Gene Luen Yang is an American comics artist whose graphic novel American Born Chinese was named a 2006 finalist for the National Book Award in the young people's literature category[1] and was awarded the 2007 Members' Choice Award from the Asian American Literary Awards. This was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award.[2] It has also won the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award for young-adult literature,[3] a first for a graphic novel.[4]

Gene Yang has authored all graphic novel trilogies based on Avatar: The Last Airbender, in addition to "Rebound", Shells", and "Sisters", which were written for Free Comic Book Day.

Selected other credits

Graphic novels

  • The Shadow Hero (2014)
  • Boxers and Saints (2013)
  • Level Up (2011)
  • Prime Baby (2010)
  • The Eternal Smile (2009)
  • American Born Chinese (2006)
  • Animal Crackers (2004)

Biographical information

Yang's drawings are created with what Scott McCloud refers to as a "cheap tool bravado", using everything from brushes to Sharpie markers to Pigma Micron pens to ballpoint pens.[5] His artwork has been shown in San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum.[6] Following American Born Chinese, Yang wrote The Eternal Smile, a collection of three short stories in comics, done in collaboration with Derek Kirk Kim. His latest book is Prime Baby, originally serialized in The New York Times Magazine.[7] In 2011, Yang released Level Up, with art by Thien Pham.

Yang currently lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he teaches computer science at Bishop O'Dowd High School.[8] His father is an electrical engineer from Taiwan and his mother a programmer who grew up in Hong Kong and Taiwan.


  • Yang has stated that, due to his work on The Rift trilogy, Toph Beifong has become his favorite character.[9]
    • While he was watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, however, Zuko was Yang's favorite character.[10]


  1. Jeff Yang (October 25, 2006). ASIAN POP: See you in the funny pages. San Francisco Gate.
  2. Julie Bosman (October 12, 2006). National Book Award Finalists Chosen. The New York Times.
  3. Michael L.. American Library Association and Printz Award. Retrieved on January 23, 2007.
  4. Cecelia Goodnow (January 22, 2007). The Oscars of kids books Newbery and Caldecott Medals awarded in Seattle. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved on January 23, 2007.
  5. McCloud, Scott (2006). Making Comics, New York: Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-078094-0. Pg. 211
  6. Contra Costa Times staff (January 29, 2006). "Sunday A&E big calendar". Contra Costa Times, Pg. F4
  7. Yang, Gene Luen. Prime Baby. The New York Times. Retrieved on June 4, 2011.
  8. Yang, Gene Luen (2006) American Born Chinese, New York: First Second
  9. Shick, Michael (2013-07-25 accessdate=2014-02-08). 'Avatar: The Last Airbender': New comic series announced, more in the works. Hypable.
  10. Sunu, Steve (December 1, 2014). Exclusive: Yang Guides Avatar: The Last Airbender through Smoke and Shadow. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved on December 1, 2014.
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