Secret Coders

Secret Coders Entertains and Educates

Secret Coders, a new graphic novel series written by Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Superman), sets out to bring computer programming to kids and adults. Some people may not know that Yang, when not writing comics, is a high school computer science teacher. This is his attempt to combine his two passions – comics and programming.

Continue reading Secret Coders Entertains and Educates”

My Answers to an Oft Asked Question

I have been asked some variation of the following question more times than I can count: “Which comics or graphic novels would you recommend that are by people of color, or address people of color in a holistic way, and also books for people who may not ever read a comic or graphic novel?” This is a very hard question as there is just so much out there that is great. There are books that I have taught in my classes that are neck and neck with the books I’ve bought as gifts for people who I am trying to convert to our four-color ways. While the below list is in no way comprehensive, they are my go-to books for whenever I’m asked the question. Please feel free to add your own picks.

Continue reading “My Answers to an Oft Asked Question”

Find the Green Turtle at Comic-Con

by Gene Yang

Pro cosplayer Alvin Duong has graciously agreed to help us promote The Shadow Hero by cosplaying the Green Turtle at San Diego Comic-Con!

When I first talked to Alvin, I told him we could find a way around the Green Turtle’s bare-chestedness. Alvin wouldn’t hear of it — staying true to the source material is key for him. So here he is, embodying the Green Turtle in all his goofy Golden Age glory:

Continue reading “Find the Green Turtle at Comic-Con”

Top Ten Asian Pacific American Comics Characters

by Gene Yang | Originally posted at Tor.com

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! Er… did you know that May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month? Well, now you do. And I hope you have a happy one.

All over cyberspace, folks are celebrating in all sorts of ways. Wall Street Journal columnist Jeff Yang (no relation) kicked things off with an article that asks if the APA community is one or many (and graphically compares it to Voltron). CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) launched a campaign of YouTube videos with several prominent APA entertainers talking about their career paths.

I’m doing my part by sharing with you my Top Ten Favorite APA characters in comics. They aren’t listed in any specific order, but they all meet these requirements: They’re in comics, they’re of Asian or Pacific Islander descent, they’re American, and they make my heart happy. Continue reading “Top Ten Asian Pacific American Comics Characters”

Gene Yang & Sonny Liew Bring the Green Turtle Out of the Shadows

Captain America rakes in billions of dollars in box office. Computer graphics are required to bring Superman’s powers to life. An Oscar-winning celebrity is cast to play Batman and the internet breaks in half. We take for granted that these superhero characters are embedded in our modern cultural conscience. They are more than just household names, they’re indelible parts of our collective identity. They are also all really old.

After all, 2014 marks Batman’s 75th anniversary (Supes turned 75 last year). And Steve Rogers being a WWII relic isn’t just a plot gimmick for a series of movies, it’s because the character was actually conceived during WWII. The point is that these characters who are part of contemporary popular culture were actually born during the 1930s and ’40s (the “Golden Age” of comics, if you will) and have endured ever since. They weren’t the only ones who were created at the time, but they have had the most staying power.

There is actually another superhero that is also celebrating a milestone anniversary this year. Seventy years ago this July, a superhero called the Green Turtle debuted in the pages of Blazing Comics. You’ve probably never heard of him, but if Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew have anything to say about it, you will soon.

Continue reading “Gene Yang & Sonny Liew Bring the Green Turtle Out of the Shadows”

Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 5

by Gene Yang | Originally posted at GeneYang.com

All this week, Sonny and I are taking you behind the scenes of our new comic The Shadow Hero! Buy the digital first issue of The Shadow Hero on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, or B&N Nook for a mere $0.99!

Here are the previous posts, in case you missed them:

Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 1
Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 2
Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 3
Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 4

Continue reading “Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 5″

Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 4

by Gene Yang | Originally posted at GeneYang.com

All this week, Sonny and I are taking you behind the scenes of our new comic The Shadow Hero! Buy the digital first issue of The Shadow Hero on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, or B&N Nook for a mere $0.99!

Here are the previous posts, in case you missed them:

Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 1
Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 2
Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 3

Continue reading “Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 4″

Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 3

by Gene Yang | Originally posted at GeneYang.com

All this week, Sonny and I are taking you behind the scenes of our new comic The Shadow Hero! Buy the digital first issue of The Shadow Hero on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, or B&N Nook for a mere $0.99!

Here are the previous posts, in case you missed them:

Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 1
Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 2

Continue reading “Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 3″

Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 2

by Gene Yang | Originally posted at GeneYang.com

Today is the day! Sonny Liew and I revive the Green Turtle, the first Asian American superhero!

The Shadow Hero #1 hits the digital shelves of Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, and B&N Nook! Buy it now for the low, low price of 99 cents!

All this week, Sonny and I are sharing our behind-the-scene material with you. Check out character designs on Sonny’s blog, and here’s my post from yesterday in case you missed it.

Continue reading “Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 2″

Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 1

by Gene Yang | Originally posted at GeneYang.com

Tomorrow, First Second Books will release the first digital issue of The Shadow Hero, a six-issue miniseries written by me and drawn by the tremendously talented Sonny Liew! The Shadow Hero #1 will be available via Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, and B&N Nook for the low, low price of $0.99! A print trade paperback collecting all six issues will be available July 15, just in time for Comic-Con.

The Shadow Hero revives the Green Turtle, an obscure comic book character from the 1940s who is arguably the first Asian American superhero. Like so many Golden Age characters, he’s in public domain now. You can read more about him and his creator Chu F. Hing here and here. You can find all of his original adventures at the Digital Comics Museum, an amazing free resource for comics fans.

Since this is The Shadow Hero‘s debut week, Sonny and I are going to share with you some behind-the-scenes stuff. Sonny’s going to show you his amazing character designs, while I’m going to give you a glimpse at my writing process.

Continue reading “Secret Origin of The Shadow Hero Part 1″

Gene Yang & Sonny Liew Preview The Shadow Hero

Later this year, First Second Books will be publishing The Shadow Hero from writer Gene Luen Yang and artist Sonny Liew. Back in November, we were fortunate enough to have Gene on Hard N.O.C. Life where he talked a bit about working with Sonny and their research into the Asian American origins of a forgotten Golden Age hero named the Green Turtle.

Though the book is still forthcoming, Gene and Sonny actually published a series of Shadow Hero strips in Shattered, the anthology of Asian American comics I co-edited with Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, and Jerry Ma in 2012. For the first time, however, Gene and Sonny are unveiling these strips in full color over at Tor.com (they were originally published in black & white in Shattered).

Continue reading “Gene Yang & Sonny Liew Preview The Shadow Hero

Review: Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints

Gene Luen Yang's BoxersGene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints are companion books telling two stories from opposite viewpoints. The stories are told through two characters, Little Bao and Four-Girl, based on the historical and violent Boxer Rebellion movement in China that started in the late 1800s in which pro-nationalists tried to rid China of foreigners and Christian missionaries. Boxers tells of the pro-nationalist point of view while Saints tells of the Chinese Christian point of view. Although each book is sold separately, they are intended to be companion pieces to each other, even so far as to have covers which can be matched together to form one larger cover.

Continue reading “Review: Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints

Boxers, Saints, and the NBA

Back in 2006, Gene Luen Yang made comic book history by being the first cartoonist to become a finalist for a National Book Award for American Born Chinese, one of the most prestigious literary honors in the country. Well, it looks like Lebron James isn’t the only two-time NBA champion since Yang has received another National Book Award nomination, this time for Boxers & Saints, his latest book from First Second.

Continue reading “Boxers, Saints, and the NBA”