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Posts Tagged ‘Gene Luen Yang’

Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes to Collaborate On ‘Secret Coders’ Comic Series

Secret CodersGraphic novelist Gene Luen Yang will be writing a middle grade grade comic series entitled Secret Coders. Cartoonist Mike Holmes has signed on to create the illustrations.

The story follows two prep school students named Hopper and Eni who develop a friendship and a passion for computer coding. In an interview with Wired, Yang explained the inspiration behind this project: “I started collecting comics in the fifth grade, and I started coding in the fifth grade. I’ve always wanted to bring them together.”

Yang, a high school computer science teacher, revealed on Twitter that “Secret Coders is a love letter to my favorite programming language of all time: Logo.” First Second Books will release the first installment on September 29, 2015.

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Gene Luen Yang Shares Advice For Writing Outside of Your Culture

Gene Luen YangGraphic novelist Gene Luen Yang appeared at the Library of Congress’ 14th annual National Book Festival. During his time in Washington D.C., Yang delivered a presentation called “Asian-Americans in Comics” and gave a speech at the gala.

With his gala talk, Yang focused on the literary community’s ongoing conversation about diversity. Yang shared stories about Dwayne McDuffie, an African-American legend in comics, and encouraged all writers to add to the world’s collection of diversity literature.

The Nerds of Color blog has posted the entirety of Yang’s speech. Here’s an excerpt from the moving piece:

“We have to allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes, including cultural mistakes, in our first drafts. I believe it’s okay to get cultural details wrong in your first draft. It’s okay if stereotypes emerge. It just means that your experience is limited, that you’re human.”

Yang advised that as long as authors do their homework and make sure to address all errors in the final draft, it’s okay to write about a culture outside of your own. He emphasized that fear should be viewed as motivation to work hard and not a blockade. What do you think?

Gene Luen Yang: ‘Our world is colorful, so our books should be too.’

Gene Luen YangWhen we last spoke with graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, his advice for writers is to “give up TV.” Since then, he has been hard at work on a collaborative project with artist Sonny Liew reviving the story of an Asian American superhero called The Green Turtle. First Second, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, released the print edition of The Shadow Hero earlier this week. We spoke with Yang (pictured, via) to learn his insights on diversity, collaboration, and mapping out a career in publishing. Here are the highlights…

Q: How did you land your first official book deal?
A: My very first book deal was for a two-issue comic book miniseries called Duncan’s Kingdom. It was written by me and drawn by the amazingly talented Derek Kirk Kim. It was published by Image Comics in the late 90’s. The story is now a part of The Eternal Smile, published by First Second Books.

A friend of ours named Jimmie Robinson was already published by Image. Jimmie has done several comics through the years, including Bomb Queen, Evil & Malice, and Five Weapons. He sent our submission directly to his editor. Throughout my cartooning career, friends have played key roles.

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Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew Revive ‘The Green Turtle’ For New Graphic Novel

ShadowHero-Ecover-1-rgb-550x843Printz Award winner Gene Luen Yang and artist Sonny Liew are teaming up for a graphic novel featuring The Green Turtle. This Asian American superhero, created by Chu F. Hing, was first introduced in the 1940′s.

According to Yang’s blog post, this protagonist only appeared in five issues of Blazing Comics. With the character now in the public domain, Yang and Liew came together to revive him with an origin story called The Shadow Hero.

First Second, a Macmillan imprint, plans to divide the book into six issues and digitally publish them on a monthly basis. The first issue, entitled The Green Turtle Chronicles, came out on February 18th. The finished print book will contain all six sections; a release date has been scheduled for July 15th.

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Gene Luen Yang, Tom McNeal & Wendy Lower Share Writing Advice

photo-7We caught up with three National Book Awards finalists at the ceremony in New York this evening and they shared their writing advice with us.

Gene Luen Yang, the young people’s literature nominee for his book Boxers & Saints, shared his three tips for writing with us. “Read, write constantly, and give up TV,” he said. Yang said that he dedicates a full 8-10 hours a day every other day to writing. Back when he still had a full time job, he got up early and wrote before work. “You don’t have time to watch TV if you want to really succeed with writing,” said Yang.

Wendy Lower, the nonfiction nominee for her book Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Field, gave advice to other historians working on books. “Go to the archives, there’s a lot of story to be told in the documents,” she said. “Then try to connect the archives with living witnesses. Do field work. Connect to the place with photos and videos.”

Tom McNeal, the young people’s literature nominee for his book Far Far Away, shared his advice. “Read widely, read deeply,” he said. “And do tons of revising. When you are writing, you get it all in there, but when you go back and revise you have to be a different person. You have to do so with a steely gaze. Figure out how badly the reader needs to see that word, that sentence, that scene.”

Do Comics Have a Place in the Classroom?

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In the “Art on the Mind: Comics and Education“ panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival, a group of experts argued that comics deserve a spot in the classroom.

The panelists include Boxers & Saints graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, The Shark King graphic novelist R. Kikuo Johnson, education expert Professor Barbara Tversky, and New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly.

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Lois Lowry Wins the Best of Brooklyn, Inc. Award

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This year’s Brooklyn Book Festival brought more than three hundred writers to the literary borough.

Brooklyn Borough president and event founder Marty Markowitz boasted that it is now the third largest literary festival in the country.

Each year, the festival recognizes a literary figure whose work embodies the Brooklyn spirit with the Best of Brooklyn, Inc. award (BoBi). Two-time Newbery medalist Lois Lowry won the award this year.

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Graphic Novel Textbook on Kickstarter

The Reading with Pictures nonprofit hopes to raise $65,000 on Kickstarter to fund their graphic novel project, The Graphic Textbook. Above, we’ve embedded a video about the project–what do you think?

Printz Award-winning graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang has agreed to write the forward. The book cover will be by Ben Caldwell. The editors include Josh Elder, Paul Morrissey and Brandon Montclare. Many other comic artists have also joined.

Here’s more about the project: “Aimed at grades 3-6, The Graphic Textbook features a dozen short stories (both fiction and non-fiction) that address topics in a variety of disciplines (Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, Science) drawn from the list of Common Core Standards used in classrooms countrywide. The accompanying Teacher’s Guide will include Standards-correlated lesson plans customized to each story, research-based justifications for using comics in the classroom, a guide to establishing best classroom practices and a comprehensive listing of additional educational resources. The Graphic Textbook will prove once and for all that comics belong in the classroom by creating a comic that every teacher will actually want to use and a textbook that every student will actually want to read!”

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New Site Encourages Diversity in YA

Two young-adult fiction authors, Malinda Lo and Cindy Pon, have partnered on the “Diversity in YA” (DIYA) website. Every month, they feature new books that embrace diversity. In January, they spotlighted nine middle-grade titles and fourteen YA books.

Here’s more from the site: “DIYA is a positive, friendly gathering of readers and writers who want to see diversity in their fiction. We come from all walks of life and backgrounds, and we hope that you do, too.”

An author tour is in the works with kick off set for May 2011. Some of the participating authors include fantasy series novelist Holly Black, children’s writer Matt de la Peña, and graphic novel illustrator & writer Gene Luen Yang. The tour will make stops in five cities: San Francisco, Austin, Boston, New York City, and San Diego.

Newbery, Caldecott Awards and More from ALA

The American Library Association has handed out the top books and video for children and young adults at its Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

  • The Newbery went to The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illustrated by Matt Phelan (S&S/Richard Jackson).
  • The Caldecott went to Flotsam illustrated by David Wiesner (Clarion).
  • The Printz went to American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (First Second/Roaring Brook Press).
  • The Coretta Scott King Author Book winner was Copper Sun by Sharon Draper (S&S/Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • The Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book winner was Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Carole Boston Weatherford (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children).