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The Blog of Gene Luen Yang - Rise of the Graphic Novel
Rise of the Graphic Novel 
Quick! Go back in time to April, 26 2010! Then get yourself over to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco where Andy Hartzell, Lark Pien, Dash Shaw and I have an awesome discussion about comics, the future, and the awesomeness of comics in the future.

WHAT?! What do you mean your time machine's in the shop?!

Well, good thing two geeks working at PayPal invented YouTube.



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Busy, Busy, Busy 
The academic school year's starting up and I'm trying to hit a couple of comics deadlines... those are my excuses for why I haven't posted lately.

Here are some sketches I did for a one-pager I'm working on. It will eventually be published in an as-yet-unannounced anthology.



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First Friday at SLG Publishing 


What are you doing tomorrow (Friday 8/6/10) night? Come to SLG Publishing Headquarters in San Jose at 8pm! For those who aren't in the know, SLG Publishing puts out fabulous graphic novels like Street Angel and Skeleton Key. They've also put out a few graphic novels by me. They're featuring my original pages on the walls of their store for the month of August, and they're kicking off the whole thing with a little shindig tomorrow. There will be live music and comics!

SLG Boutiki
577 S. Market St.
San Jose, CA 95113
408-971-8929

Even if you can't come by tomorrow, drop by some time over the next 30 days to see my messy, dog-eared artwork being treated like museum pieces or something.

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Oh, Brother! 


Just found out about this via the comics blogosphere-- man, I'm excited! Jay Stephens, one of my favorite cartoonists ever, is cartooning once again! He and Bob Weber Jr. are doing an online comics strip called Oh, Brother! There's a lot of hubbub around its launch because King Features has supposedly put a lot of eggs in this basket, but I'm just happy to see ink from Stephens' brush again.

Stephens' late 90's graphic novel The Land of Nod Rockabye Book is, in my opinion, a cartooning masterpiece that never got its due. When Booklist Online asked me for a Printz-worthy book that was published before the Michael L. Printz Award was established in 2000, Rockabye immediately came to mind.

Stephens did several other graphic novels like Atomic City Tales and Jetcat Clubhouse before leaving for animation. I can't blame him -- there's a lot more money in animation and The Secret Saturdays is a really cool cartoon, but part of me wishes that he'd stuck around for the graphic lit boom of the last ten years. I'm sure his writing and drawing prowess would've earned him all sorts of accolades (not that an Emmy is anything to thumb your nose at) and, selfishly, I just want to read more Jay Stephens comics.

So here's to hoping Oh, Brother! is just the beginning!

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We Won An Eisner! 
Just got back from the crush of humanity that is Comic-Con International. It was fun, it was tiring, it was geeky. Not that I minded -- those are my people. I have to say, though, comics' presence seems to be diminishing. Movies and video games and television were drawing big crowds. There were definitely a good number of folks walking through the comics aisles, but it just didn't seem as lively as it used to be.

On Friday night, Derek and I got a Will Eisner Comics Industry Award! (Who is Will Eisner, you ask? Let the Internet learn ya a thing or two.) "Urgent Request," the last story in The Eternal Smile, was named Best Short Story. It was an amazing night for both of us.



The Eisner has got to be one of the most awesome-looking awards ever. It's like a miniature Daily Planet building. You half-expect a miniature Superman to fly out from the back. Good job, Gentle Giant!

I mentioned my editor Mark Siegel during our acceptance speech, but he really deserves more than just a mention. Mark is a visionary-- First Second started off as a small group of synapses firing at each other in his brain. Now it's a true home for cartoonists. Comics from around the world converge in its halls. Storytellers from a variety of media mingle in its parlor. Book culture and comics culture swap ideas in the kitchen. There's nowhere else quite like it, and I can't tell you how lucky I am to be a part of Mark's dream. Beyond this, I can boast about having an editor who is a better cartoonist than me. I can also boast about having an editor who's a friend. Thanks, Mark!

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