Thursday, February 19, 2015

gene luen yang

prime baby
first second
published 2010

animal crackers
slg publishing
published 2010

the eternal smile
with derek kirk kim
first second
published 2009


Prime Baby
Thaddeus doesn't his new sister (she's not that smart - and she gets all the attention).  He likes her even less when he discovers that she's an inter-dimensional conduit for peace-loving aliens (who are totally lame - all they want to do is knit socks for the homeless and have sing-a-longs!).  But what's even worse is that no one will believe him about any of this! How is he ever going to manage to grow up to become the President of Earth?

Animal Crackers
Two stories of two very different young people who encounter the extraordinary while living their ordinary lives.  In Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, a not-very-deep-thinking high school student has his life as a bully disrupted when a tiny alien aircraft lodges in his nostril and he must make an ally of his former prime bullying target.  And in Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Order, a bright, ambitious girl must question her surety in her intellect when a junk-food-fueled dream encounter with a powerful alien being forces her to ask if it's better to be smart than virtuous.

The Eternal Smile
Meet Duncan.  Charming and brave, he's the Princess's favorite - and he's on his way to winning the throne.  But lately, the walls of reality in Duncan's kingdom are wearing a little thin....  Meet Gran'pa Greenbax.  Nothing seems to satisfy this greedy old frog's longing for a pool full of gold - until, one day, a mysterious smile appears in the sky.  Has his chance at happiness come at last?  Meet Janet.  Her nine-to-five life takes a turn for the romantic when she learns in an email from a mysterious Nigerian prince that she has been chosen to liberate his family's vast fortune.  All he needs is her banking information.

If there is anything that all of these stories had in common it's that there is a deeper meaning in most of them that maybe you just don't see coming.  Animal Crackers was a little more meaningful, or serious than I expected.  And Janet's story in Eternal Smile was so sadly poignant.  The artwork though was gorgeous.  The African scenes were my favorite in all three books.  Out of the three, The Eternal Smile was my favorite.  The line between fantasy and reality and what world you must live in were very central here.  All three characters struck a chord in me.

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