The Green Turtle, the first American Chinese superhero, who, while not having impressive powers, never gives up and continues to save his city from villains – creating his own original definition of what it means to be a “hero."
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a time to recognize the contributions of Americans who have enriched history and contributed to the strength of the country through hard work, ingenuity and deep sacrifice. While the month of May is a time to honor those with Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry, Panda Express is expanding the celebration to highlight the universal traits that can bring together people from all cultural backgrounds.
“Panda Express’ mission is to inspire better lives. In honor of our origins as an American Chinese family owned and operated restaurant company, we have chosen this month to celebrate the grit, grace and gratitude that fuels better lives,” said Andrew Cherng, co-founder of Panda Express. “We feel a strong connection to the spirit of perseverance because it lives in many of our Panda Express associates as well as in the people we are privileged to serve.”
Guests can visit any of Panda Express’ 1,900 locations to receive a free copy of “Shadow Hero Comics #1” with the purchase of a kid’s meal or it can be downloaded at pandaexpress.com/originality.
“Sonny and I are so excited to work with Panda Express. Together, we created ‘Shadow Hero Comics #1’ to celebrate not just Asian Pacific American heroes, but all of the heroes in our lives,” said Yang. “A hero can be anyone who inspires us to never give up. We hope stories like ours will encourage young readers to embrace their own originality and never give up on themselves, no matter what the odds may be."