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 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. It has also won the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award for young-adult literature, a first for a graphic novel.
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. His artwork has been shown in San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum. 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. 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. 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.
While he was watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, however, Zuko was Yang's favorite character.