McDonald’s USA has joined forces with WEBTOON, the world’s largest digital comic platform, to shine a light on Asian Pacific American (APA) voices through a weekly comic series called “Drawing on Heritage.” Set in the digital comic book world, four popular APA WEBTOON artists bring to life their powerful and intimate experiences through creative stories that celebrate and acknowledge the diverse community for APA Heritage Month.
“It means so much to tell my story knowing people might relate to my own Asian American experience – especially on such a widely read platform like WEBTOON,” said artist Chelsey Han, aka uru-chan on WEBTOON. “And I’m thankful to work with McDonald’s, a brand that is enjoyed by people in many cultures. As a Chinese-American, navigating two cultures wasn’t always easy, but I’m so proud of where I came from because it made me who I am today.”
Throughout the “Drawing on Heritage” series, uru-chan, alongside artists instantmiso, Kris Nguyen, and Quimchee, share personal stories tied to their cultural identities, including ways to keep in touch with family abroad, experiencing a “lunchbox moment” when classmates reacted to traditional Asian school lunches, and even the role McDonald’s played in their own upbringing.
“APA Heritage Month is an opportunity for WEBTOON to uplift our many APA creators and their heritage stories that together help make up our broader community,” says David Lee, Vice President of Content for WEBTOON. “McDonald’s is a brand that so many cultures share in common and one that often shows up organically in series on WEBTOON and in anime – and we are honored to partner with them to spotlight these stories of creativity, joy, and resilience that will inspire audiences around the world.”
Fans can read about some of the most pivotal moments in these artists’ journeys every Sunday at 4 p.m. EST through May 22, on the WEBTOON platform:
Available now – instantmiso (Eaternal Nocturnal and Siren’s Lament creator) gives us background into how her love for food and connection to her Filipina heritage, all started with her grandma.
- Coming Sunday, May 8 – uru-chan (unOrdinary creator) will express the difficulties of growing up between two cultures – something many APA youth can relate to.
- Coming Sunday, May 15 – Kris Nguyen (Cape of Spirits creator) uses familiar characters from their original series to tell a story of friendship, fandom and growing up.
- Coming Sunday, May 22 – Quimchee (I Love Yoo creator) will take you on a journey around the world and dig into the sacrifices of being from an immigrant family.
“We are proud to partner with WEBTOON to be a megaphone that is helping educate people about the APA experience,” said Veronica Thompson, McDonald’s Director of Multicultural Strategy. “This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and every day, we’re honored to help celebrate this community and their many passions through partnerships like this, and more.”
To cap off 2021, McDonald’s made its first foray into the metaverse by teaming up with popular APA gaming collective, OfflineTV, to co-create an exclusive metaverse pop-up experience for fans around the world that were unable to attend the in-person Los Angeles pop-up. And earlier this year, McDonald’s made a splash in the metaverse when the company collaborated with fashion trailblazer Humberto Leon to create a virtual zodiac art collection for Lunar New Year. Through these innovative initiatives, McDonald’s is leaning into technology to feed and foster the APA communities it serves.
And at the end of APA Heritage month, McDonald’s will commemorate historic APA figures through illustrative art works to be featured at the 626 Night Market in San Francisco, which runs from May 27-29, to further highlight and celebrate the contributions and influence of the APA community.
To channel your “main character energy” and share your APA heritage stories, use #DrawingOnHeritage on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook through May 31.