Gene Luen Yang Quotes

Gene Luen Yang (Chinese Traditional: ???, Simplified: ???, Pinyin: Yáng J?nlún; born August 9, 1973) is an Asian-American cartoonist. He is a frequent lecturer on the subjects of graphic novels and comics, at comic book conventions and universities, schools, and libraries. In addition, he was the Director of Information Services and taught computer science at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, California. In 2012, Yang joined the faculty at Hamline University, as a part of the Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults (MFAC) program. In 2016, the U.S. Library of Congress named him Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. That year he became the third graphic novelist, alongside Lauren Redniss, to receive the MacArthur Fellowship.

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Gene Luen Yang


During the Cultural Revolution, the communists came in, and what they wanted to do was eradicate all sense of traditional Chinese culture.

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The premise of 'Secret Coders' is reminiscent of 'Harry Potter.' An intrepid band of tweens stumbles upon a secret school, only instead of teaching magic, the school teaches coding.

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Ch'in Shih-huang is the first emperor of China. He united seven separate kingdoms into a single nation. He built the Great Wall and was buried with the terra-cotta soldiers. The Chinese have mixed feelings about him. They're proud of the nation he created, but he was a maniacal tyrant.

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Immigrant parents dream that their children will find a place in their new home, and they willingly suffer hardships in service to that dream. That was certainly true of my parents.

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My experiences growing up in both a Chinese American household and the Catholic Church define much of who I am.

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When I got the job with 'Superman,' it felt like somebody threw me into the ocean. I was just trying to figure it out, to figure out how to tread water. Lucky for me, I'm part of a great team.

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My first job was as a programmer. So I feel like I'm familiar with the information technology sector and the information technology culture.

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I grew up with an Apple 2E - I had a deep, emotional attachment to that machine - and I loved doodling.

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For 'Boxers & Saints,' I started by reading a couple of articles on the Internet, then writing a really rough outline, then getting more hardcore into the research. I went to a university library once a week for a year, year and a half.

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Shadow Hero' was my first superhero story. I don't know why it took so long.

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For 'American Born Chinese,' my first graphic novel with First Second Books, I did mostly 'memory' research. It's fiction, but I pulled heavily from my own childhood.

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I wanted to make an explicitly educational comic that taught readers the concepts I covered in my introductory programming class. That's what 'Secret Coders' is. It's both a fun story about a group of tweens who discover a secret coding school, and an explanation of some foundational ideas in computer science.

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Boxers' was more time consuming simply because it was longer, but 'Saints' was definitely harder. I think it's just hard to talk about faith in general.

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In traditional Asian arts, the word and the picture always sit next to each other. I have an aunt, a Chinese brush painter, who told me that when you do a Chinese brush painting, you have to pair the image up with some poetry.

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In the early '90s, I was finishing up my adolescence. I visited my local comic-book store on a weekly basis, and one week I found a book on the stands called 'Xombi,' published by Milestone Media.

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