Thursday, February 21, 2013

Animal Crackers by Gene Luen Yang

Animal Crackers: A Gene Luen Yang Collection

Gene Luen Yang is best known for his Printz Award winning graphic novel American Born Chinesepublished in 2006.  His new collection, Animal Crackers is a rerelease of two his earliest stories -- "Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks" and "Loyola Chin and the San Pelegrino Order," plus a brand new story.

These intertwined stories are full of Yang's distinctive magic realism, as Gordon, a high school bully gets a tiny alien spacecraft lodged in his nose which forces him to reconsider his life.

Those familiar with Yang's work will recognize many of the themes from his later works -- geeks finding their place in the world, food being used in fantastical ways, silliness mixed with deep meaning.  The simple black and white line drawings bring his characters to life, and the collection ends with  "special features" (early sketches of the characters and a comic about Yang's journey as an artist)

If you enjoy Animal Crackers, check out Yang's other works, along with the graphic novels of Derek Kirk Kim (who actually wrote the introduction to Animal Crackers).

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