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17 posts from June 2011

June 09, 2011

Anya's Ghost in the Press


I don't typically post about media attention our books are getting because I feel like that type of thing is generally pretty boring. 

But!  Anya's Ghost is out this week, and it's just gotten some coverage in cool places, so I wanted to highlight two of them. 

First place: seventeen.com.  Apparently they sometimes review comics!  Crazy, right?  Though this is indeed the perfect book for them to pick to recommend to their readers for a great summer read (which they do). 

Second place: The New York Times spent some time yesterday calling this book the next Persepolis (I kid you not).  It's such a good review -- you can tell because it ends with, "Brosgol has created a smart, funny and compassionate portrait of someone who, for all her sulking and sneering, is the kind of daughter many parents would like to have. And the kind of girl many of us maybe once were."


June 08, 2011

Outer-Space Party

We're having a launch for Astronaut Academy this weekend; you should come!


June 07, 2011

Gene Luen Yang on Level Up


Level Up, the graphic novel written by me and illustrated by Thien Pham, tells the story of video game addict who is compelled by angels to go to medical school.  The story is inspired by my brother.

My brother isn’t a video game addict (though he does love his PlayStation) and he’s never been visited by angels, but he is a medical doctor.  When he was in med school, he’d call me up every so often and describe to me his assignments in intricate, gruesome detail.  He told me about walking into a classroom lined with the hemisected heads of human cadavers and labeling brain parts for the better part of an hour.  He told me about treating an old lady at a Chinatown clinic who had a facial fungal infection so severe it looked like dollhouse bookshelves glued to her cheek.  He told me about filling a small plastic container with his own fecal matter and then bringing into class the next day to analyze his gut flora.

Who knew academic work could be so exciting?  So stomach churning?  So visually arresting?  Whenever his number showed up on my cell phone, I flipped it open with my jaw pre-dropped.  Before he could even say “hi,” I would ask him, “So what’s the grossest thing you did this week?”  And when he finished, I’d wait a few seconds for my mind to clear of the blood and needles.  Then I’d say, “That belongs in a comic book!”

The problem was, there was never a center.

When I’m in the early stages of writing, I look for the center, that one puzzle piece that makes all the other pieces fit together and changes them from interesting incidents into drama.  My brother’s stories were a collection of interesting incidents.  They made me laugh and cringe and gasp, but they never built up to a dramatic, cohesive whole.

Then one evening he called to say that he was considering specializing in gastroenterology, the study of the digestive tract.  I was shocked.  You see, my brother is one of the most squeamish people I know.  When we were growing up, he would gag whenever we came across dog mess on the street.  He gave away toys because their color reminded him of vomit.  Of all the aspiring doctors in the world, my brother seemed the least likely candidate for a discipline that required the extensive handling of poop.

After I expressed my concerns, he thought for moment.  “Yeah,” he said.  “But I did a colonoscopy the other day and, man, it’s like playing video games up somebody’s--”

And there it was.  Before he even finished his sentence, I knew I’d found my center.

(Level Up comes out today.)

June 06, 2011

Legends of the Joystick

While I'm talking about Level Up, let me point you to the short original comic that Gene and Thien did for tor.com.  It's the most fun thing you'll read all week.*


*Unless you purchase and read any of the graphic novels we have coming out this week.  Of course. 

Comics & Video Games: A Book List

I haven't done a book list in a while, so clearly it is that sort of time!  In honor of Level Up's publication this week, I thought I had better do one about video games.  It turns out to be short, either because I'm not very good at reading comics that are about video games (not based on, about!) or because there aren't that many of them.  Let me know about ones I'm forgetting in the comments!


This is the obvious one, right?  I think that in this day and age, if people say 'video game comics,' they think Scott Pilgrim.  So I am satisfying everyones' predetermined preferences by putting this first.  A short summary: in this book, there are video games and also Canada and twenty-something love. 


And here's the least obvious answer.  I debated not putting the Lifemeter anthologies in here because they're very much independently produced and some of them are mini-comics, but I love them so!  So I didn't resist.  They're basically collections of 'video game inspired comics' from a lot of creators, and they're adorable!


I love Matt Loux's art!  This was his first book ever, and it's gorgeous even then.  Also there is a demon-cat. 


Gene Yang and Thien Pham's latest book; possibly more about med school and parenting strategy than about video games, but with this cover, who could tell?  (And there are totally video games inside guys, I swear.)

Penny Arcade 1

Oh, Penny Arcade.  You are the archetype of all comics about video games.  And there is bacon on the cover of your book.  Clearly one cannot go wrong here.

Happy reading, everyone!

June 03, 2011

Deogratias Limerick


There once was a kid who made the wrong choices

He was influenced by all of the very wrong voices

He got in over his head

People ended up dead

When something like this happens, no one rejoices.

(Worst book to write a limerick about ever!  Sorry guys.)

June 02, 2011

Level Up Give-Away



I'm a day late on this give-away; but it's the latest Gene Yang!  How can you resist the chance to win a copy?  And Thien's art is just awesome; go read an excerpt here

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