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The Blog of Gene Luen Yang - Prince of Persia
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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The Last Airbender Movie 
We're just over a month away from the opening of M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender movie. Yay. Derek and I did a couple of posts on it last year.

Here's a comic about why I'm not gonna see it, despite being a huge fan of the original animated series:



UPDATE: A couple of people have asked for permission to repost my comic on their Facebook/MySpace/whatever. OF COURSE you have my permission!!! Thank you for sharing my comic with your friends.

Also, Derek asked for a hi-res version because his eyes are as weak as his biceps. So here's a pdf version. Oops. I mean, HERE'S A PDF VERSION, DEREK.

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Signing on 6/10/10 
On Thursday 6/10/10, I'll be signing copies of Prime Baby at Giant Robot SF from 6pm to 8pm. Giant Robot is an awesome store, chock-full of Asian pop culture goodness. Address here:

Giant Robot
618 Shrader St.
San Francisco CA 94117
415-876-4773



Come by and I'll do a sketch for you!

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Eternal Smile Bookclub Discussion Questions 


A friend was kind enough to suggest The Eternal Smile to her bookclub. She asked my wife for some discussion questions to help make her case.

Here's what we came up with:

***

1. In each story of The Eternal Smile, the main character makes a dishonorable choice that eventually leads to the truth. Duncan breaks his promise to the Frog King. Gran'pa Greenbax lets his temper get the better of him and murders Filbert. Janet manipulates Steve into going on a date with her. In each case, do you believe the end result justifies the means?

2. In "Duncan's Kingdom", the reader's understanding of Brother Patchwork's role changes as the story progresses. Eventually, it's revealed that Brother Patchwork is really Duncan himself. Have you ever had an experience where your understanding of yourself changed? What caused the change?

3. In "Gran'pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile," all the frog characters are deeply flawed. Who do you believe is the most heroic? Why?

4. In "Urgent Request," Janet and Steve use each other for their own ends. Do you believe that they eventually establish an authentic relationship despite this? Why or why not?

5. The three stories present three different relationships between fantasy and reality. Which is the harshest on fantasy? Which is the most forgiving?

6. Consider your own use of fantasy media (movies, videogames, television), and that of your friends and relatives. Which of the three stories most closely reflects your own views of fantasy?

***

Thought it might be good to share, just in case... you know... somebody else wants to use The Eternal Smile for their bookclub. :)

Got any discussion questions of your own? Let me know!

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Smile! 


There are some amazing graphic novel memoirs out there -- I think nowadays it's the second most popular comics genre after superheroes -- but very few of them are appropriate for middle schoolers. Raina Telgemeier's Smile fills that gap brilliantly.

In her preteen years, Raina had a painful accident that robbed her of her two front teeth. This full-color, beautifully illustrated graphic novel details all the drama that followed, both inside and outside the dentist's office.

Raina's got a lovely, consistent style that I've always admired (and been a little jealous of)...bits of Lynn Johnston mixed in with a charm that's all her own. If your childhood best friend were a cartooning style, she would look like a line from Raina's pen.

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