Media Release — The Cartoon Art Museum welcomes cartoonists Gene Luen Yang and Thien Pham for a cartooning workshop on Saturday, June 25, 2011 from 1pm to 3pm as they celebrate the release of Level Up, their new graphic novel published by First Second. Yang and Pham will discuss their collaborative process, sign books and draw comics with visitors. This event is free with paid admission to the Cartoon Art Museum.
Story by Gene Luen Yang • Art by Thien Pham
GENE YANG’s first book with First Second, American Born Chinese, is now in print in over ten languages. American Born Chinese was an instant critical and commercial success, a National Book Award finalist, and the winner of the Michael L. Printz Prize. His other books include The Eternal Smile (winner of the Eisner Award), Prime Baby (first serialized in the New York Times), and Animal Crackers.
THIEN PHAM is a comic book and visual artist, based in the Bay Area. He is also a high school teacher. Pham’s solo graphic novel, Sumo, is also forthcoming from First Second.
“[A] heartwarming tale of video games, life’s demands, and living your dream.” –GamingBits
“In his new story, Yang explores the daunting pressure of parental expectation while still applying generous doses of video-game references and goofy humor. Yang handles coming-of- age with the best of them and delivers a terrific twist in the finale, revealing how honoring both your family and yourself can find a happy balance.” – Booklist
“[A] magical-realist tale of Asian-American parental pressure and video-game escape . . . bravura storytelling.” – Publishers Weekly
Video Games vs. Medical School!
Which will win the battle for our hero’s attention in Gene Luen Yang’s new graphic novel?
Dennis Ouyang lives in the shadow of his parents’ high expectations. They want him to go to med school and become a doctor. Dennis just wants to play video games—and he might actually be good enough to do it professionally. But four adorable, bossy, and occasionally terrifying angels arrive just in time to lead Dennis back onto the straight and narrow: the path to gastroenterology. It’s all part of the plan, they tell him. But is it? This powerful piece of magical realism brings into sharp relief the conflict many teens face between pursuing their dreams and living their parents’. Partnered with the deceptively simple, cute art of newcomer Thien Pham, Gene Yang has returned to the subject he revolutionized with American Born Chinese. Whimsical and serious by turns, Level Up is a new look at the tale that Yang has made his own: coming of age as an Asian American.