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The Blog of Gene Luen Yang
Best Lecture I've Ever Experienced 
Notice I didn't title this entry "Best Lecture I've Ever Heard." The president of our school forwarded this to me:

Beyond the immense importance of his topic, the lecturer here displays a deep understanding of multimedia communication. He brings together speech and text and animation to effectively convey an incredible amount of information in a relatively short period of time. A presentation like this simply wouldn't have been possible twenty years ago. This is how our students will need to communicate. This is what we as teachers need to train them for.

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National Book Festival 
Went to the National Book Festival this past weekend and it was absolutely amazing. Had breakfast at the White House, hung out with the ingenious M.T. Anderson, met Holly Black and David Weisman and Jacqueline Wilson and a whole host of brilliant authors, and even saw the Magic School Bus. (Unfortunately, it did not change into a bumblebee or anything.) I'm exhausted, but in a good way.

My one regret was getting to the Gala at the Library of Congress on Friday night too early. It was a fancy black-tie affair, and I'd heard horror stories about DC traffic, so I left about 45 minutes earlier than I should have. As luck would have it, there wasn't any traffic to speak of, so I got there an hour early. I whiled away the time standing awkwardly in the corner, making trips to the bathroom to check on my hair, and feigning interest in how the AV crew was handling the speaker set-up. Reminded me of being a 7th grader at junior high dances, not knowing the importance of fashionable lateness. But still, I got to have dinner at the Library of Congress, so I can't really complain.

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I <heart> NY 
I had a great time in New York at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas. Can't believe so much fun could fit into one measly weekend! My fellow panelists are amazing people. Jann Jones (Big Wig Editor at DC Comics) and Jeff Yang (surprise panelist and writer for SF Gate) I've met before, but Larry Hama (legendary G.I.Joe creator), Christine Norrie (artist of the graphic novel Breaking Up), Jae Lee (artist of Stephen King's Dark Tower comics series), and Pornsak Pichetshote (editor at DC) are new friends. Larry told crazy stories of the comics industry "back in the day." Christine, Pornsak, and I just sat there awestruck, wondering why comic book creators of our generation aren't half as interesting. And Jae Lee - I read his comics when I was in high school, and that dude is only a year older than me! Turns out he broke into comics at EIGHTEEN. EIGHTEEN! Some people have all the talent.

In any case, you should check out Christine's latest:

She passed me a copy and it's a really fun read. Strong characterization and storytelling with some authentic teenage fashion thrown in! Perfect for middle and high school kids of both genders, I think.

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Anchee Min's The Last Empress 

Just finished this book last night. Liked it A LOT. I'm not sure how historically accurate it is, though. The portrait Min paints of the Empress Dowager is very different from others I've encountered.

I had the pleasure of meeting the author at a San Francisco Public Library event over the summer. She impressed me. It's no small task to become a bestselling author in a language that is not your first.

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Lark Pien won a Harvey! 
This past weekend, Lark Pien won a Harvey Award for Best Colorist for her work on ABC! Lark is part of the Bay Area comics crew I've hung out with for the past ten years and an absolutely brilliant cartoonist. She has more color sense in her pinky toenail than I do in my entire being. As my dad put it to me once, "I never thought you could draw all that well, but Lark's colors make it look like you can draw really well!"


I was nominated for a Harvey too, but lost to Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughn and Niko Henrichon. If you haven't read this book yet, do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy. It's one of my three favorite graphic novels of 2006. The other two are Curses by Kevin Huizenga Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. (For you school librarians out there: Pride of Baghdad and Curses are appropriate for teens, Fun Home is a bit more adult.) Congratulations Brian and Niko!

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