June 16, 2023 0

Gene Luen Yang

By in black and white, cats, collaboration, comics, sketches

Back in the early 2000s, I got to do a workshop at Montreal’s Blue Metropolis Book Festival with the great Gene Luen Yang. A movie adaptation of his graphic novel American Born Chinese is currently coming out.
The book the movie is based on is an amazing exploration of being young and having a Chinese background when you are living in North America. Certainly opened my eyes to a lot.
Here are a couple of drawings I created at the workshop. Not brilliant character design, but I was collaborating with the rest of the people at the table, and most of them weren’t artists.

He told me some interesting things. For instance, one of the hardest parts of drawing was getting your characters to stand up straight inside the panel. (computers can fix this, of course, but then you don’t have nice original art to sell).
His other point was to have one story happening on the page, but then implying a second story going on inside the characters’ heads.
But the coolest thing for me at the time, was hearing about Avatar: The Last Airbender. I picked the series up on DVD from the local video store, and it was a revelation to me.

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