Interview: Gene Yang Pt. 2 [of 2]

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In this second part of our interview with Gene Yang, we speak in more detail about his latest book, The Eternal Smile, a collaboration with fellow Bay Area-based cartoonist Derek Kirk Kim, which collects two brand new stories and an old, largely forgotten fantasy tale, which saw a small run on Image Comics in the late-90s.

Yang discusses his collaboration, the impact of its predecessor’s success, and the difficulties of tackling ethnicity in comic book form.

[Part One]

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Interview: Gene Yang Pt. 1 [of 2]

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It was 2006’s American Born Chinese that put Gene Yang on the sequential art map. The book, an exploration of Asian-American identity situated at the cross section of cultural struggles, stereotypes and fantasy, was nominated for a National Book Award—the first graphic novel to receive that prestigious honor.

Yang’s follow up to that much lauded project is this year’s The Eternal Smile. The book—the artist’s sophomore work for First Second Books—teams him up with fellow Bay Area comics veteran Derek Kirk Kim on three short stories that explore the sometimes thin lines between fantasy and reality.

In this first part of our interview with Yang, we discuss his day job as a high school teacher, the roles he sees technology playing in the creation and consumption of comics, and how his collaboration with Kim first came about.

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