Episode 28: Creating Stories with Gene Luen Yang

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Gene Luen Yang is an author, artist and graphic novelist and was named earlier this year as national ambassador for young people’s literature by The Library of Congress. 

Gene has written and drawn comics including “American Born Chinese”, Boxers and Saints, the series Avatar: The Last Airbender and New Superman. 

Gene is the 2007, 2010, 2015 recipient of the Eisner Award (which is the Oscar awards for the comic industry in the categories of Best Graphic Album, Best Short Story alongside Derek Kirk Kim and Best Writer. Gene most recently released the second volume of Secret Coders available on Amazon and at your independent bookstore. He is currently working with DC comics since January 2015. 

He talks about majoring in computer science, becoming a teacher and now going full time in his career as an author, artist, public speaker and graphic novelist. 

 Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Navigating wishes of immigrant parents vs. your own dreams
  • Growing up as a second generation Asian-American
  • The state of comic books in the late 90s 
  • "New Superman" set in China with a Chinese Superman

What you learn from this episode:

  • Why comics were not in educational curriculum for decades
  • How to start creating while working a full time job
  • What to do when you feel self doubt in your creative process
  • How to work through perfectionism and complete projects
  • The importance of daily routine and meditation in the creative process
  • How to balance career practicality and following your dreams
  • How to parent with balancing pursuing dreams with practical realities of living
  • The power of accountability


Getting in touch with Gene Luen Yang :

Gene Yang's website


Resources mentioned in this show: