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The Blog of Gene Luen Yang - Booklist Youth Forum at ALA in Washington, DC
Booklist Youth Forum at ALA in Washington, DC 
Later this week, I'll be heading over to the nation's capitol to punch a BP exec in the face to participate in the Booklist Youth Forum at the American Library Association Conference in Washington DC. I'll be joining my editor Mark Siegel (who also happens to be the genius behind Sailor Twain), illustrator Matt Phelan (who also happens to be the genius behind The Storm in the Barn) and underground comix legend Francoise Mouly (who also happens to be the genius behind Toon Books). It ought to be Level 6 Awesome-- that's pretty much the highest level of awesomeness you can achieve without punching a BP exec in the face. Here's the where and when:

Friday, 6/25/2010
8-10pm
Washington DC Convention Center, Room 144A-C




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Prime Baby Process 
Wanna know how I make comics? Here's the quickie run-down, using page 2 from Prime Baby as an example:

1. I start by writing a script. Sometimes this looks slick and formatted, kind of like a screenplay. Sometimes this is barely-legible chicken scratch on napkins. Unfortunately, I don't have my script from Prime Baby to show you because it was probably chicken scratch on napkins.

2. I translate my script into thumbnail sketches. I generally do these on plain old typing paper. Because Prime Baby was both text-heavy (the protagonist is a wordy little sociopath) and limited in space (it was originally published in The New York Times magazine), I laid out the words in Photoshop first and then sketched over print-outs of the dialog. I got the idea from reading about how they used to do those old EC comics.



3. Once I'm satisfied with my thumbnails, I pencil.



4. Then I ink using a Japanese brush pen. When I'm done, I scan it into the computer and lay the image under the words in Photoshop.



5. Finally, I get one of my color-savvy friends, like Derek Kirk Kim in this case, to color it. This is generally done in Photoshop, too.



TA DA!

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Graphic Novel and Comic Writing & Illustrating Conference 
In the Minneapolis area? On June 19, 2010, Hennepin County Library and the Loft Literary Center are hosting a conference on breaking into comics! I'll be there, as will Zander Cannon, Barbara Schultz, Lars Martinson, Jude Nutters, Robin Schwartzman and Linda E. Davis. Registration is free, but limited. I gotta tell ya, I'm pretty excited about this one. It's gonna be loads of fun.

If you aren't in the Minneapolis area, but are in the San Francisco area, come by Giant Robot SF this Thursday between 6pm and 8pm! I'm gonna be doing a presentation about Asian Americans and comics. Maybe a short reading from Prime Baby, too.




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Catholics Next Door 


A couple of weeks ago, Greg and Jennifer Willits invited me on their Sirius/XM radio show to talk about Prime Baby, comic books in general, and faith. They're great people, and it was a lot of fun.

They just posted a podcast of it to their website. Our interview starts at 26:40.

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Prince of Persia 
I gotta be honest. I probably wouldn't have gone to see this one in the theaters anyway. I loved the original video game when I was a kid, but with three little kids of my own now, making the trek out to the local cineplex is a feat of scheduling acrobatics. My wife and I both have to be really, really, really excited about a flick to go through all that. And we would've done it for The Last Airbender movie had it not been for all the racebending.

In any case, everything that's been said about Airbender can be applied to Disney's Prince of Persia movie as well. In fact, a Yahoo news article does just that.

I know Jordan Mechner, the creator of the original video game. We've broken bread together a couple of times at Comic-Con because Jordan writes for my publisher as well. He's a great guy, creative and inspirational, and I'm sure he had nothing to do with the casting of the movie. I wish him nothing but the best.

In fact, if you do have a few bucks set aside for Prince of Persia, might I suggest you spend them on the First Second Prince of Persia graphic novel instead of the movie? Jordan was heavily involved in its production; it's beautifully illustrated by LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland; and it's written by A. B. Sina, an actual Prince of Persia. No joke.



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